Prescription drug addiction usually begins in one of three ways. Quite often, it begins with legitimate use of a prescribed medication. Commonly abused prescription medications tend to fall into one of several classes, including:
In the case of opioid addiction, the patient usually receives their first prescription after surgery or treatment for chronic pain. Those who abuse stimulants or central nervous system depressants often begin by seeking treatment for a wide variety of conditions, from mood disorders to sleep disorders. As for illegitimate users, many acquire their drugs through a friend, family member or drug dealer. There are also many medical professionals who begin taking prescription drugs after diverting inventory from the facility at which they are employed. No matter how the drugs are acquired, their use often persists until prescription drug addiction treatment becomes necessary.
Dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction
Due to the wide array of prescription drugs available, side effects may vary. For instance, those who overuse depressants may experience respiratory issues, reduced heart rate, or loss of consciousness that sometimes results in coma. Stimulants can lead to hyperactivity, increased blood pressure, sleep disruptions, erratic behavior, hallucinations and seizures. Opioid addiction, rates of which have risen greatly in recent years, may lead to respiratory depression, nausea, anxiety, mood swings, and severely debilitating withdrawal symptoms.
Mixing drug types increases the risk of side effects, and often leads to a greater chance of overdose. Those who mix drugs must generally begin their prescription drug addiction treatment at the medical detox stage to prevent severe withdrawal dangers.
Graduating to Harder Substances
Another common danger of prescription drug addiction is graduation to harder substances. Opioid addicts find themselves especially at risk, as the loss of a prescription may lead to illicit use of heroin, fentanyl, or other drugs commonly found on the street. Many of these drugs are laced with dangerous substances such as carfentanil, increasing the risk of death by overdose. Those who are struggling with dependence should seek prescription drug addiction treatment immediately before reaching this point. Withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly dangerous, leading to complications if you attempt to quit alone.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Methods
The first step in prescription drug addiction treatment is getting through the detox period. This will be particularly rough for opioid users. Within the first 24 hours, addicts will often begin experiencing muscle aches and irritability. This can lead to insomnia and restlessness. Cramps often worsen after the first day, at which point many experience vomiting, diarrhea and increased blood pressure. Particularly bad cases of withdrawal also include seizures and digestive complications.
After getting through detox, prescription drug addiction treatment relies on a number of methods. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, support group meetings, addiction education and holistic care. Those struggling with chronic pain or mood disorders may also require non-addictive medications to replace their drug of choice, although holistic methods of pain management have gained popularity.
In the end, the best method of treatment will depend upon the drug of choice and medical history of the patient in question. A facility such as Muse House, which offers multiple approaches to prescription drug rehabilitation, can provide you with the individualized care that you need.