Millions of people in the US take prescription medications every day according to their doctor’s recommendations, because these drugs help people lead productive lives free from the problems they would otherwise suffer. But, some people take prescription drugs without a prescription or without following a doctor’s directions, which is drug abuse. This activity is extremely dangerous and can devastate a user’s body, mind and relationships. Therefore, it is essential that people seek professional treatment for prescription drug abuse as soon as possible.
What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
As described by the National Institute of Health, any time someone takes medication outside of a doctor’s recommendations, she is abusing that medication. In fact, many people abuse prescription drugs in the following ways:
- Taking medicine not prescribed for them
- Taking a larger dose of medication than prescribed
- Taking medicine in a different form than prescribed (snorting or injecting tablets)
- Taking medicine for any other purpose than prescribed
Not only are there several ways to abuse prescription drugs, but there are also several types of drugs that people abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that people often abuse the following drugs:
- Depressants: Barbiturates, benzodiazepines and sleep medications are common depressants that, when abused, can lower blood pressure and slow down the respiratory system
- Opioids: These include codeine, morphine, methadone, heroin, oxycodone and hydrocodone, which slow down blood pressure and pulse and can cause respiratory complications and unconsciousness
- Stimulants: Amphetamines and methylphenidate are common stimulants that can cause insomnia, increase metabolism and seizures while causing heart problems that can lead to heart attack or stroke
The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that approximately 16.7 million Americans over the age of 12 had abused prescription drugs in the previous year, and that around 6.8 million had done so in the previous month. This is a common problem that needs immediate treatment for people to recover.
Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment
Many people who abuse prescription drugs seek professional help, which usually includes the following treatment methods:
- Diagnosis: To treat addiction, healthcare professionals identify the drugs someone has abused while learning about each patient’s medical history
- Detox: Some prescription drug addictions can cause withdrawal symptoms that need professional treatment. People who are addicted to certain drugs may be prescribed a medication to ease their pain.
- Therapy: Perhaps the most significant aspect of recovery involves counseling either in individual or group settings for a short time or for several years. Whatever form therapy takes, patients and their therapists must cooperate to build a trusting relationship; this relationship helps addicts achieve specific goals while increasing the likelihood of staying sober long-term.
You can recover with the right help.
Find Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment
If you abuse prescription drugs and have tried to stop, or if you are thinking about stopping, give us a call at 615-490-9376. Our admissions coordinators are available to answer your questions and to discuss recovery options.