Prescription Drug Addiction Treatments
Table of Contents
Why Do People Abuse Prescription Drugs?
However, like several other forms of substance use disorders, people abuse prescription drugs for several reasons. These reasons may include:
- Overuse leading dependence
- For perceived benefits, such as improved concentration at work or increased appetite and alertness
- As a substitute for other drug use
- Withdrawal symptom prevention
- Peer pressure
How Common Is Prescription Drug Addiction?Prescription drug addiction is common, with many cases underreported or overlooked. This is because some individuals are unaware that they might have developed a substance use addiction to the medication they use. Studies show that an outstanding eighteen million people (6% of the population of the United States) over twelve years old have a prescription drug problem. 1
Prescription Medicine That Causes Drug Addiction
Dependency on certain medications, especially prescription drugs, is always possible during drug therapy. Certain classes of prescription drugs have higher addictive potentials when compared to others. These include central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, CNS depressants, and opioids.
Opioids such as codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone are prescribed as pain relief medications, especially for long-term pain. Along with their analgesic effect, opioids have the propensity to cause feelings of euphoria, dependence, and subsequent addiction. Opioid addiction causes a variety of complications.
Anti-anxiety medications and CNS depressants like barbiturates act by slowing down brain activity and can induce feelings of calmness. Lastly, stimulants are a class of prescription drugs commonly abused and are used clinically to increase brain activity. A good example of CNS stimulants is amphetamines. 2
What Causes Prescription Drug Addiction?
Mental and Physical Health Conditions
A large number of prescription medications are used in the treatment and management of mental and physical health conditions. This reliance and the impact of the development of these conditions are leading causes of prescription drug abuse. For instance, in chronic or acute pain management, using opioids as pain relief coupled with other mental effects of the drug could lead to continuous dependence.
Risk Factors for Prescription Drug Addiction
Various factors influence prescription drug addiction and its occurrence across multiple demographics. These risk factors for prescription drug abuse are not definite determining factors for every individual but should guide lifestyle modifications when observed. These factors include:
Family History of Substance Addiction
Addiction to Other Substances
Lack of Knowledge About Prescription Drugs
Easy Access to Prescription Drugs
Other Possible Factors
Prescription Drug Withdrawal and Overdose
Prescription Drug Addiction Withdrawal SymptomsAbrupt withdrawal from prescription drugs would present symptoms like dilated pupils, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, sweating, muscle and joint ache, anxiety, irritability, shakiness, pallor, and increased heart rate. 6
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
There are several prescription drug addiction treatment programs offered at Arrow Passage Recovery. These programs are suited for anyone with a prescription drug addiction issue and are individualized to ensure patient comfort.
This process involves gradual prescription drug detox by a trained expert. For opioids, there is a gradual tapering of the opioid to prevent extreme withdrawal symptoms. Anti-anxiety medications or relaxants are withdrawn gradually for about two weeks, and CNS stimulants are slowly withdrawn while checking for withdrawal symptoms. 8
Medication and other pharmacotherapy is essential to managing withdrawal symptoms. Health care practitioners could augment opioid addiction treatment with naltrexone or buprenorphine given by injection once a month. However, to control high blood pressure caused by withdrawal, Clonidine is used. CNS relaxant medication is also needed to stabilize the mood and manage anxiety. Using medication to control and manage cravings and symptoms during withdrawal is vital.
Contact an Addiction Specialist at Arrow Passage Recovery
At Arrow Passage Recovery, we want to help patients addicted to prescription drugs through their journey of recovery and sobriety. Arrow Passage Recovery is just one call away for either you or your loved one. Our team of professionals has treatment plans designed for each patient to make a recovery as easy as possible.