Prescription drug abuse refers to the use of medications for a reason other than what they’re prescribed for. Other examples of prescription drug abuse include using higher doses of a medication than prescribed, using a prescription medication without a prescription, borrowing someone else’s medication, and mixing a prescription drug with other medications or alcohol. Experts estimate that 5.8% (about 16.1 million people) reported misusing prescription drugs in 2020 alone. Even abusing prescription drugs can change how your brain works, leading to dependence and addiction. If you or someone you care about has fallen into prescription drug addiction, our Pennsylvania rehab for prescription drugs can help.
Prescription Drug Addiction Symptoms
Many people who developed prescription drug addictions originally started using the drugs as directed by a healthcare provider. As time went on, however, tolerance led them to increase their dosage without speaking to their doctors first. In turn, this led to a physical dependence marked by withdrawal symptoms when they weren’t using said drugs.
Prescription drug withdrawals occur when a person with a physical drug dependence quits cold turkey or drastically reduces their doses or use. Withdrawal symptoms vary according to the drug. Commonly abused prescription medications include opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and stimulants.
The longer a person misuses these drugs, the more accustomed their body becomes to them. To prevent dependence from becoming an addiction, doctors may gradually reduce the individual’s doses or change their medication altogether. However, in cases when an individual doesn’t go to their doctor, they might increase their doses, which can lead to a cycle of addictive behaviors.
When a person becomes addicted to any drug, they may display certain physical and behavioral changes. Common signs of prescription drug addiction include:
- Lying and stealing to obtain more drugs
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- Hostility and irritability
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Appearing to be intoxicated, overly energetic, or lethargic
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Changes in weight
- Irritability when medication is not available
- Withdrawal symptoms when they’re not using the drug
- “Doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors to obtain more prescriptions
- “Borrowing” prescription medications from others
- Using prescription drugs at a much faster rate than prescribed
- “Losing” multiple prescriptions to obtain more doses
- Using pills in ways they’re not meant to be used, such as crushing or breaking them
- Lying about the dose of the medication used
- Stashing medication in multiple places around the house
- Ordering prescriptions from the internet
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
The signs that someone has an addiction to pills also vary depending on the drug itself. For instance, while depressants may lead to extreme sedation or drowsiness, stimulants may increase the person’s energy and cause symptoms like a false sense of confidence and talkativeness. If you suspect that your loved one is addicted to their medication, our prescription rehab can help.
Our Prescription Drug Addiction Rehab
Prescription drug addiction treatment centers like our drug rehab in Pennsylvania are designed to help clients recover from both the physical and psychological impact of drugs. At our facility, the first step in getting off prescription drugs is detox.
During medication-assisted detox, patients are supervised in a medical setting while they’re slowly weaned off of drugs. Detox is often challenging because of withdrawal symptoms, which occur in individuals with physical drug dependence. To prevent any physical complications or relapse, our facility offers detox in Pennsylvania for opioids and other prescription drugs to ensure clients remain safe during this stage.
Following detox, clients can then begin working individually and in group settings with our therapists. Our substance abuse therapy programs are a major component of our rehab for prescription drugs because they address the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to drug use. Addiction is just as mental as it is physical, so addressing the driving behaviors behind drug use can aid the individual in long-term sobriety.
Our prescription drug addiction rehab also provides aftercare services to offer clients continuous support even after they’ve completed treatment. Having a solid support system is important when transitioning to a sober lifestyle after rehab, but not everyone has that. To ensure that all clients receive guidance after rehab, our facility offers an alumni program.