When people think of addiction, they tend to think about alcoholism or the use of illicit drugs. Many fail to realize that it’s also possible to become addicted to prescription drugs. That’s right; even medication can be addictive. So, it’s important to understand the signs, symptoms, and effects of prescription drug abuse.
Although not everyone who uses prescriptions will become addicted to their medications, many people do. Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse is actually a very common problem in our communities. Many people enter detox due to prescription drugs.
Prescription drug addiction problems affect people from all walks of life, people of all ages and backgrounds. So, if you or someone you know is using any type of prescription drug, drug dependence is a possibility.
It’s important to prevent substance dependence in your life in order to stop it from becoming abuse and, eventually, addiction. But, if you think that you may already have an abuse or addiction problem, it’s not too late! You can get the help you need today.
One of the best ways to take a step toward recovery is to learn more about what you’re dealing with. As you learn about prescription drug abuse, you can also gain an understanding of the importance of treatment.
Classifying Prescription Drugs
When it comes to prescription drugs, there are several classes and categories. Each one affects people in different ways.
Although these drugs are meant to help treat various physical and mental health concerns, each one also has the ability to lead to addiction. So, it’s best to understand how these substances can affect those who use them regularly.
Many of these substances, such as opioids and opiates are used to treat pain. Chronic pain patients might use these medications regularly for pain relief.
Other prescription drugs in these categories, like Valium, help to treat those who suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression.
There are also many prescriptions that can be used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia. Some drugs, such as Adderall, are designed to help people who struggle with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
How Do People Become Addicted to Prescription Drugs?
Many people use prescription drugs for medical reasons. Perhaps they are working to treat a mental health condition. Or, maybe they need to relieve pain in their bodies. There are medications out there for every health concern we could possibly have.
Of course, people who have health concerns want to find the best way to take care of those issues and live a healthy, full life. But, sometimes, the medications we consume actually do us more harm than good. In some situations, prescription use can actually lead to prescription abuse and addiction.
How does that happen? After all, these drugs are meant to help and not hurt us. So, why is it that people begin to depend on them and develop addiction problems after using them for a while?
Well, many prescription medications are actually highly addictive when taken in large doses. Although most individuals might begin by taking small amounts of medication at a time, their bodies may start to build tolerance for those drugs.
After a while, those small amounts won’t have the same effect on the body. The pain relief won’t come. The person’s nerves won’t feel calm or relaxed. Insomnia will persist. And all of this will happen because the body has become tolerant of the prescription drug the person is using.
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So, in order to get the desired result, the individual may take more of the medication. The dose may be much more than the doctor recommended. But, in order to treat pain, anxiety, stress, and so forth, people sometimes feel that they have to take more medication.
This cycle continues until people begin to abuse drugs, using them more often than directed. Sometimes, people even begin to use prescription drugs that don’t belong to them in search of relief or even the next “high”.
As a result of this misuse, many people eventually become addicted to prescription drugs.
Symptoms and Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction
But some common signals may be:
- Breathing problems
- Loss of appetite
- Memory problems
- High blood pressure
- Lack of concentration
- Poor decision-making
- Risky and unsafe behaviors
- Sleeping problems (i.e. insomnia)
- Problems with balance and coordination
Individuals who are struggling with prescription drug abuse or addiction may show various signs of these issues in their lives. Sometimes, the signs may not be very easy to see at first. But, many of them are easily seen.
The signs and symptoms will vary from case to case as it really depends heavily on the kind of substance being used and how long the person has been using it.
Often, those who are struggling with substance dependence may become dishonest and get involved in unsafe activities. For instance, they may drive while heavily medicated. They might be dishonest with their family members about their whereabouts at times in order to hide their addictions.
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Withdrawing from Prescription Drug Use
The truth is that withdrawing from substance use can be frightening and even dangerous when people attempt to detox alone. But, with the help of a professional detox program like the one we offer here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, ending substance use disorder is a much safer process.
After a person realizes that prescription use has become a problem in his or her life, the individual may decide to end substance use and abuse. But, it’s not always easy to know where to start.
Sometimes, the fear of withdrawal can become overwhelming. Some of the symptoms of prescription drug withdrawal are very intense. In some cases, seizures and hallucinations are possible symptoms of withdrawal.
Getting Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery Center
You don’t need to wait any longer to get help in overcoming prescription drug abuse. You can find peace and hope today! Just contact us here at Sana Lake to find out more about our programs and how we can help you. You can also reach us by dialing (636) 707-2097.