Drug addiction occurs when a person repeatedly uses substances despite repercussions. It could affect one’s physical, mental, and social health. While some people start their habit through the experimental use of recreational drugs, others get hooked on prescription medications.
Prescription drug addiction is the usage of medications without an appropriate doctor’s prescription or other than what was instructed by the physician. Usually, individuals do this to elicit a feeling of euphoria or excitement.
Based on studies, medications initially intended to treat pain, and mental health disorders are abused at an alarming rate. This situation has prompted an increase in treatment admissions, overdose cases, and emergency room visits.
About 52 million people have taken prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at least once. A large percentage of this is composed of young people.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey found that painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin are two of the most commonly abused drugs among adolescents.
What are the Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs?
Although many drugs can be misused or abused, these three medications are popular among illicit users.
Opioids: This drug class is often prescribed by doctors to relieve pain. It blocks the signals sent by your body to your brain, reducing the effects of a painful stimulus. Using this drug for a long time can increase your risk of addiction. Some medications that fall under this category are hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine.
Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants: This medication slows down brain activity and calms or soothes a person. Often referred to as sedatives and tranquilizers, it effectively treats anxiety and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics, and barbiturates are some of its examples.
Stimulants: These drugs increase the level of dopamine in your brain. They give your body a jump-start, boosting your energy, alertness, and attention. They also raise blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart rate.
Doctors often prescribe them to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, asthma, obesity, and narcolepsy. Some examples of stimulants are dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate, and a mix of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
4 Dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction
Physical Side Effects
Taking large amounts of prescription drugs can have negative implications on your physical health. The effects may vary depending on your current condition and the medication you’re abusing.
For instance, opioids can make you sleepy and constipated and slow your breathing rate. Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives can impair your memory, lower blood pressure, and make breathing difficult. Stimulants can spike up your body temperature, give you high blood pressure, and cause seizures. Besides these, they can also put you at risk of overdose, coma, or death.
As your body becomes familiar with the medication due to frequent use, you will crave an even higher dose to gain the desired effects and avoid withdrawal symptoms. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms are body aches, delirium, vomiting, fatigue, seizures, and hallucinations.
A prescription drug addiction treatment program can make withdrawal bearable by assisting your detoxification process and continuing care.
Psychoactive chemicals present in prescription drugs affect the brain areas that deal with reward and pleasure. Repeated drug use causes a dopamine surge in the brain, inducing a sense of euphoria.
As a result, many become addicted to medications to get that “high.” Unfortunately, it has short-term and long-term mental effects such as difficulty concentrating, irritability, aggression, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
Without seeking professional help for prescription drug addiction, you will eventually struggle with emotional problems. The drugs will stop working after some time, and the pleasure you’re getting from them will die down. You’ll lose the enjoyment of life and experience feelings of hopelessness and depression.
But it doesn’t have to end that way – you can step towards recovery by admitting yourself into a residential prescription drug addiction treatment.
Personal Problems in Different Areas of Your Life
Aside from physical and psychological effects, prescription drug abuse can also affect the other facets of your personal life. This includes relationships, finances, career, and reputation.
Since you’ll likely prioritize taking drugs, you’ll spend lesser time on the activities you used to enjoy. There’s also a possibility that you’ll use your money to support your addiction instead of paying your bills.
How To Treat Prescription Drug Addiction
Different kinds of treatment approaches deal with prescription drug addiction. Regardless of the severity of your drug abuse, you’ll find an option aligned with your needs.
The two primary treatment categories are behavioral treatment and medications. Behavioral treatment can help change destructive behavior and thinking patterns. It teaches healthy coping mechanisms to manage cravings and avoid situations that could result in relapse.
On the other hand, medications can relieve withdrawal symptoms. It is often administered along with psychosocial support.
Types of Treatment Settings
- Inpatient Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
The patient goes through a structured rehab program in this setting while being confined in the hospital or treatment facility. It is perfect for those who have problematic home environments since it removes them from distractions and stressors.
While you’re in a residential prescription drug addiction treatment, you’ll have 24-hour medical supervision and support. Aside from the traditional clinical programs, you’ll also participate in other holistic approaches and recreational activities.
- Outpatient Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
This program allows a person to go back to their homes after attending each session at the rehab facility. Since the schedule of sessions may vary depending on the individual’s preference, it provides more flexibility to the patient. It allows them to work around their daily obligations while maintaining sobriety.
Many people fall into prescription drug addiction because of the pleasure and escape it promises. It takes away the pain and stress of daily living but with a cost. It can bring a set of symptoms and dangers that could result in social, physical, and behavioral consequences.
While you may feel as though it’s impossible to break free from the shackles of drug addiction, there is always help available. With the support of recovery centers, you can restore your life and overcome your suffering.
Professional help can make your withdrawal experience less painful. They have the right tools to beat your addiction and prevent it from returning.
Restore Health and Wellness Center can help you get off prescription drugs safely. We provide different kinds of services, including prescription drug addiction treatment. Our comprehensive treatment plans are tailored to suit your needs. To start your way to recovery, contact us at (818) 351-1853.