Medications often prove vital to curing specific illnesses or easing the symptoms associated with such ailments. However, when not properly ingested, these drugs carry the potential to cause harm and possibly even result in physical and mental dependency. Therefore, it is critical for those using such medications and their family members to recognize potential signs of addiction.
Prescription Drug Overview
Prescription drugs are prescribed by doctors to address various diseases and the physical manifestations resulting from such maladies. In most cases, subjects use these substances for legitimate purposes. However, many prescription drugs hold powerful pain-relieving and sedative properties. Such attributes render them quite valuable on the illegal drug market and are often favored by people looking to obtain unnatural highs.
Types Of Prescription Drugs
Numerous categories of prescription drugs exist. That said, several possess the ability to cause dependency. Specific examples include:
Physicians often employ these medications to treat or ease the symptoms related to various attention deficit issues. Drugs common to this category include Ritalin and Adderall.
These substances produce a strong sense of calm and well-being. Healthcare providers typically prescribe said substances for individuals diagnosed with anxiety or sleep disorders. Common sedatives and anti-anxiety preparations include Valium. Ambien, and Xanax.
These medications usually fall under the label of opioid narcotics. Drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin eliminate physical pain and precipitate calmness.
The statistics surrounding prescription drug abuse are alarming. Data gathered by the National Institute of Health reveals that, in 2020, more than 16 million Americans reported abusing said substances during the past year.
Certain individuals might stand at greater risk for dependency if they possess risk factors such as:
Pre-existing Mental Disorders
An appreciable percentage of persons legitimately prescribed prescription drugs hold an undiagnosed mental issue. Oftentimes, these subjects use prescription medications to quell the physical and psychological manifestations related to those concerns.
Researchers have concluded that genetics could play a significant role in the development of substance addiction. A solid number of individuals coping with drug dependency have a close relative like a parent or sibling who either has or had a substance abuse problem.
Those residing in mentally challenging environments may be more prone to chemical dependency.
A loved one may be in the throes of prescription drug addiction should they display signs or behaviors including:
- Visiting multiple doctors for the same condition
- Stealing money or medications prescribed to others
- Hiding amounts of medication in odd locations throughout their home or other places like vehicles
- Forging a doctor’s official prescription documents
- Using increased quantities of alcohol or other drugs
- Withdrawing from activities the individual in question once enjoyed
- Associating with a different crowd of friends and acquaintances
Prescription drug abuse might manifest in physical symptoms such as:
- Increased perspiration
- Digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
- Weight loss
- Diminished appetite
- Wild mood swings and irritability
- Walking difficulties and other coordination challenges
- Lowered inhibitions
- Increased risk-taking
More serious indicators can include shallow breathing, depression, heart rhythm irregularities, impaired judgment, and diminished cognitive functions like concentration and memory.
Possible Long-Term Effects
Over the long haul, prescription drug addiction could result in serious health problems, in addition to detrimental events such as job loss, financial struggles, legal issues, relationship problems, and social isolation.
Ultimately, the decision to obtain help lies with the addict. Said individual must realize that their problem has spiraled beyond their control and professional help is needed to corral the issue.
Typically, prescription drug addiction recovery’s initial stage is detox. This is a medically supervised process where trained healthcare providers carefully and gradually withdraw the offending substance from the dependent’s system. Such efforts can often be performed in hospitals or drug rehab facilities.
Following detox, the healing soul will likely participate in a treatment program. These undertakings:
- Help recovering addicts identify the reasons they started using drugs
- Reveal underlying mental or emotional issues
- Teach healing individuals how to live a sober life
- Provide important life skills
Such efforts can be administered on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the subject’s financial standing, and professional and personal obligations, in addition to their addiction’s severity.
Individuals hoping to overcome prescription drug addictions are urged to contact us. The team of professionals working for our southwestern Florida-based rehab facility has treated people from across the United States. We know such dependencies are hard to conquer. However, with our help, it is possible. Please reach out to us today at 844-639-8371.