Prescription Drug Abuse
Many medications prescribed by doctors have highly addictive properties. It is not uncommon for a patient that is prescribed these medications to become addicted to the effect produced by the drug. This is not done on purpose by a doctor since these medications are used to help someone who is suffering from pain or a mental health diagnosis, such as severe anxiety. Yet what starts out as a way to relieve a person’s ailments, becomes something more — a new way to escape from life.
Drug Use With Good Intentions
Prescription drugs are among the most highly abused substances though 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 it is no longer needed.
However, during the course of 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. At this point, a person tends to turn to purchasing the pills illegally. These pills cost a significant amount of money on the street. The high cost ultimately drives many prescription drug abusers to purchase cheaper, more illicit substances, such as heroin.
Commonly Abused Medications
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, RoxiContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Some of the common withdrawal symptoms associated with opiates include, vomiting, body chills, diarrhea, bone and joint pain, restless legs, anxiety, depression, body chills, excessive sweating, and insomnia
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Pentobarbital (Nembutal)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
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.
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.
Signs & Symptoms of Abuse
- Doctor Shopping – Seeing multiple doctors to 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 –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”.
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 Treatment Centers. Many times prescription drugs are coupled with other “street” drugs, such as heroin or marijuana, as well as alcohol. Due to this, the detox process can become difficult and uncomfortable for the individual, so our medical staff evaluates each person upon admission. After gathering all of the necessary information from the patient, our medical staff will create proper treatment plans and order necessary medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Once the detox component of treatment is complete, each patient enters our rehabilitation program, where they will engage in an array of different therapies. Some include, one-on-one counseling, small groups, relapse prevention groups, family educational lectures and didactic lectures. Clearbrook also believes in the 12-step philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. During a person’s stay with us, they will be given an introduction to the 12 steps, as well as local meetings.
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 achieve 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 the mental obsession and all mood-mind altering chemicals.
If you, a loved one, a co-worker, or anyone else would like to stop using prescription drugs, and find they can’t do it on their own, the first step has been taken. 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.
ADDICTION TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY
The staff at Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing prescription drug addiction treatment for residents from Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey for decades. With the rise in prescription drug abuse, and the difficult time 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 center, please give our experienced staff a call today. We’re available 24 hours a day to answer questions regarding all forms of prescription drug abuse. Our PA prescription drug rehab will help provide your loved ones with the care they need. It starts with a safe detox protocol and process and moves into prescription drug addiction treatment options that can have lasting results.