No matter why you started using or abusing prescription drugs, if you can't stop using them on your own or are taking risks to access the drugs, now is the time to reach out for help. Our caring counselors are always available to take your call, and the call and any information you share are completely confidential. Call (844)211-7944 now to find out more about the options for getting treatment to detox from prescription drugs.
Anyone Can Abuse Prescription Drugs
One reason many people never seek help for their addiction to prescription drugs is because they feel ashamed or embarrassed, but the truth is anyone can abuse prescription drugs, and you are far from alone if you are struggling with this issue. Prescription drug abuse is extremely common in the United States. According to NIDA, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs make up the third-largest category of abused substances by Americans age 14 and up, coming in after marijuana and alcohol.
While some people knowingly abuse prescription drugs for the first time because of peer pressure, curiosity or just a need for something thrilling, others might not realize what they are doing would be categorized as abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that the rise of prescription drug abuse is in part due to common misconceptions about prescription drug safety and how those drugs should be treated.
You might begin abusing such drugs by taking one of your friend's prescription pain medications simply to alleviate a horrible headache, but seemingly good results could drive you back to the tactic in the future. Many people don't realize the safety risks of taking someone else's well-known medication. Eventually, without the assistance and supervision of physicians and pharmacists, you could begin abusing the drug regularly and become addicted.
Some people even begin to be physically dependent on drugs that were prescribed to them and seek those drugs even after the medical need is over. Others, including teenagers, misuse prescription drugs because they enjoy the high or calm feeling the drugs create. These are all reasons that almost anyone could become addicted to prescription pain killers or other medications.
Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
Are you starting to wonder whether or not you or a loved one are abusing prescription drugs or dealing with a pill addiction? When these drugs are originally prescribed by a doctor, it can be difficult to detect when abuse occurs. Prescription drug abuse statistics published by the National Institute on Drugs indicate that the rate of opioid prescriptions in the United States has more than doubled since 1991. With these types of drugs more available, it's even more possible to abuse them and become addicted.
Oftentimes, if abuse is present, an individual will notice that they feel physically ill or crave the drug when lowering the dosage; this is known as dependence. Dependence occurs when a drug or drugs have been taken for long enough and in large enough amounts that your body relies on them to function. This happens most frequently when an individual begins taking more of a drug than they were prescribed or begins abusing a drug without a prescription. Unfortunately, it can also happen when you are taking the prescribed dose of a drug under a physician's care, but in such situations, your body might be physically reliant on a medicine without you being addicted to it. Physicians will often slowly reduce the dose of the drug you are on to help you stop taking it without uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Once you are dependent on prescription drugs, it is very difficult to stop on your own. In fact, trying to stop abusing certain prescription drugs without medical assistance could cause severe health complications and even death.
If you are trying to determine if you've developed a prescription drug addiction, consider some of the following signs:
Your tolerance for the medication is rising. If you need more and more medication to avoid withdrawal or to elicit the same effect, you have developed a tolerance.
You are abusing the medication. If you take more prescription drugs than your doctor prescribed, purchase them illegally or take them in ways other than as intended (e.g. snorting crushed pills instead of swallowing them whole), then you are abusing them.
You experience negative feedback even when taking the medication. If the symptoms for which you were prescribed the medication worsen despite what used to be adequate treatment, this is called negative feedback.
You create a polypharmacy situation. If you supplement your prescription with other medications (legal or otherwise) to prevent withdrawal or improve effectiveness, this is called polypharmacy.
You engage in "doctor shopping." If you utilize more than one doctor to obtain more of the same medication, you are "doctor shopping". This is also known as drug-seeking behavior.
Can you relate to any of the characteristics of dependence or addiction mentioned? If you think you are engaging in any of the above activities or experiencing these effects, it's time to seek professional help.
Contact us at (844)211-7944 to learn more about dependence, addiction and how treatment for prescription drug abuse can help you. Our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with this complicated situation. Our compassionate staff know how frightening and stressful this time can be, and they are ready to listen and provide guidance on what next steps are available so you can begin the path to a drug-free lifestyle.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse
It is no secret that prescription drug abuse is one of the most difficult habits to break, and millions of people each year abuse these types of drugs. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that more than 2 million people in one year used prescription medication outside of a medical treatment plan, which averages to over 6,000 people each day abusing prescription drugs for the first time.
Once you start taking prescription medication without a medical purpose – or outside the recommendation of your physician – it can be easy to become physically dependent or addicted to the drug. Many people find themselves recognizing that it's time to stop taking the drugs, but they doubt whether they can function without prescription pills. After taking such drugs for any amount of time, you might be unable to deal with the emotional, mental or physical state you find yourself in when you aren't taking the drugs – especially since once you are physically reliant on any prescription drug, you can experience serious withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
It's important to understand that you are not alone, and it is possible to live a life free of addictive substances.
As a nationally-recognized drug rehab, we have experience treating individuals who have become addicted to the most abused prescription drugs. Some prescription drugs that can create physical dependency or are often abused because of their effect on the body are also some of the most prescribed drugs, and they include:
Benzos (e.g. Xanax, Valium)
Opiates (e.g. OxyContin, Oxycodone)
Stimulants (e.g. Adderall, Ritalin)
Whether you are abusing one of the above medications or find yourself unable to quit another substance, help is available. Learn more about how you can free yourself from prescription drug addiction by contacting us at (844)211-7944 or starting an online chat. Our admissions counselors are available to speak with you any time of day, any day of the year, and all information you divulge online or via telephone is held in strict confidence.