Many medications prescribed by doctors have highly addictive properties. It is not uncommon for a patient who is prescribed these medications to become addicted to the effect produced by the drug. These medications are used to help someone who is suffering from pain or a mental health diagnosis, such as severe anxiety. Yet what starts as a way to relieve a person’s ailments becomes something more – a new way to escape from life. If you’re in this situation or know someone who is, our prescription drug addiction treatment at Clearbrook can help.

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

While prescription drugs are among the most highly abused substances, these medications are intended for good reasons. The reason for the prescription is valid for the symptoms present, and the patient plans to take them as prescribed until they are no longer needed.

However, while taking the medication, this individual may find he/she truly enjoys the effect the drug produces. It becomes an elusive sensation that the patient wants more and more of. After a long period of taking prescription drugs, a person can easily become physically dependent on the medication.

Once a physical dependence is created, addiction can take hold, and all rational reasoning disappears. An individual will keep returning to the doctor for refills of the substance until they get cut off. The high cost ultimately drives many prescription drug abusers to purchase cheaper, more illicit substances, such as heroin. Prescription drug addiction can be very powerful and produce serious long-term effects.

Commonly Abused Medications

Medication abuse, whether it be prescription or over-the-counter, is a serious public health issue. Misuse of these substances can occur for several reasons, such as euphoria seeking, stress management, or self-medication for underlying problems. It is imperative to be aware of commonly abused medications to address the risks associated with medication misuse.

The following are some examples of drugs that are commonly abused:


  • Examples: Oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine
  • Purpose: Prescribed for pain management
  • Risk: High potential for dependence and addiction

Some of the common opiate withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, body chills, diarrhea, bone and joint pain, restless legs, anxiety, depression, body chills, excessive sweating, and insomnia.


  • Examples: Alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam
  • Purpose: Prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders
  • Risk: Central nervous system depressants can lead to dependence

Common withdrawal symptoms for benzodiazepines are irritability, panic attacks, anxiety, heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, headaches, sleep disturbance or insomnia, and confusion. In more severe cases, seizures and even death can occur if an individual is not detoxed properly under the care of a medical professional.


  • Examples: Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine
  • Purpose: Prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Risk: Potential for misuse due to stimulating effects

Withdrawal symptoms for these medications include fatigue, depression, nervousness, confusion, irregular heart rhythms, lucid or unpleasant dreams, nausea, and irritability. More extreme cases may involve seizures, violent reactions, and psychotic behaviors.


  • Examples: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants
  • Purpose: Prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders
  • Risk: Misuse for mood-altering effects

Abrupt discontinuation of antidepressants can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as flu-like sensations, dizziness, and mood swings. Individuals may also experience vivid dreams and electric shock sensations, known as brain zaps.


  • Examples: Olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone
  • Purpose: Prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
  • Risk: Misuse for sedative effects

Withdrawal from antipsychotics may result in rebound symptoms, including increased psychotic symptoms, insomnia, and agitation. Some individuals may also experience nausea, vomiting, and a return of disruptive thoughts or behaviors during the withdrawal process.

Cough Medications

  • Examples: Codeine-containing cough syrups
  • Purpose: Over-the-counter and prescription cough suppression
  • Risk: Misuse for euphoric effects; potential for addiction

Withdrawal from cough medications, particularly those containing codeine, can lead to symptoms such as muscle aches, restlessness, and insomnia. Individuals may also experience irritability and increased sensitivity to pain during this withdrawal phase.

Muscle Relaxants

  • Examples: Cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol
  • Purpose: Prescribed for muscle spasms and pain
  • Risk: Central nervous system depressants; potential for misuse

Discontinuation of muscle relaxants may result in withdrawal symptoms such as muscle spasms, anxiety, and insomnia. Individuals may also experience increased tension and discomfort in previously affected muscle groups.

Sleep Medications

  • Examples: Zolpidem, eszopiclone
  • Purpose: Prescribed for insomnia
  • Risk: Potential for dependence or a misuse of sedative effects

Withdrawal from sleep medications may cause rebound insomnia, heightened anxiety, and vivid dreams. Individuals may also face challenges with concentration and experience irritability as they adjust to the absence of the medication.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Examples: Ibuprofen, naproxen
  • Purpose: Over-the-counter pain relief and anti-inflammatory
  • Risk: Misuse for pain management; potential for gastrointestinal issues

While NSAIDs typically do not cause significant withdrawal symptoms, abrupt discontinuation may lead to a return of pain and inflammation. Individuals may experience a resurgence of symptoms related to the underlying condition being treated.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Cough and Cold Medications

  • Examples: Dextromethorphan (DXM)
  • Purpose: OTC cough and cold relief
  • Risk: Misuse for hallucinogenic effects in high doses

Withdrawal from OTC cough and cold medications containing dextromethorphan (DXM) may result in restlessness, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Individuals may also experience cravings for the euphoric effects associated with high doses of DXM.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse can manifest as several different symptoms and indicators. It’s crucial to remember that these can change based on the kind of drug being misused. These are a few typical indications and symptoms:

  • Doctor shopping: Seeing multiple doctors obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Stealing: Money or credit cards have been taken. Personal possessions of value, such as jewelry or electronics, go missing.
  • Depletion of money: The individual always seems to be out of money, although they work and do not have many bills.
  • Isolation: The person becomes withdrawn from family, friends, and everyday life responsibilities.
  • Depression: Frequent or constant sadness for no apparent reason.
  • Lying: Being dishonest about daily activities or whereabouts.
  • Missing medications from your home: Other medications in the household are depleted or gone.
  • Excessive mood swings: Emotional states change erratically without cause.
  • Sweating: Perspiration occurring despite no physical activity.
  • Confusion: Disorientation from one moment to the next.
  • Poor concentration: Inability to maintain focus.
  • Dilated pupils: Pupils are barely visible.
  • Weight loss: A sudden drop in weight despite no exercise or diet changes.
  • Appears tired: Seems to always be tired or falling asleep, even in the middle of the day. The individual is not able to keep their eyes open or head up. This is what many addicts call “nodding out”.

If you or someone you care about is exhibiting these signs, it is crucial to seek professional help. Our prescription drug rehabilitation centers offer the appropriate intervention and treatment.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

With all of the different medications being abused, prescription drug addiction treatment protocols are on a case-by-case basis at Clearbrook Massachusetts and Clearbrook Pennsylvania. After gathering all of the necessary information from the patient, our medical staff will create proper treatment plans and begin the medical detox process, including the use of detox medications, to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Once clients at our prescription drug detox centers have completed withdrawal treatment, each partakes in therapy and counseling services, including:

  • One-on-one counseling
  • Small groups
  • Relapse prevention groups
  • Family educational lectures
  • Didactic, informational lectures

Before each patient leaves Clearbrook, they will have an individualized aftercare plan to help maintain early sobriety. While attending inpatient treatment is a crucial and necessary step to achieving sobriety, it is only the first step in healing. A well-thought-out continued care plan will set you on the path to a life free of mental obsession and all mood-mind-altering chemicals.

If you, a loved one, a co-worker, or anyone else needs to stop using prescription drugs and find they can’t do it on their own, take the first step and call us today. From your first phone call to the Admissions Specialists at Clearbrook Treatment Centers, a plan is set in place immediately for the person suffering from addiction. We will plan out a course of action that will help whoever is suffering from prescription drug addiction have a happy and free life again.

Finding a Prescription Drug Rehab Near Me

The staff at our Northeast addictions treatment center has been providing prescription drug addiction treatment for decades. With the rise in prescription drug abuse and the difficult times that many find with opiate and benzodiazepine withdrawal, we have developed a program that will help your loved one beat this addiction.

If you need more information regarding our prescription drug addiction treatment centers, please contact Clearbrook Treatment Centers today. We’re available 24 hours a day to answer questions regarding all forms of prescription drug abuse. Our prescription drug rehabs will help provide your loved ones with the care they need.