If you’re concerned that a loved one or yourself could be suffering from an addiction to Ibuprofen, then it’s important that you seek out professional support immediately.

Treatment for Ibuprofen addiction is similar to many other treatment plans for drug or alcohol addiction which typically begin with medical detox to remove your physical dependence on Ibuprofen, followed by evidence-based therapies which focus on breaking your psychological connection to the substance.

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What is Ibuprofen?

Classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Ibuprofen is a pharmaceutical drug available over the counter and by prescription.

Ibuprofen works by reducing the hormones which cause inflammation and pain in your body; therefore, it’s often used to treat mild to moderate pain such as headache or toothache, menstrual pain, fever, severe pain (when combined with codeine), inflammation, and arthritis or gout which is usually alongside physiotherapy.

Usually provided in the form of tablets, when Ibuprofen is used illicitly, it’s also often seen in chewable tablets or concentrated liquid drops.

What are the Dangers of Abusing Ibuprofen?

As with any drug, there is no safe level of use. Any form of medication carries an associated risk so it’s important to be very careful. The effect that Ibuprofen has on someone can vary significantly based on whether the person is used to taking it, where other drugs are consumed at the same time, how much Ibuprofen they’ve taken, and on their size, weight, and overall health. Prescription drug addiction is becoming an increasing issue.

Taking more than the recommended dose of Ibuprofen can easily lead to a serious overdose. In this case, you may experience symptoms of abdominal pain, drowsiness, confusion and disorientation, anxiety and paranoia, blurred vision tinnitus, vomiting dark blood, kidney and liver problems, seizures or convulsions, and coma or death.

Excessive abuse of Ibuprofen over a long period of time can increase the risk of a heart attack, cause bleeding in the stomach and bowels, kidney or liver damage, anaemia, or impaired hearing. In the case of abusing any type of drug or alcohol, there are serious potential dangers, many of which can be life-altering or fatal.

Side Effects of Excessive Ibuprofen Use

Some of the most common side effects of Ibuprofen include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, fatigue, restlessness, thirst and sweating, fluid retention and swelling, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, blurred vision and eye irritation, mild allergic reaction, chills, low blood pressure, bladder irritation and pain, frequent urination, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, heartburn, constipation, and diarrhoea.

Mixing Ibuprofen with alcohol or any other type of drug can increase the risk of stomach irritation and serious discomfort. There are lots of prescription drugs or medications that you can buy over the counter which shouldn’t be combined with alcohol because of the serious side effects that can occur.

Drinking whilst also under the influence of Ibuprofen can result in stomach upset or bleeding and even liver damage. It’s also possible to suffer severe or even life-threatening kidney damage when mixing Ibuprofen and alcohol, therefore, this mix should be avoided entirely.

Causes of Ibuprofen Addiction

Like any drug addiction, there’s unlikely to be just one single reason as to why someone becomes addicted to the substance. Some of the most common causes of addiction relate to an emotional dependence on the drug, triggered by a traumatic event or ongoing depression throughout someone’s life.

The environment in which someone grows up or the social circle they’re involved in can also influence drug taking if this is seen as the norm. Someone who is suffering from mental health problems frequently turns to substance abuse to cope with their psychological pain.

Likewise, excessive drug abuse can alter the make-up of your brain which can lead to a mental health problem developing. When someone is suffering from both a mental health problem and an addiction to drugs, this is known as a dual diagnosis. Many drug rehab centres and addiction specialists are very familiar with and experienced in managing a dual diagnosis so it’s nothing to feel concerned about upon joining a rehab centre.

Because Ibuprofen is a form of pain relief, some people may be taking an excessive amount to numb their physical and emotional pain. This can lead to feeling as though they can’t function normally without the drug.

Without professionally addressing these problems, the addiction will only get worse, leaving you with potentially life-threatening issues.

Treating an Ibuprofen Addiction

It’s important to remember that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to addiction treatment. Addiction is a complex disease which impacts every aspect of your life, particularly how your brain functions and how you behave.

Whilst Ibuprofen addiction is treatable, it can be very challenging and must concentrate on breaking your physical, psychological, and emotional connections to the substance. A drug detox may be required if you have severe ibuprofen addiction alongside other substance addictions.

For addiction treatment to be its most effective, it should be personalised to each person. Everyone has their own underlying reasons as to how they became addicted to Ibuprofen, therefore it’s unrealistic to expect that one form of addiction treatment will rehabilitate everyone in the same way.

Private drug rehab centres can invest more time and resources into fully understanding the nature and severity of each person’s addiction, meaning they can design the most effective treatment plan for that individual.

It’s also possible to receive addiction treatment for free with the NHS, however, because they’re unfortunately limited on resources and funding, they’re unable to provide a personalised or timely service. In comparison with the treatment plans that are provided privately, you’re much more likely to receive an effective plan with successful results from a private rehab facility.

Get Help at Ocean Recovery

Begin your journey to long-term recovery today by calling  Ocean Recovery on 0800 880 7596 or emailing info@oceanrecoverycentre.com.

Our admissions team can discuss the various treatment options available along with any possible funding options to investigate. If you’re prepared to start your rehabilitation journey, we will welcome you in with open arms and help you to create a more positive future to look forward to.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Adel Ghaly

    Dr Adel Ghaly - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: December 7, 2023

    MB BCh, Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) from 2002

    Dr Adel Ghaly is a registered Doctor who is a specialist psychiatrist. Dr Ghaly gained an MB BCh in 1982 from Assiut University and has since become a substance misuse specialist and psychiatrist. After gaining his qualification in Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) in 2002, Dr Ghaly has worked in hospitals and as a specialist trainer recognised by the GMC.