PRESCRIPTION ADDICTION TREATMENT
What is Prescription Addiction?
Drugs prescribed by a doctor are supposed to help cure illnesses, combat emotional issues, and aid in pain management. However, there’s a fine line between taking a drug for health reasons and misusing it. When a person starts to take more than the recommended dose of a drug on a regular basis, they’re at risk of developing a prescription addiction. This can lead to a number of disastrous side-effects.
The opioid epidemic has been a huge problem in this country. Powerful painkillers like fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone have been responsible for serious addictions and even deaths for many years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 130 people die of an opioid overdose every day. That’s a staggering number. What’s even worse is that opioids are only one type of drug capable of causing a serious addiction. There are plenty of other drugs people frequently develop dependencies to.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Individuals often form addictions to medications after being prescribed them for a legitimate health issue. For instance, a person may need to take a pain killer after major surgery and start abusing the drug after they’ve developed a dependency. Or, a person may buy a prescription drug on the street and develop an addiction. That’s right, prescription drugs can be just as, if not more, addictive than illegal drugs. Some of the most common prescription drugs that cause dependency include:
- Painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and Codeine.
- Central nervous system depressants, which include Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Halcion.
- Hypnotics, which include Ambien and other drugs used for sleep disorders.
- Stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and other drugs used to treat ADHD.
When abused, each of these types of drugs causes different symptoms and side-effects. However, one thing is true for all of them- long-term abuse and addiction can lead to severe physical and mental health issues. Often, a person who’s developed an addiction will start buying the drug on the streets when their prescription runs out. They may even start using illegal drugs that create the same intoxicating effect as the prescription.
If a loved one is suffering from any type of prescription addiction, it’s important they seek treatment as soon as possible. However, because a prescription addiction can often be hard to spot, it’s important you understand what symptoms to look for.
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What Are the Symptoms of a Prescription Addiction?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that an estimated 18 million individuals misused an addictive prescription drug in 2017 alone. The problem here is that once abuse begins, the potential for dependency goes up, and once a physical dependency starts to develop, addiction is imminent.
If you know someone who takes a prescription medication for a physical or emotional health issue, determining if they’ve developed an addiction can be difficult. This is largely due to the fact that they will have become used to the effects of the drug. Therefore, it’s much easier for them to function while under the influence.
It’s important to remember that each type of prescription drug will cause unique symptoms when a person develops an addiction. Let’s go over the symptoms of each class of drug.
Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
- Slowed breathing
- Stomach issues such as nausea or vomiting
- Slow reaction times
- Lack of motivation
- Social isolation
Symptoms of a Stimulant Addiction
- Mood swings
- Behaving erratically
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
Symptoms of Depressant Addiction
- Memory issues
- Concentration issues
- Slurred speech
- Trouble walking
- Sleeping more than usual
- Dry mouth
Learn More About Lifeline’s Treatment for Prescription Addiction
Treatment for Prescription Addiction
Partial Hospitalization Treatment
During partial hospitalization treatment, the individual receives continuous care. This involves supervision from a medical staff and daily therapeutic groups. For long-term users, this can be one of the best options. They’ll participate in one-on-one and group therapy led by experienced counselors. During treatment, the individual will learn important skills for coping with life without cocaine. These programs typically last either 30, 60, or 90 days.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
This type of treatment involves a patient completing care while living either in a sober living or at their own home. Instead of residing in a center, they’ll attend treatment and groups for several hours each day, meeting with a drug counselor and participate in group therapy sessions. Intensive Outpatient care is a good option for people who need low levels of accountability, or have already completed a higher level of treatment.
Regardless of whether a person completes PHP or IOP levels of treatment, it is still important that they continue their recovery outside of a treatment center. Sober Living is a great way to continue to receive accountability over time, while building up their lives. Sober living houses do not usually provide any therapy, but they do provide drug testing, as well as ensure that residents are attending recovery groups such as AA outside of the house.