Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

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It’s easy to assume prescription drugs are always safe – and when they’re taken as prescribed, they are. But if painkillers, benzodiazepine tranquilizers and sleeping pills are taken too long, recreationally, or used alongside other drugs like alcohol there is an intense risk of addiction and overdose. Overdoses from prescription drugs in the United States kill more people than car accidents.

Addiction is addiction, no matter what the substance is. Sovereign Health understands that, and is committed to offering effective, safe prescription drug addiction treatment at every one of its facilities. We treat addiction alongside addressing the mental disorders that may have pushed our patients into the trap of addiction, helping our patients achieve a lasting recovery.

Abusing Prescription Drugs

Prescription abuse can be as simple as taking a prescription drug when it’s no longer needed, or using someone else’s ADHD medication for a perceived edge before a test.

In more serious cases, prescriptions are often abused by grinding pills up and either snorting them or injecting them directly into the bloodstream. Both are extremely dangerous – many pills are designed to release their active ingredients gradually. When ingested by these methods, the user receives the full dose at once, creating a risk of overdose.

Even over-the-counter medicines can be abused. Many non-prescription cough medicines contain dextromethorphan (DXM), a cough suppressant which can have mind-altering effects when taken in large amounts. Unfortunately, large amounts of DXM can damage the liver as many medications with DXM also contain high doses of acetaminophen. High quantities of DXM can also cause the breathing to become dangerously slowed, the same cause of death from painkiller abuse.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

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Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

As there are many kinds of prescription drugs, there are many different side effects:

  • Opioid painkillers: Confusion, drowsiness, constipation, nausea and slowed breathing.
  • Sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs: Slurred speech, memory problems, confusion, unsteady walking and memory problems.
  • Stimulants such as ADHD drugs: Agitation, anxiety, increased body temperature, insomnia and irregular heartbeat.

Red Flags of Prescription Drug Addiction

  • Altered behavior – users are often abnormally energetic, or seem unusually sedated
  • Changes in sleeping patterns, either sleeping too much or not enough
  • Dramatic, sudden mood swings
  • Taking higher than recommended doses
  • Finding unusual amounts of discarded medicine boxes – prescription or otherwise – in the trash
  • Stealing or selling prescriptions
  • Doctor shopping – seeing more than one doctor to obtain prescriptions – or forging prescription forms.
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Prescription Drugs and the Body

Prescription drugs are prescribed because they fill necessary roles. A person in chronic pain from cancer can live a full life with painkillers. Someone who has severe panic attacks can be helped with benzodiazepines. However, like any other drug it’s possible to build up tolerance and dependence to these medications.

When abused, prescription drugs work the same way as illicit drugs – they can create a surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine, creating the euphoric sensation addicts spend their lives chasing. As dopamine plays a fundamental role in the brain’s reward system, prolonged use of the drugs can rewire the brain into believing it needs the drugs to function, known as prescription drug addiction. Without the drug, the user experiences withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal from prescription opiates is as unpleasant as withdrawal from illicit narcotics like heroin. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can also include potentially fatal seizures. Although withdrawal from ADHD medication isn’t nearly as severe, symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety and behavior changes.

Long-term abuse of prescription medication brings a wide variety of problems. Misusing pills by snorting them can damage the lungs, as binders and other ingredients in pills can be harmful if inhaled. Prescription painkillers can create chronic digestive problems like constipation if taken for too long. Benzodiazepine abuse can cause personality changes, cognitive difficulties and sleeping problems.

If someone is exhibiting any effects of prescription drug abuse it may be time to seek help from prescription drug rehab centers such as Sovereign Health.

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Getting Help for Prescription Abuse

Prescription drug abuse has turned into a national health crisis, but there’s an answer. Sovereign Health is eager to help you to a new life free from addiction. Our prescription drug addiction treatment programs utilize effective, scientifically-backed treatment modalities along with alternative therapies like art therapy and yoga.

Sovereign Health is a leader in prescription drug abuse treatment because unlike other treatment providers, we holistically rehabilitate our patients, addressing both their physical and mental problems. We help our patients detox in a safe, medically-supervised environment, minimizing the effects of withdrawal. In treatment, we treat both addiction as well as co-occurring mental disorders that often fuel addiction and keep patients trapped in its endless cycle.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

Why choose Sovereign Health?

We’re the best possible choice for your prescription drug addiction recovery:

  • We have locations throughout the United States
  • We provide safe, comfortable environments for our patients to heal in
  • Our facilities are accredited by the Joint Commission
  • We use evidence-based, holistic treatment modalities

At each rehab for prescription drug abuse that we have, Sovereign Health treats its patients like the individuals they are. We recognize how intensely personal addiction is, and treat our patients accordingly. We’ll be with you through treatment, recovery and beyond. We provide recovery at any of our prescription drug rehab locations in California, Arizona, Utah and Florida. For more info on the programs offered at a prescription drug rehab, contact our 24/7 helpline.