If you take prescription drugs in a manner other than prescribed by your doctor, you are at risk of developing a prescription drug addiction. Doctors often prescribe opioid painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet to help patients manage pain issues after surgery or to manage a chronic health condition. The earlier you learn about what prescription drug addiction is, the better your chances are of recovery.
What is Prescription Drug Addiction?
Prescription drug addiction develops when you use prescribed medication in a nonmedical way. Opioids currently rank as the drug most abused by individuals. However, depressants like sedatives and tranquilizers can also be a problem, along with stimulant drugs used to treat conditions like ADHD. The problem cuts across all age groups and income brackets.
Addictions to prescribed medication usually happen accidentally. For example, a cancer patient may start by taking an extra dose of pain medication when the prescribed amount does not effectively manage their pain. The more you take, the more your brain chemistry changes. Your body builds up a tolerance, requiring you to take more prescription drugs until you find help at a prescription drug addiction treatment center in OR.
Mental health patients may take too much of an antidepressant to help themselves feel better. Some start recreationally taking prescription medication as an alternative to other drugs. Regardless of how the problem begins, it can quickly spiral out of control.
Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction
If you wonder what is prescription drug addiction concerning yourself and others, it helps to know the signs. They manifest differently depending on the specific drug. Drugs capable of altering brain chemistry tend to be the ones that put you at risk. Here is a rundown of the most common symptoms seen for different medication types when it comes to prescription drug addiction.
- Opioids — Constipation, nausea, a feeling of euphoria, slower breathing, constant drowsiness, periods of confusion, a lack of coordination, the need to take higher drug doses for pain relief, increased sensitivity to pain when taking higher medication doses
- Anti-Anxiety Meds and Sedatives — Drowsiness, confusion, unsteadiness when walking, slurred speech, inability to concentrate, dizziness, memory problems, slower breathing
- Stimulants — A constant state of alertness, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated body temperature, insomnia, paranoia, anxiety, lack of appetite, agitated state
Symptoms typically seen regardless of the medication include:
- Stealing from others to get a fix
- Forging prescriptions to get extra medication
- Problems sleeping
- The need to take higher medication doses
- “Doctor shopping,” or going from one doctor to another to get more medication
Older adults can be more vulnerable since they take medication to manage age-related issues. They can be more likely to mix prescription drugs with alcohol, which heightens the damage they do to individuals. Contact Crestview Recovery today to work through symptoms of prescription drug addiction.
How Prescription Drug Addiction Affects Your Health
The drugs typically abused tend to activate the reward center of the brain, which leads to physical addiction and full-blown addiction. The heart can weaken because of the stress of prescription drug use. You could end up experiencing a heart attack, collapsed veins, heart failure, and other cardiac events.
The liver is another organ that can be damaged by prescription drug addiction. It must work extra hard to pump toxins out of your body. The damage caused can lead to liver disease that could end up being fatal.
Prescription drug addiction might weaken the immune system. The lack of sleep and poor nutritional habits that often form from prescription drug abuse lowers the body’s defenses, leaving you vulnerable to illness.
If you feel you have a good understanding of what prescription drug addiction is, you may recognize the signs in yourself or a loved one. Professional help can be the key to a lasting recovery.
Help at Crestview Recovery
Our Pacific Northwest rehab center offers a variety of choices when it comes to healing from prescription drug addiction. We create individualized treatment paths for each client, allowing them to choose from different therapy options.
- Residential care: We provide round-the-clock care, allowing clients to focus solely on their recovery. Our staff is professionally trained and assistance is available 24/7.
- Outpatient drug rehab programs in WA: These programs allow clients to live at home while attending scheduled therapy sessions. This gives them the flexibility to keep up with work and family responsibilities.
- Individual therapy: Our experienced counselors provide personalized, one-on-one counseling sessions. These help clients identify and address the underlying causes of their addiction.
- Family therapy: Our therapists help family members of the patient to develop better communication and understanding. This is a crucial step for long-term recovery success.
- Relapse prevention in Portland: Crestview Recovery offer strategies and skills that help to identify triggers and cope with cravings. This helps clients stay sober for the long-term.
Don’t Wait to Seek Treatment
Putting off treatment will not help you. In fact, doing so can hurt you. Take the first step toward recovery. Find out more about what we offer clients by calling us at 866.262.0531. Crestview Recovery could be the chance to get the help you have needed.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.