The chances are high that you may be seeking help for suspected or confirmed prescription drugs misuse or abuse, whether for yourself or a loved one. If you are, we are confident our Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment is the right choice for you. Here at Bright Futures Treatment, our certified specialists have years of experience dealing with prescription drug abuse and rehabilitation and are fully prepared to offer you or your loved ones a welcoming environment that facilitates safe recovery. If you or yours do need help, please don’t wait – contact Bright Futures today. Our trained addiction specialists are available 24/7.
That’s not just because you’re reading this page but also because this type of drug abuse has become an epidemic. Every year, more Americans try, abuse, and overdose on such drugs across all demographics. Read on to learn more about this prevalent issue, including programs at Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment centers, signs of addiction, relapse frequency, and more.
Prescription Drugs Rehab Process
To begin this exploration, let us first outline the exact programs and therapies offered in Boynton Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment. All of the following continue to advance in response to the public health emergency of prescription drugs abuse, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finds.
Medically assisted treatment (MAT) and inpatient programs
Initially, all such addictions require medically assisted treatment (MAT) to help users detox and deal with withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and initial medication management. Once this challenging initial phase is completed successfully, inpatient programs in clinical settings are required to ensure continuous supervision and support by medical professionals. These inpatient programs typically don’t last long but may extend to cater to each patient’s needs.
This initial stage – the detox process – is something we’ll explore in-depth in the next section.
After a successful detox and inpatient program completion, NIDA identifies the following 5 prescription drug programs and therapies, each representing a consequent stage on the road to recovery.
Long-term residential treatment
Such programs represent the second recovery stage and provide 24/7 care, typically in non-clinical settings. “The best-known residential treatment model”, NIDA notes, “is the therapeutic community (TC), with planned lengths of stay of between 6 and 12 months”. Program durations may vary, but such programs typically follow a tight structure and strict supervision.
Such programs also offer flexibility where needed to treat special needs users, homeless people, those with severe mental disorders, and other special groups. Such programs are the ones Boynton Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment centers often focus on. Finally, such programs often offer comprehensive services, including vocational services and employment training, socialization counseling, etc.
Short-term residential programs
As the next stage, short-term residential programs provide comparatively brief Palm Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment in residential settings. In contrast, however, such programs typically rely on a 12-step approach treatment, where the focus lies in counseling, socialization, and self-improvement. This concept was originally used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to treat alcohol abuse, but modified versions of them now see a use for various addictions.
NIDA notes that “the original residential treatment model consisted of a 3- to 6-week hospital-based inpatient treatment phase followed by extended outpatient therapy and participation in a self-help group, such as AA”. Today, such programs lead patients to outpatient programs, where they may begin to reenter normal life and aftercare programs for relapse prevention.
Outpatient treatment programs
After successful residential programs, patients may progress to the next stage – Palm Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment outpatient programs. Such programs vary in intensity, with the two primary types being Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) and Outpatient Programs (OPs). Notably, Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment centers may also offer Florida model programs, which are combinations of Inpatient and IOP programs. The intensity of each such program will determine supervision, support, and counseling levels – with the most intensive offering comparable support to residential programs. In contrast, the least intensive ones may be limited to just drug education.
Typical characteristics of outpatient programs include flexibility to cater to individual and special needs, continued medical support, and a strong focus on group counseling. Such socialization enablers also serve to prepare patients for aftercare programs – which NIDA does not classify as treatment here, as it largely offers post-recovery support and relapse prevention.
Individualized drug counseling
Programs aside, NIDA classifies two main therapy types; individualized and group drug counseling. Palm Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment centers typically offer both, often in combination, but let us explore each separately.
The former may start as early as during Inpatient programs and focuses on long-term behavioral goals, including repairing lost skills and functions like employment and social relations. As it does, it strongly focuses on helping the patient develop coping strategies, identify their triggers, and manage mental cravings after successful physical detox. Most individualized drug counseling also promotes group counseling for similar reasons, including further socialization, peer support, and 12-step facilitation. Should the patient need them, the counselor may also make referrals for additional medical, psychological, psychiatric, vocational, and other services.
Group drug counseling
Instead, group drug counseling typically presents the final stage of recovery, as it usually comes with IOPs and OPs. As highlighted above, group counseling helps strengthen the patient’s resolve and state of mind toward complete abstinence through peer support. At this stage, programs may include inviting speakers, family counseling, and other variations to further bolster their intended benefits.
Notably, group counseling is rarely offered alone and is typically supplementary to individualized counseling. NIDA notes this as well, citing research that shows that “when group therapy either is offered in conjunction with individualized drug counseling or is formatted to reflect the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management, positive outcomes are achieved”.
Continuous rehab – aftercare programs
Finally, aftercare programs follow successful OPs and continue to focus on relapse prevention, psychological support, vocation, etc. At this stage or even before, Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment providers may also offer Alumni programs which include meetings, outings, and additional socialization. At this final stage, the individual is strongly encouraged to remain in touch for continuous rehab services like the above.
Types of Detox Processes for Prescription Drugs Abuse Rehab
However, as the first step is always the hardest, detox comes with challenges. First, we may distinguish among its main types, as American Addiction Centers (AAC) defines them.
MAT programs typically begin with medical detox as an efficient way to deal with drug withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This first rehabilitation stage can be very challenging and dangerous to the individual, as withdrawal symptoms can include delirium. As such, medical assistance and supervision by professional clinicians offer a safety net for the individual and their peers.
Notably, medical detox does not carry notable addiction risks itself. Some may believe so, but abstinence from detox medication comes much more easily – and medication management helps immensely.
Non-medical, “natural”, or “social” detox
In contrast, non-medical detox processes guide the individual through abrupt and total abstinence from prescription drugs without medical assistance. Therapists achieve this by focusing on psychological and emotional support alongside counseling and guidance.
This detox process can also yield results but also carries more risks. Without medical assistance, individuals face more challenges managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This can more frequently lead to relapse, as well as overdose.
Finally, ultra-rapid detox is a controversial, risky process that Boynton Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment centers rarely offer. This process sees individuals receive medication while under general anesthesia so as to not experience their withdrawal symptoms.
This may sound like an appealing option, especially as withdrawal symptoms can be tough to deal with. However, this process also comes with risks of severe complications, including:
- Worsening of mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and depression
- Metabolic complications of diabetes
- Fluid accumulation in the lungs
If you want to know more about the dangers of this controversial method and the merits of other detox types, you may also consult AAC’s related article on the subject.
Why Bright Futures?
With all of the above in mind, let us now explain why our Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment center is the right choice for you or your loved ones. In full alignment with the rehab process outlined above, official guidelines, and emerging medical research, we offer the following.
Comprehensive prescription drug addiction treatments
Initially, Palm Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment include rehab for the most prevalent prescription drug abuses today – namely:
- Oxycodone and Oxycontin addiction treatment; frequent painkillers
- Adderall addiction treatment; a widely-used stimulant
In turn, our treatments focus on these specific drugs as well as their larger families; opioids and stimulants, respectively. As they do so, they offer comprehensive, holistic therapy options that cater to each addicted individual’s needs. Whichever your circumstances and unique needs may be, you can rest assured our clinicians and staff will fully meet your needs.
MAT and Inpatient programs
The crucial first step toward recovery, our clinical facilities offer a safe and welcoming environment for initial detox. Our trained professionals will record medical histories, provide dual diagnoses as needed, and offer case-specific medications and medication management support. For this first step, our clinicians and staff will offer 24/7 support and supervision to ensure detox succeeds.
Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient Programs
On successful completion, our residential facilities offer the next step toward a healthy addiction-free life. Depending on your needs and progress, you will be assessed and admitted to flexible IOPs and OPs that facilitate growth.
First, our Intensive Outpatient Program will offer:
- Continued care in a residential, non-clinical setting
- Diligent supervision and 24/7 support
- Medication management
- Individualized drug counseling
- 12-step group therapy sessions
- Vocational services
Should your progress allow it, our Outpatient Program will continue such offerings with less intensity but equal diligence. During it, you will continue to receive medication management support, counseling, and personalized care according to your needs. At this stage, you will also acquire the skills needed to maintain abstinence and achieve a meaningful life.
Finally, our Aftercare program will follow your progress post-graduation and continue to offer you the support you need. You will be encouraged to remain in touch through your preferred communication channels, whether social media, phone, or others. Should you need it, you may also continue to attend 12-step programs and receive other case-specific care.
Our Alumni program will also allow you to attend meetings, join us on outings, and remain in touch. “Once a member of the Bright Futures family, always family”.
What Can You Expect During the Process of Detoxification and Rehab?
Still, despite our best efforts, the detox process is quite challenging for most individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse. You can, of course, expect the full support of our Palm Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment center staff, but detox remains a very hard first step for many individuals.
Prescription drugs withdrawal process
First, to reiterate, the withdrawal process will typically require MAT. During it, you may experience severe discomfort due to physical cravings as the body begins to detox. Depending on your medical history, you may also require specialized medication, care, counseling, and other arrangements.
In all cases, medication will offer some invaluable help in combatting withdrawal symptoms. Remember, medication by itself does not cure addiction, and it does not fully nullify symptoms and cravings. Those you will have to overcome, and our professional staff will make sure you have all you need to prevail.
Prescription drugs withdrawal symptoms
As you do, you can expect to wrestle with withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Anxiety, irritability, unease, and insomnia
- Sweating, high blood pressure, or racing or irregular heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaking or tremors
Of course, medication will also help deal with such symptoms – and our personalized care will ensure your needs are met. In addition, subsequent rehab offers its own challenges, including mental cravings after the body heals. For this purpose as well, our continued supervision and counseling will help guide you to recovery and fulfilling life.
How to Help Someone Get to Prescription Drugs Rehab?
If you’re looking for help for a loved one instead of yourself, you will need to prepare accordingly. Individuals struggling with substance and drug abuse of any kind often fail to recognize the extent of their problem. As such, you may start with the following:
- Educate yourself. First, get all the information you will need to identify and gauge the potential problem. The following sections offer ample information to help you with this initial step.
- Pick up on the signs early. Then, try to pick up on addiction signs as early as possible. Prescription drug abuse becomes harder to tackle as time passes, so early intervention always helps more.
- Encourage them to seek help. If you do pick up on early signs, encourage your loved one to seek help immediately. As you do, remember to maintain relations – they will need you on their journey.
- Insist, but don’t become confrontational. Once you do, insist on your efforts but don’t drive your loved one away. Confrontation will often have adverse effects and do more harm than good.
- Remain supportive. Finally, remain supportive throughout their journey. Many programs will allow you to attend group meetings, and your post-rehab support will be invaluable.
Should you need more help with this effort, please don’t hesitate to contact our Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment center specialists. If you need more information for this stage before you do, please read on.
How does prescription medication abuse addiction begin?
First, it is crucial to know how such addictions begin. We will keep this and subsequent sections brief for text economy, but you can find out more in the statistics sections.
As we will cover extensively later, such addictions typically begin with prescriptions – as prescription drug appropriations are not too common. Specifically, long-term treatments can lead to dependence, which itself may lead to addiction. This risk is even more prevalent in cases of misdiagnosis, drug misuse, and combined use with non-medical drugs.
For more information on this subject, NIDA offers an excellent resource here.
Causes of prescription drug abuse
Next, you may keep in mind the most common causes of prescription drug abuse. In brief, these are the following:
- Persisting health conditions, such as chronic pain
- Underlying mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
- Long-term medication
- Incarceration and other forms of social isolation
- Peer pressure
Naturally, you should also mind risk factors, early symptoms, demographic risks, and other elements of prescription drug abuse. Those have their dedicated sections below as well.
Effects of prescription drugs abuse
The effects of prescription drug abuse are also plenty and often life-threatening, as we will discuss at length in later sections. Still, the most common and visible effects to look out for include:
- Deteriorating social life. Especially when combined with mental health issues or isolation, a common effect comes in the form of weakening social bonds. Early abuse will often lead to increased isolation and antisocial behavior, where one fuels the other.
- Changes in behavior. Similarly, deteriorating physical functions such as walking and sleeping will also fuel behavior changes – a common effect in itself. These changes you may identify more easily than most.
- Addiction. Finally, as NIDA notes above, the final step of prescription drug misuse and abuse is addiction. Prolonged abuse will lead to addiction, which can have severe consequences if left untreated for long.
It is for these reasons that most Palm Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment centers focus on early detection and prevention.
Co-occurring disorders connected to prescription drugs abuse
Finally, there are notable co-occurring disorders that may contribute to prescription drug abuse. SAMHSA distinguishes those into mental disorders and substance use disorders.
Mental disorders to note include:
- Anxiety and mood disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Conduct disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
In addition, they note the following substance use disorders that correlate with the above:
- Alcohol addiction
- Prescription drugs
Most notably, they note that “no specific combinations of mental and substance use disorders are defined uniquely as co-occurring disorders”. Rather, multiple ones may coexist and lead a person to chronic addiction and abuse.
History of prescription medications abuse
Now, prescription medications abuse is far from new. It’s anecdotally a new phenomenon, but in reality, we may trace its roots to over a century ago.
Laudanum, a mixture of opium and alcohol, saw frequent use in 1800s America. Alexander Hamilton was given laudanum after his fatal duel with Aaron Burr, not unlike how Benjamin Franklin was prescribed opium to cope with bladder stone pain. While the typical laudanum addict was a Caucasian woman, such high-profile opium use cases best exemplify its prevalence in public life.
The Smithsonian recounts morphine use for pain relief in the US as early as the mid-1800s. Indeed, morphine saw commercial manufacturing in Germany in the late 1820s, and its primary medical use was as a painkiller. This use swiftly acquired popularity across the West, as ample wars required pain relief.
The most notable examples of this use, which in turn fueled an opiate epidemic, may be found as early as in the American Civil War. Echoing the Smithsonian, Cecil Adams cites historians’ assessments that “nearly ten million opium pills were issued to Union soldiers, along with 2.8 million ounces of other opium preparations”. And while soldiers developed morphine addictions post-war, laudanum saw prescriptions for pain relief among the general public.
Heroin, which too was seeing similar uses, started being prescribed as a remedy for morphine addiction. Heroin was also manufactured by the world-famous Bayer Company in 1898, and its addictive properties were often concealed behind patient status that kept medications’ ingredients secret. By this token, street salesmen could also sell such medications without much, if any, regulation.
20th-century milestones, and 21st-century challenges
Opiates eventually came under control through two key milestones:
- The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which mandated that all medication ingredients be labeled
- The Harrison Narcotic Tax Act of 1914, which limited addictive medications to prescribed distribution
Still, methamphetamine and amphetamine saw similar medical use as well starting in the 1920s. Drugs using the former included an over-the-counter asthma inhaler well into the 1930s, and both saw considerable illicit production. They also saw use as stimulants during World War 2, where Japan’s post-war distribution of surplus drugs to civilians caused addictions to surge.
Today, despite ample proactive and reactive regulation and prescription drugs addiction treatment in Boynton Beach, SAMHSA finds a rapid surge in prescription opioid abuse in the US, with its origins traced back to the 1990s. Indeed, prescription drug abuse has surged in recent decades – so much so that in 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officially declared opioid abuse a public health emergency.
Prescription drugs abuse statistics
This we may quantify with statistics, which unfortunately paint a bleak picture indeed. In 2020, NIDA reported the following among people aged 12 or older:
- 8% (or about 16.1 million people) reported misusing any prescription psychotherapeutic drug in the past 12 months.
- 8% (or about 5.1 million people) reported misusing prescription stimulants in the past 12 months.
- 2% (or about 6.2 million people) reported misusing prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in the past 12 months.
- 7% (or about 4.8 million people) reported misusing benzodiazepines in the past 12 months.
- 3% (or about 9.3 million people) reported misusing prescription pain relievers in the past 12 months.
The same research finds the following use disorders and death rates within the same age group. In 2020, they estimate that:
- 3% (or about 758,000 people) had a prescription stimulant use disorder in the past 12 months.
- 4% (or about 1.2 million people) had a prescription tranquilizer or sedative use disorder in the past 12 months.
- 8% (or about 2.3 million people) had a prescription opioid use disorder in the past 12 months.
- 16,416 people died from an overdose involving prescription opioids.
- 12,290 people died from an overdose involving benzodiazepines.
- 5,597 people died from an overdose involving antidepressants.
Prescription drug abuse among young people
If the study’s minimum age of 12 worries you, it likely should. NIDA continues to explore prescription drug abuse at younger ages, estimating that:
- 4% of 12th graders reported misusing any prescription drug in the past 12 months.
- 0% of 8th graders, 2.7% of 10th graders, and 2.3% of 12th graders reported misusing amphetamines in the past 12 months.
- 6% of 8th graders, 0.3% of 10th graders, and 0.5% of 12th graders reported misusing Ritalin in the past 12 months.
- 8% of 8th graders, 1.6% of 10th graders, and 1.8% of 12th graders reported misusing Adderall in the past 12 months.
- 8% of 12th graders reported misusing sedatives (barbiturates) in the past 12 months.
- 1% of 8th graders, 1.3% of 10th graders, and 1.2% of 12th graders reported misusing tranquilizers in the past 12 months.
- 0% of 12th graders reported misusing narcotics other than heroin in the past 12 months.
- 8% of 8th graders, 0.9% of 10th graders, and 0.9% of 12th graders reported misusing OxyContin in the past 12 months.
- 6% of 8th graders, 0.5% of 10th graders, and 0.9% of 12th graders reported misusing Vicodin in the past 12 months.
How common is prescription medications abuse?
Still, it is adults with whom the epidemic is most visible – as prescription drugs addiction treatment centers in Boynton Beach can attest to. Isolating prescription drugs specifically, adults in the US show the following use rates:
- Prescription stimulants; 46% of drug users, 9% of all adults
- Opioids; 36% of drug users, 7% of all adults
- Methamphetamines; 36% of drug users, 7% of all adults
- Prescription pain medication; 31% of drug users, 6% of all adults
- Prescription sedatives; 5% of drug users, 1% of all adults
These final numbers also suggest the medication abuse overlaps we highlighted above.
The typical demographics of a prescription drug addict
That said, statistics also show that the typical demographics of a prescription drug addict are:
- Male; “males consistently abuse opioids more than females among all age groups except 12- to 17-year-olds”.
- Multiracial or minority race; “adult usage is most prevalent among people of two or more races (5.7%) and American Indian or Alaska Native people (5.4%)”.
- Higher education; “people with some college or an associate’s degree are most likely to use opioids, with 4.2% using in 2019”.
Considering the overlap with general drug abuse, the following statistics also align with the above:
- Metropolitan; “5% of people in non-metropolitan, rural counties used illegal drugs compared to 20.2% of people in larger metropolitan counties”.
- Young (18-25); “Drug use is highest among persons between the ages of 18-25 at 39% compared to persons aged 26-29, at 34%”.
- Early use; “70% of users who try an illegal drug before age 13 develop a substance abuse disorder within the next 7 years compared to 27% of those who try an illegal drug after age 17”.
Who Is at Risk?
With the above in mind, we should still note that risk factors have changed considerably over the years. In 2004, for instance, Linda Simoni-Wastila, Ph.D. and Gail Strickler, MS, identified the following:
- Being female
- Being in poor/fair health
- Drinking alcohol daily
Whereas, they noted, “young age (< 25 y) and full-time employment appear to protect against problem use”.
Today, almost 20 years later, trends have shifted somewhat – as seen in the gender discrepancy. WebMD now notes the following:
- Co-occurring and past addictions; “alcohol, tobacco, or other drug addiction[s]”.
- Epigenetics and familial environment; “family history of addiction”.
- Age; “prescription drug abuse is most common in young adults”.
- Mental illness; “condition[s] like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder raises your odds[,] because certain prescription medicines like opioid painkillers can ease that emotional distress”.
- Access to prescription drugs; “to become addicted, you need to have drugs available”.
Finally, Mayo Clinic consolidates risk factors for prescription drug abuse into:
- Past or present addictions to other substances, including alcohol and tobacco
- Family history of substance abuse problems
- Certain pre-existing psychiatric conditions
- Exposure to peer pressure or a social environment where there’s drug use
- Easier access to prescription drugs, such as having prescription medications in the home medicine cabinet
- Lack of knowledge about prescription drugs and their potential harm
This final point we’ll also touch on just below.
Why is Prescription Drugs Addiction a Growing Problem?
Now, why addiction to prescription drugs has grown into such a towering problem is very hard to pin down. As with all addictions, there are usually multiple root causes that lead people there – as our Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment center can also attest to.
Initially, NCBI suggests that “the rapid escalation of this problem initially far outpaced clinical research on its nature and on interventions to prevent and treat prescription drug use disorders”. Arguably, this prevented physicians and lawmakers alike from drawing completely accurate conclusions and taking appropriate, timely actions.
In addition, research suggests a direct correlation between prescription rates and prescription abuse rates. Indeed, NCBI notes that “in the US, increasing rates of prescription drug abuse have paralleled increases in the prescription of these medications”. This factor aligns with the statistics above as well.
Finally, a key factor should be identified in abuse drivers, as opposed to use – as we’ll discuss next. For example, NCBI notes that “this problem encompasses the range of psychotropic medications that provide potentially reinforcing effects”. Indeed, broader use and abuse of psychotropics, due to depression, isolation, and other factors seem to overlap with prescription drug abuse.
Prescription Drug Use vs Abuse – How to Note the Difference?
On that note, it is crucial to distinguish prescription use from abuse. To do so, we have to define “abuse” in strict terms.
NIDA identifies 3 distinct practices that constitute abuse:
- Misuse; “taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed”
- Appropriation; “taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain”
- Nonmedical or recreational use; “taking a medication to feel euphoria (i.e., to get high)”
In brief, prescription drug use entails:
- Following exact medication choices, intake methods, dosage, and other instructions issued by your physician
- Taking medication that was only prescribed to you
- Only taking medication specifically to combat a given medical issue, and not for pleasure
Still, one-time or infrequent misuse may not qualify as abuse. Definitions will vary among researchers, so some may only qualify long-term misuse as abuse.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
What also bears noting is which prescription drugs see the most abuse. The three types that are most commonly abused are:
- Opioids; these include morphine derivatives, and are usually prescribed to treat pain
- Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants; these include sedatives, hypnotics, and tranquilizers, and are typically used to treat sleep disorders and persistent anxiety
- Stimulants; these include the famous drug Adderall, and are used to treat such conditions as ADHD, ADD, depression, and narcolepsy
Each of those incurs a different type of addiction, however, so let us explore each one more.
#1 Opioids and morphine derivatives addiction
Opioids, and morphine derivatives, are still prescribed as potent painkillers. Those include:
- Oxycodone, such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin
- Morphine derivatives, such as Astramorph, Avinza,and Kadian
This kind of addiction has its own symptoms and effects, as we’ll discuss below, but it usually requires long-term opioid use to take hold. Mixing such prescription drugs with alcohol, CNS depressants, or other nonmedical drugs can induce serious complications, including breathing problems. Opioid overdose is also not entirely uncommon, as statistics show.
#2 CNS depressants addiction
Similarly, CNS depressants see use as treatments for insomnia and anxiety. They do so by reducing brain activity through their interaction with the brain chemical, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
CNS depressants largely come in 2 categories:
- Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, Valium, and Xanax
- Barbiturates, such as Amytal, Nembutal, Luminal, and Seconal
Such medications also carry few risks if you follow your physician’s instructions and take them for brief intervals. Long-term use can introduce diminishing returns, however, facilitating dosage abuse to acquire the same feeling.
Similarly, combining them with opioids can prove fatal, as can combining them with alcohol – reducing heartbeat and breathing. Abruptly stopping CNS depressants can also have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures.
#3 Stimulants addiction
Finally, stimulants typically see use as ADD and ADHD treatments. They come in many different medications depending on their active substance, including:
- Methylphenidate; Concerta, Daytrana, Methylin, and Ritalin
- Dextroamphetamine; Dexedrine, Dextrostat, and ProCentra
- Lisdexamfetamine; Vyvanse
The notable Adderall doesn’t neatly fit this categorization, as it comes with a mix of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
Unlike the calming effects of the above prescription drugs, stimulants raise blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar. Arguably, for this reason, stimulants often see intake abuses, such as crushing pills and snorting them for quicker effect onset. While plain stimulant abuse is less likely to be fatal, combinations with non-medical drugs are not uncommon and can carry severe heart complications.
Most Dangerous Prescription Drugs Abuse
Still, not all such drugs are equally dangerous or addictive – as the above statistics show. The most addictive, and often dangerous, prescription drugs are the following:
- Oxycontin and oxycodone; opioids, common painkillers
- Adderall; amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, a stimulant primarily used to treat ADHD
- Xanax; Benzodiazepine, a CNS depressant to treat anxiety and unrest
- Nembutal; Barbiturate, a common sedative
- Ambien; zolpidem, a sedative and hypnotic used as sleeping aid
Of course, as we outlined above, all such drugs become extremely more dangerous when misused and combined. Unfortunately, this drug selection spans across all common types of addiction types.
Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drugs Abuse
In turn, each of the above addictions comes with its own early signs and symptoms.
As regards opioids, WebMD identifies the following symptoms of abuse:
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Upset stomach, vomiting, or constipation
- Slurred speech
- Poor coordination
- Mood swings
- Depression or anxiety
To those, Mayo Clinic adds:
- Feeling high (euphoria)
- Increased dose required for pain relief
- Worsening or increased sensitivity to pain with higher doses (hyperalgesia)
In contrast, the two identify the following symptoms of CNS abuse:
- Mood changes
- Unsteady walking
- Trouble concentrating
- Poor judgment
- Slow reflexes
- Slurred speech
- Memory problems
- Slow breathing
As you can see, there is some limited overlap between the two types. Stimulants’ symptoms differ entirely, however, as they include:
- Increased alertness
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- High body temperature
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
Finally, it is noteworthy that those who make simultaneous use of more than one prescription drug type will often have overlapping symptoms.
How to Avoid Relapse?
Sadly, the severity of cravings makes relapse a real danger – so you must remember to do your best to avoid relapse in the first place. AAC suggests the following ways to do so:
- Avoid triggering situations and people
- Don’t get bored; keep busy
- Develop a positive support network
- Take your medications
In addition, remember to socialize and seek emotional support whenever you feel you need it. Healthy lifestyles and peer support can go a long way toward avoiding relapse.
However, unfortunately, relapse can never be fully avoided; many addictions cannot be overcome on the first try. In this sense, relapse is also a natural part of rehabilitation. If it happens to you, remember to not blame yourself – and don’t give up. It is not the end of your journey, only another challenge to overcome on the way to the life you deserve.
Dangers of Quitting Prescription Drugs abuse Without Professional Assistance
Rarely, individuals struggling with prescription drugs abuse will identify the problem themselves and attempt to quit. Doing so may not be impossible, but is often unsuccessful – and comes with notable risks:
- Life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Depending on one’s medical history, abuse duration, and other factors, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Especially in “cold turkey” attempts, such symptoms can cause serious harm and even lead to death.
- Acquiring new addictions. Without MAT, addicted individuals may seek other substances to help deal with their withdrawal symptoms. This pursuit can lead to other, equally dangerous addictions, such as heroin addiction.
- Higher chance of overdose. Finally, if addicted individuals cannot cope with withdrawal they may relapse. If they do, the body’s decreased tolerance for their drug of choice will make overdose more likely.
In all cases, we highly recommend seeking professional assistance when quitting prescription drugs – or drugs of any kind. Doing so alone is risky and rarely successful, especially as regards long-term abstinence.
What to Do If You Feel You’re Going to Use Prescription Drugs Again
Before concluding, we must absolutely address potential relapse. Especially if you’re seeking help for yourself, this is crucial information you should have.
If you feel the urge to use prescription drugs again, you should:
- Inform your doctor. A number of physical and mental health conditions may require that you use prescription drugs again. This is fine, as long as you adhere to your physician’s exact instructions. If you cannot, inform them immediately so they can support you.
- Apply your risk management knowledge. At the same time, do your best to apply what you have learned in previous rehabs in Florida. Identify your risk factors, avoid your common triggers, and seek emotional support from your friends and loved ones.
- Seek professional help. Finally, if you cannot deal with the situation by yourself, immediately seek professional help. Ideally, you should consult those you have worked with before, so they know your history and can support you efficiently.
If you’re still in aftercare programs, you will thankfully have open communications options. Remember, asking for help when you need it is never an admission of failure or weakness. It is strength, and it is the gift you owe yourself.
Take the First Step Today!
Whether for yourself or a loved one, the first step will always be the hardest. Still, we are fully confident our Palm Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment center will offer an efficient journey to recovery like no other. Our flexible programs will cater to each and every unique need our patients may have, and our certified staff will support them every step of the way.
If you now feel it’s time to seek help, for you or yours, Bright Futures will be happy to lend a helping hand. Contact us today, and let us craft the perfect prescription drugs addiction treatment together.
Do all prescription drugs carry addiction risks?
Yes, every drug and medication technically carries addiction risks. If you need to use prescription drugs, always discuss the risks with your physician and always follow their instructions faithfully. Doing so will minimize the risk of addiction.
Which are the types of prescription drugs abuse?
Prescription drug abuse typically comes in 3 forms; consuming them differently than intended or in higher dosages than instructed, taking them for non-medical purposes, and using drugs not prescribed to you. If you find yourself abusing prescription drugs in any such way, we strongly advise that you seek professional help immediately. Early intervention can prevent addiction and all the complications that follow it.
Is relapse common?
Unfortunately, yes. Relapse is especially common for prescription drugs, as some tend to be very addictive. Still, with proper medication and support, you can avoid relapse, or treat it early before it escalates again.
How long does it take to withdraw from prescription drugs?
The duration of withdrawal symptoms varies significantly. It depends on the individual, as well as abuse length, exact drug use, and other factors. Still, the typical duration of withdrawal symptoms ranges from a few to several weeks.
How long does prescription drugs addiction treatment last?
The exact duration of prescription drugs addiction treatment in Palm Beach depends on multiple factors, such as co-occurring disorders, medical history, addiction length, exact drug addiction, and others. Treatment programs will typically last for several weeks, and their scope and duration will have to adjust to each patient’s progress.
Where are you located?
Our prescription drugs addiction treatment center is located in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida. Our full NAP information is:
Bright Futures Treatment Center
2320 South Seacrest Blvd.
Boynton Beach, Florida 33435