Of all the forms of substance abuse that people both young and old can get involved in, prescription drugs are perhaps the most accessible and dangerous.
Unlike street drugs, which are illegal in every sense of the word, and alcohol, which is widely publicized, with significant public stigma going against it, prescription drugs can often be the “hidden addiction.” These are substances that are not only legal, but they can be easily obtained thanks to that most trusted of all groups, a caring medical doctor. People may frown if someone buys one drink too many at a bar, or is mixing too many drinks at home, but simply taking a pill that a doctor has prescribed is much easier to do without censure.
And this problem is only getting worse. As the American healthcare system continues to change and doctors are often overwhelmed with patients, offering prescriptions has been a fast, effective way to make some problems “go away.” Because of this, there has been a 400% increase in the amount of medication prescribed to Americans in the last ten years. It’s no wonder that some people become addicted, and when that happens, the best course of action is a prescription drug abuse rehab center.
Call today at 877-284-0353 to have your opiate rehab questions answered confidentially by an addiction expert.
Who Is Affected?
The most frightening aspect of prescription drug addiction is that it can potentially happen to anyone. Painkillers, tranquilizers, and anti-anxiety drugs are prescribed by doctors for any number of reasons. Once those medications are in the home, it’s not just the person originally prescribed the medication that is at risk. Others in the home with experimental tendencies are also endangered.
In some cases, addiction is straightforward. A person with severe chronic headaches may be prescribed a painkiller, something like Oxycodone. Because this substance is in the opioid family, it is very effective at pain relief and works well. However, in some people, it can also relieve feelings of stress, reduce anxiety, and even create a sense of well-being and/or euphoria. So in addition to reducing physical discomfort, Oxycodone can potentially make people feel emotionally upbeat, and these positive associations may be even more pronounced in people who aren’t actually in pain.
It’s a similar story for tranquilizers and anti-anxiety drugs. Drugs that were originally intended by doctors to be a quick form of relief can become a crutch for those in genuine need, and an extremely positive personal experience for those who aren’t. There are even sad stories of teens stealing painkillers away from grandparents and leaving them to suffer during their medical recovery because the teens have become addicted to the euphoria of the painkillers. If things get to a stage this severe, it’s time for professional help at a prescription drug addiction rehab center.
Detoxification Process for Prescription Drug Addiction Rehab
Prescription drug addiction rehab begins with a process known as detoxification, or “detox.” This is an important phase of prescription drug addiction treatment. The human body can readily develop a physical dependence on certain drugs, and detox is the initial step that flushes the system of substances to lay the groundwork for overcoming that physical addiction.
Unfortunately, depending on the type of drug addiction being dealt with, there will be a phenomenon known as “withdrawal,” which is simply a body-wide system shock, as the addict’s physiology is deprived of the drug in the system. The severity of withdrawal varies wildly with the type of drug and level of addiction. For some, withdrawal may be no more severe than having flu-like symptoms and low-grade feelings of discomfort. For others, withdrawal can be extremely painful, with cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and even more severe symptoms, some of which may require medical supervision.
While detox can be conducted in the home, this phase is much safer when supervised with professional prescription drug abuse help, so a hospital setting or experienced prescription drug abuse rehab center is strongly advised. This is especially true if the addiction is severe and has been going on for a prolonged period of time.
Rehabilitation for Prescription Drug Abuse
Once detoxification has been completed, there are several options, including attempting to overcome the addiction at home, without professional help, or enrolling in a prescription drug abuse treatment program conducted by professionals. Beachway Therapy Center, for example, has an in-patient, residential program with a direct entry option from the detox period in order to ensure that the vulnerable period after detoxification isn’t lost to sliding back to old behaviors.
If you should decide to go with professional treatment for painkiller addiction or other substances, there are a variety of options available that can be determined based on the specific needs of the individual. Individual counseling and therapy can be combined with group support work that helps addicts let go of destructive thoughts and behaviors, and learn new, more positive coping strategies. This type of individualized, closely monitored and controlled rehab for prescription drug addiction has the highest chance of success thanks to the close attention that is paid to an individual’s responses and needs during treatment.
Long Term Recovery
Once the intensive prescription drug abuse rehab period is over, patients must now bring the lessons and strategies learned in rehab into the everyday world. This doesn’t mean that recovering addicts are left to their own devices. Once again, places like Beachway Therapy Center also have outpatient programs that maintain progress and continuation of the recovery process.
Support from family and outside addiction support groups are also crucial at this stage to help reinforce the commitment to a new lifestyle and maintain discipline as recovering patients reintegrate. It’s important at this stage for those in recovery to be mindful of the situations that led to addiction in the first place and to avoid situations or people that might trigger a relapse in past behavior. It’s also important to remember how this addiction began in the first place. Honesty with doctors may be required, especially if you should become ill and a doctor is considering prescribing painkillers for increased comfort during recovery.
Call today at 877-284-0353 to speak with one of our addiction experts.