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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Addiction or not?



I`m concerned that my friend may be addicted to anxiety medication and pain killers, because she goes to the hospital at least twice a week, if not more, to get injected intravenously with Ativan, Dilaudid, and Nubain. When my friend goes to the hospital she says she`s having pain in her leg, back, or another body part, then she starts complaining about anxiety. The doctors do test on her, but they can never find anything wrong. Then, she turns around and goes to another hospital the next day and does the same thing, until they give her Ativan, Dilaudid, and Nubain. She also gets prescriptions for Darvocet and Dilaudid all the time, in addition to the injections.

Does it sound like my friend may be addicted to these drugs and if so what can I do to help her realize she`s addicted?


There is absolutely no doubt that your friend has a serious addiction problem and needs treatment as soon as possible. Soon she will be found out, and the drugs will stop, and then she will probably try and get drugs by illegal means. Eventually, she will be caught and probably end up in jail or she will die.

I don't know what city she lives in, but there are treatment centers in most cities that could help her. She probably thinks she "needs" these drugs in order to survive. I suspect that she keeps getting the drugs because she is afraid to go into withdrawal.

If she doesn't get help soon, she has no future. The worst thing you can do is to enable her. She sounds like a very sick woman.

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Response by:

Peter D Rogers, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University