Prescription to Addiction
Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor. Prescription drug abuse includes everything from taking a friend’s prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high. Drug abuse may become ongoing and compulsive, despite the negative consequences and can affect all age groups, including teens.
Prescription drug abuse in older adults is a growing problem, especially when they combine drugs with alcohol. Commonly abused prescription drugs activate the brain’s reward centre, it’s possible to develop physical dependence and addiction. Experts estimate that more than 18 million people ages 12 and older have used prescription medication for nonmedical reasons in the previous year. That’s more than 6% of the U.S. population.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says three classes of prescription drugs are often abused:
- Opioids: these medicines manage pain, when taken for long periods, can lead to drug abuse, dependence, and addiction. You have a higher chance of breathing problems or death. Opioid overdose can also be life- threatening.
- Central nervous system (CNS) depressants: benzodiazepines to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, including insomnia, however after a while, you may need larger doses to get the same feeling. Using them with alcohol can cause slow heartbeat, slow breathing, and you might have life-threatening problems such as withdrawal seizures when stopped without treatment.
- Stimulants: doctors started using stimulants to treat asthma and obesity. Today, they prescribe them for conditions such as ADHD, ADD, and depression. They raise your heart rate, blood sugar, and blood pressure, taking them in higher doses can raise your body temperature. Misusing stimulants or using them along with decongestants may cause uneven heartbeat.
How can prescription drug addiction be treated?
Years of research have shown that substance use disorders are brain disorders that can be treated effectively. Treatment must take into account the type of drug used and the needs of the individual. Successful rehabilitation may need to incorporate components such as, detoxification and counselling for the patient to make a full recovery.
The 12-Step model provides support, encouragement and accountability for people who genuinely want to overcome their addiction. The sponsorship model as well as regular meetings encourage the kind of social support that has helped countless people stay clean.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction to prescription medication – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.
Stories of Recovery
- The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
- On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
- I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
- "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more