Victory Over Prescription Addiction

Written by M. Larson

prescriptaddict“Ann, you have everything anyone could ever want!” a friend of hers exclaimed one day.

“Oh, yes,” she answered, “I have a beautiful home, all kinds of material things and a good husband. But what good are all these things if I feel like a walking zombie? I’m sick of taking tranquilizers and sleeping pills. This is no way to live!”

Ann had been accustomed to living life to the hilt. When she was younger, she had been Mrs. Maine in the Mrs. America Pageant. Then she starred in Little Theatre productions. Later she directed women’s programs for a local television station and had conducted her own daily talk show. After working in a dentist’s office for several years, she founded and developed the dental technician program at college in her area. Now prescription addiction had floored her.

My Husband is Addicted to Pain Pills.

The start of prescription addiction

Ann’s worst problems began when she suffered a blackout which had been brought on by a combination of tension in her work, perfectionism on her part and poor nutrition. When the tranquilizers her doctor put her on made it difficult for her to sleep at night, he prescribed sleeping pills. She became addicted to both drugs, which began putting her into that zombie-like state. Knowing she was a sick woman, she quit her important position at the college.

One day she came across a book that told about drugs that could cause harm. Among them were those her doctor had prescribed for her. The passage on the tranquilizer Triavil, hit her hard:

“Strong anti-psychotic drug, which should not be taken by people with various physical problems.” Some adverse effects of it were these: causes mild insomnia; may lead to anaphalactic shock; can cause bone marrow depression.

Ann knew this tranquilizer was extremely bad for a person in her condition. Her system was already broken down by poor nutrition and already in a depressed condition. This drug also causes severe constipation and she had a history of that. It causes muscle spasms involving the face and neck – and she had bruxism. Possible effect of extended use: tardive dyskinesia, which causes involuntary bizarre movements of the jaws, lips and tongue. Her eye twitched and her speech was slurred.

“No wonder I’ve felt so awful taking this dangerous drug!” she exclaimed to her husband Bill. “And because of my insomnia I became addicted to sleeping pills too!”

“I want to come off drugs entirely,” she told her doctor.

Going “cold turkey”

The doctor didn’t think Ann could do it, but told her how to go about it. It was rough, just as rough as coming off any addictive drug. Sleep eluded her. Night after night she walked the floor in pain and fear. Maybe I should kill myself! she thought.

Bill was deeply concerned for her. Putting his hand gently on her, he said, “Honey, with God’s help we can make it!” he said. “Let’s pray.” So they did.

Ann sought help from eight doctors but none seemed to know what ailed her. Since she didn’t want to go back to addictive drugs, one doctor prescribed lithium, a natural substance that helps people sleep. But she became dependent on that. Withdrawal from it was as horrible as the other withdrawals.

God to the rescue

Ann had always felt able to take care of herself, that she really didn’t need anyone else, not even God. Now in desperation, she realized she did need Him and began praying for His guidance and help.

One day an acquaintance told her how a minister was helping her get over her son’s suicide. “Here’s a Bible verse Pastor Smith gave me,” she said:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

This and other things she said encouraged Ann. Thus she suddenly realized how much people need each other, as well as the Lord.

Ann began counseling with Pastor Smith and attending his church. He showed her how to have a personal relationship with the Lord and how to trust Him by faith. “Jesus Christ is the great physician,” he said. “Look to Him!”

At his church, Ann also found a concerned family of believers who upheld her in prayer. And she realized now that the Lord was answering her prayers for help!

When one doctor told her she would probably never sleep naturally again, she frantically called Pastor Smith.

“Now, Ann, God is still in His heaven and He is still in control,” the pastor assured her. So whenever fears assailed her, Ann said this over and over to herself. She found that looking to the Lord seemed to be helping her overcome the feelings of tenseness and depression that contributed to her distress.

Healed at last!

Slowly Ann emerged from the dark valley she had been in for so long. She began seeking help in better nutrition. After eating properly for some time, she realized the difference a good diet made in her physical well being. The pain she had suffered disappeared, the swelling in her abdomen was gone – and to her amazement also was a growth that had been there!

At night when she lay down to sleep, she meditated on the following Scripture: “He gives His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2). After a while she found she would actually go to sleep!

Several doctors had told her that she would never again be able to sleep without pills, so she was thrilled that their predictions didn’t come true. Thanks to the Lord, her story has a happy ending, for now Ann finds life more worth living than it ever was before.

Read Debbie’s story of Facing Her Husband’s Addiction to Pills.

11 Responses to “Victory Over Prescription Addiction”

  • Janet says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have also been released from addiction to presription drugs. My doctor prescribed Effexor for depression, saying it would help me with the day to day struggles of my life at the time. She also told me that if I stayed with the man I was with, he would bring me down. After a couple of years I was introduced to my Savior Jesus Christ. A friend invited me to church and it took a while, after I was let go from my job I realized I really needed help, I didn;t know which way to turn. My church has become my second home, God accepted me just as I was, and after some time told released me from depending on the drugs, I was slowly taken off the effexor in a safe way. It started on April 1st and by August 1 of the same year I was free from the drugs. My Lord and Savior has also healed me in the area of co-dependence through our Celebrate Recovery at my church. I am so much healthier in so many areas of my life.
    My life’s verse is 2nd Timothy 1 verse 7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” This is one of the many things I thank Jesus for each and every day of my new life in him.

  • Tamara Ancahas says:

    I have clinical depression and I take Effexor and I do not see anything wrong with it. Depression is a disease and so is diabetes but are you gonna tell a diabetic not to take their insulin? I take Geodon too and once I forgot to put it in my pill case and I was stuck in bed for three days so severely depressed until I realized what happened. My problem is I have Chronic pain and I take Diladud and I just do not take the pills I crush them up and put them in a needle. I am addicted and I want to get off of them but do not want to be sick. Please can someone help me. I have known the Lord Jesus Christ since I was 18 years old. I beleive in miracles but my life has been that of a sufferer. Please someone help me.

  • Leah says:

    Dear Tamara,

    I am so sorry you are dealing with depression and chronic pain. The good news is that there is hope. I would really encourage you to talk with your doctor to discuss what you are going through, also you might want to seek a counsellor or go to an AAA meeting for prescription addiction. I would encourage you to request a mentor from our site, it is free and confidential and it will help you heal spiritually. Here is the link:

    You will be in my prayers,


  • janet says:

    Hi Tamara, \you are correct there is nothing wrong with taking medicine for depression. What I can share with you is that the Lord has released me from the need for effexor. I would like to pray for guildance from The lord in your circumstances, and encourage you to continue praying, for the peace that surpasses all understanding that comes from the Lord. I also found comfort and support in a Christ Centred Program called Celebrate Recovery.Their website is celebrate This is a place where you will find comfort, and a program that has helped me a lot.

  • Theresa says:

    Hi, I’ve been on prescription drugs, including sleeping pills, for chronic pain (Fibromyalgia) for going on 9 years. I’ve also been on Celexa for anxiety and depression for just as long. I’m in the process of trying to get off all this stuff. One drug seems to lead to another then another. My desk is full of medicine bottles. I’m starting to believe a lot of it is caused from the side effects of long term use of these things. Now I have a very nasty ulcer that has been paining me for going on a year now. There is no doubt in my mind all this medicine caused it. It’s time for me to give all this up and trust The Lord will be here to catch me. Our Woman’s Bible Study group is doing a ‘Walk By Faith’ study for this Fall session. The Holy Spirit is telling me it’s time to do just that. To stop depending on anything else except The Lord Himself. For most of us who become addicted to these drugs we are looking for that ‘magic pill’ that will take all our pain and problems away. The fact is only The Lord can be that magic pill.

  • Alfred says:

    Hi Theresa,
    I just read that informative article as well as your letter, and am thrilled that you will have help from the group to do that “Walk By Faith”! I have one thing to add: There’s a book called “The Maker’s Diet” by a Jewish fellow, Jordan S. Rubin, who lost his health due to a poor diet, spent years trying to recover, and finally made it. Now, a medical doctor, he is helping many to get of addictive drugs, by simple clean living and good nutrition. His health plan is based on the Bible and proven by science. Look for the book at

  • Theresa says:

    Hi Alfred and thank you for your response. I actually own a copy of “The Maker’s Diet”. It was one of those wonderful gems I found at the second hand store for a great price. It’s an awesome book that I definitely need to incorporate into my healing. It’s sitting on my desk right now instead of being tucked away in the drawer /smiles Thanks for mentioning it.

  • Ab says:

    I have been on celexa for years and tried to taper off them witha doctor’s supervision and had a terrible experience with thoughts of suicide and had to check into a psychiatric center. My regular dr., foud out by looking at all my notes and what was happening that I ahve always been bipolar and antidepressants were not going to work adn they never really did .
    I am not on wellbutrin and feel totally fine. I know when this nervous breakdown happened that the Lord knew what I was going through and I prayed for help and clarity.I ncould not have stopped it . He promised to never leave me. I can say that it was a rough ride but I am very thankful . I periodically admit though that i feel annoyed that i have to take any medications. I think that may be my pride though.

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Dear Ab, It is good to hear that you are doing well and that you have been trusting in the Lord and at the same time have been listening to your doctor as well. Our pride can get the best of us and misguide us into thinking we do not need to do this or we should not be doing taking that. Some people have a chemical imbalance and the only way to correct such is by a prescribed medication via their doctor. If you have found the right one and live is going well and is in balance that is a good thing. Having this steady balance in your emotional thinking allows you to live a more blessed and steady life that God desires of all His children. Keep on in your recovery and upturn in Spirit in all the wonderful things God desires to do through you in blessing and helping others. Also, as you most certainly are aware of, other ways of dealing with those highs and lows is by eating a healthy diet, exercise, and rest. When you have a healthy body, mind and spirit life tends to go much smoother!

  • Jess says:

    There’s another website that is really helpful with this stuff, too.. They offer online Bible studies to help people find freedom from many different sins, including prescription addiction. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for help with this issue! It helped me tremendously :-)

  • Kate says:

    Hi Jesse, thanks so much for sharing. So many people are struggling and hurting, and it is encouraging to know that there are also so many helping and coming alongside!

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