Over the years, prescription drugs have become easier to obtain, resulting in an increase in the number of people abusing them and becoming addicted. While most prescription drugs offer a low risk for addiction, prescription drug abuse and addiction are very real problems. In fact, it’s estimated that 20 percent of people in the U.S. use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.
Often times, prescription drug abuse begins when someone starts using a prescription medication in a way that’s not directed by doctors, usually to cope with stress or escape from emotional pain. When the individual experiences temporary relief, the need for the drug is reinforced and dependency develops. Regardless of how a person’s prescription drug addiction develops, significant impairment in all aspects of life is the end result.
What are Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are three different categories of prescription drugs that are often abused:
- Opioids are used to treat pain and have a high potential for abuse.
- Central nervous system depressants are mainly used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. Drugs that fall under this category include Xanax, Valium and Klonopin.
- Stimulants help individuals deal with ADD or narcolepsy. These kinds of drugs are amphetamines (Adderall) or methylphenidates (Ritalin).
Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
People who have become addicted to prescription drugs use them to find relief from physical, emotional or psychological pain. Signs that you or a loved one has become addicted to prescription drugs are:
- Increasing perceived need for medication, resulting in taking the drug more frequently or in a greater dosage than the doctor has prescribed
- Using the medication with alcohol or other drugs to “enhance” its effects
- Running out of prescriptions before they are due to be refilled
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal (such as sweating, nausea, anxiety) when unable to take the medication at the usual frequency
- Drug-seeking behaviors such as “doctor shopping,” in which the person goes to multiple physicians to get prescriptions in order to obtain more of the medicine
HopeQuest Can Help
If your or someone you love is struggling with prescription drug abuse, HopeQuest can help. Our Christ-centered and clinically-effective treatment program enables individuals to find hope for change and lasting freedom from addiction.
Since prescription drug abuse often develops because of an initial physical trauma (accident, surgery, etc.), our professional medical staff works with clients to manage physical discomfort without habit-forming medications. At HopeQuest, we also treat co-occurring disorders such as anxiety and depression, which fuel addictive behaviors. Our holistic approach to treatment, which targets body, mind, soul and relationships, promotes a multi-dimensional healing experience for the individuals who come to us for help.