Prescription drug abuse involves taking drugs that have been prescribed to another person, taking more drugs than you have been prescribed, or taking your prescribed drugs in a way other than you should — perhaps by chewing them when they should be swallowed. Individuals might abuse prescription drugs to get high, or because they are trying to stop feeling pain or to increase performance somehow. As a result of this behavior, a prescription drug addiction treatment program may be necessary to achieve recovery.
Prescription drug abuse is illegal and dangerous. In the United States, prescription medications are the most commonly abused drugs after marijuana and alcohol. Prescription drugs are only safe if they are taken exactly as prescribed. If you feel any problems while you are taking a prescription drug, tell your doctor and get help adjusting the medication. If you take prescription drugs without the doctor’s approval, you are acting illegally and hurting yourself too. Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs include the following:
- Opioids (OxyContin, codeine, Vicodin, Percocet)
- Stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall)
- Depressants or Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium)
Signs and Symptoms or Prescription Drug Abuse
The symptoms caused by prescription drug abuse vary by the type of drug being used. If you suspect a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, look for the following symptoms:
Opioids Can Cause Feelings of Drowsiness, Stomachache, and Constipation
When taken in combination with other medicines or in excessive amounts, opioids can cause difficulty breathing. This can sometimes lead to fatal overdose.
Stimulants Cause Paranoia and an Increased Heart Rate
Body temperature can increase to dangerous levels with the abuse of this drug. Often, people who abuse stimulants develop anxiety that someone or something is out to harm them.
Depressants Slow Down Motor Function
Speech can be slurred and hard to understand, and a person will become uncoordinated and sleepy. Breathing becomes shallow and the results are fatal in some instances.
Additional Symptoms to Look Out For
Taking drugs in ways they are not prescribed can result in addiction. If you suspect your loved one is abusing prescription drugs, the Mayo Clinic suggests looking for the following additional symptoms of addiction:
- Doctor shopping to get more prescriptions
- Making excuses to get more prescriptions
- Taking the prescriptions of family members or friends
- Taking a prescription after it is no longer needed
- Consuming prescriptions with alcohol or other drugs
- Spending large amounts of time thinking about the prescription
- Stealing or borrowing money to get prescription drugs
- Decreased interest in social activity
- Decreased manifestation of self-respect
- Increased irritability and angry outbursts
- Depressive moods and poor performance in responsibilities of daily life
If even one of these symptoms is present, it’s time to get help.
Integrated Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Some people take prescription drugs in an attempt to relieve physical or emotional pain. Abusing a substance in this way can quickly lead to addiction. When addiction is treated, major consideration is given to finding any underlying causes — such as undiagnosed mental illness —that led to the substance use. With the proper treatment, the addicted person can learn to manage future pain and anxiety in a balanced way.
Severe conflict and pressure in the family circle can be another sad result of addiction. This conflict sometimes results in violence or economic hardship. A proper prescription drug addiction treatment program will address family issues and help to restore healthy and loving relationships. The entire family is hurt by one person’s addiction- together, however, they can heal.
Prescription Drug Addiction and Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders
Sometimes, drug abuse results in the development of a mental health or personality disorder. Other times, substance use is the result of an uncomfortable mental health disorder. These mental health problems can take the form of a depressive disorder, anxiety disorder or another type of mental illness.
In extreme cases, a person with a mental health disorder can be impossible to communicate with. Some might feel that the mental disorder and addiction are too complicated to treat. However, specialists are trained to successfully treat these co-occurring disorders. As one disorder is healed, the co-occurring disorder generally improves. In a loving way, mental health disorders and substance use disorders can be diagnosed and treated simultaneously.
A Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Program in Augusta, MI Could Save Your Life
Prescription drug addiction must not be left untreated. A prescription drug addiction rehab center can help. If you are suspicious that someone in your family is abusing prescription drugs, we are here for you. Call our toll-free helpline at 269.280.4673 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.