Prescription Drug Addiction Facts
Prescription drug use, and abuse, is an increasingly growing problem in America. Often people don’t see their abuse as a problem because the drugs were prescribed by a doctor to address legitimate health concerns. However, as tolerance builds for the prescription drug and dependency develops, the drug take over the user’s life and becomes the focus rather than the more important aspects of social, business and family relationships. The cycle continues as the user becomes more withdrawn thereby relying more on the drugs and becoming more removed from healthy interpersonal relationships.
Another scenario would be someone taking prescription drugs for which they don’t have a prescription. This usually begins with a friend giving someone their prescription for a headache, insomnia, a painful but minor injury, or possibly just for recreational use. Upon realizing the perceived benefits and pleasurable feelings associated with the drug, the person begins asking for more or buying it illicitly on the black market. Again, it doesn’t seem like a problem because the drug is legal, although it isn’t legal when used this way. The user thinks it would be simple to ask their doctor for a prescription, but much like other forms of drug abuse, a sense of shame comes with the addiction preventing the user from admitting they need the drug or asking for a prescription.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
- Sedatives, or Sleeping Pills, cause a mild euphoria along with a sense of relaxation. This is caused on a biological level by slowing down the heart rate, breathing patterns, and central nervous system functions. With drug abuse, this unnatural interruption can cause permanent tissue, nerve or brain damage. In extreme cases, an overdose can lead to a mental or physical disability, or even death.
- Pain Killers, more formally known as Opiates, have much of the same effects as sedatives for relaxation and euphoria. They cause the felt effects differently by blocking the reception of nerve signals to the brain. They are very effective when used as prescribed for short term relief of pain caused by an injury. However, they stop the body’s natural production of chemicals intended to manage pain and so become very addicting as the body becomes deprived of its natural resources for fighting pain on its own.
- Stimulants provide energy and help with alertness. They are often used to help adults manage Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or misused by hard working people who take on longer hours than an extra cup of coffee allows for. They increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing levels, which becomes dangerous over extended periods of use or when taken in higher dosage than what is recommended.
Fighting Back: Learning the Prescription Drug Addiction Facts
There are a few things you can do to address this issue, starting at home. These become harder as addiction sets in, so it’s important to do these as early as possible.
- If you feel a medical issue warrants prescription drug use, see a doctor. Use a legitimate prescription as it is intended, never accept drugs from a friend or share your prescription with someone else.
- Dispose of leftover prescriptions appropriately and immediately. Check with local officials about programs that take back unused prescription drugs and properly dispose of them for you.
- Should you find yourself in need of it, don’t be afraid to seek help in fighting a potential addiction. Prescription drug addiction programs are available and often preferable and more efficient at treating drug abuse. Wherever you decide to go, it’s important to go now rather than waiting until tomorrow. If you wait until a convenient time to go, you’ll never go.
The Treatment Specialist offers information and treatment resources for Prescription Drug Addiction, call to connect to a treatment center now at 866-644-7911