Prescription drug addiction is among the most common form of addiction in the country. While opioids make up the majority of prescription drug abuse and addiction, there are others which are easily addictive and just as harmful. There are stimulants, depressants, tranquilizers and sedatives. Detox and withdrawal from prescription drugs can cause physical symptoms which may be very uncomfortable, and we can help the patient get through it.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
- Opioids used for pain relief, such as those containing oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) and those with hydrocodone (Norco).
- Stimulants used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders, like dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall XR, Mydayis), methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine).
- Sedatives, hypnotics and anti-anxiety medications used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, which include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) and zolpidem (Ambien).
Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
Many individuals begin using prescription drugs under the guidance of a physician. Unfortunately, many of these substances are highly addictive and these same individuals may soon find themselves taking too much of a drug too often. Family members will notice certain behaviors common to all substance use disorders: changes in appetite or sleeping habits, excessive mood swings, appearing to be high or sedated and poor decision-making. Individuals who are addicted to prescription medications will also exhibit specific behaviors such as stealing or forging prescriptions, seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor (“doctor shopping”), requesting early refills or continuously “losing” prescriptions.
There are also physical symptoms associated with each specific class of prescription medication:
- Opioids: constipation, nausea, euphoria, drowsiness, worsened coordination, development of tolerance, confusion, slowed breathing rate and hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain).
- Stimulants: heightened alertness, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and body temperature, insomnia, agitation, reduced appetite and feeling high.
- Sedatives, hypnotics and anti-anxiety medications: confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech, unsteady walking, dizziness, slowed breathing and memory issues.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
The treatment program will depend on a variety of factors such as which medication the patient has been abusing, for how long, how much, etc. Once detox has passed, the therapist will put together a unique treatment plan for the individual to help them overcome their addiction. The patient’s reason for using will be addressed. It is very common for addiction to stem from a legitimately prescribed medication. An injury could have resulted in painkillers being prescribed, and then escalated from there. The therapist will determine the root of the addiction in order to be able to provide the patient with a better understanding of themselves and their harmful behavior. The patient will learn new ways to manage stress and avoid triggers. If you would like to break free of prescription drug addiction, we encourage you to reach out to South Miami Recovery today.