It’s no secret that prescription drug abuse is a problem in the United States. In fact, it’s a problem that’s been on the rise for years . According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “about one in four people who take prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons will develop an addiction to them.” If you or someone you know is taking prescription drugs, it’s important to be aware of the risks and understand how to seek treatment.
The Different Types of Prescription Drugs That Can Be Abused
There are many different types of prescription drugs that can be abused. The most common type of prescription drug that is abused is opioids. Opioids are a type of pain medication that can be very addictive and lead to overdose and death. Other types of prescription drugs that can be abused include stimulants, sedatives, and anti-anxiety medications.
People who abuse prescription drugs often start by taking them for legitimate purposes. They may be prescribed medication for pain relief or to help with anxiety or insomnia. However, over time they may start taking more of the drug than prescribed or take it more often than they should. This can lead to tolerance, where the person needs more and more of the drug to get the same effect. Tolerance can quickly turn into dependence and addiction.
Warning Signs of a Prescription Drug Addiction
There are a few warning signs that can indicate someone is struggling with a prescription drug addiction. If you or a loved one has started to exhibit any of the following behaviors, it’s important to reach out for help:
- Taking more of the drug than prescribed or taking it more often than prescribed
- Building up a tolerance to the drug so that higher doses are needed to get the same effect
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping or reducing use of the drug
- Continuing to use the drug despite negative consequences, such as job loss, financial problems, or relationship difficulties
- Neglecting important responsibilities and activities in favor of using the drug
- Using the drug in dangerous situations, such as while driving or operating machinery
The Consequences of a Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription drug addiction can have a number of consequences, both short- and long-term.
In the short term, someone who is addicted to prescription drugs may experience impaired judgment, poor coordination, and slurred speech. They may also have difficulty breathing and an increased heart rate.
These effects can lead to risky behaviors, such as driving while under the influence or engaging in unprotected sex. Over time, someone with a prescription drug addiction may develop more serious health problems, including liver or kidney damage, respiratory failure, and heart arrhythmias.
One of the most important risks to note from prescription drug abuse is overdose. Overdose among users of prescription drugs is becoming much more common and is killing thousands of people every year. When not used as directed, prescription drugs are dangerous. The longer one uses prescription drugs the more risk for overdose there is.
If you think you or someone you know may be struggling with a prescription drug addiction, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Treatment for prescription drug addiction can vary depending on the severity of the addiction, but typically includes some combination of detoxification, counseling, and medication.
Get Into Treatment For A Prescription Drug Addiction Today
If you think you might have a prescription drug addiction, it’s important to seek help now— not later. This is a serious problem that can have damaging consequences for your health and your life.
At Harmony Healing Center NJ, we can help just about anyone who has an addiction to prescription drugs to get back a healthy, addiction free life. Contact us to get into a treatment program for prescription drugs today.