Many prescription medications can be dangerous if not taken exactly as the doctor has prescribed. People often don’t realize that they have addictive properties just like illicit or street drugs.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for an addiction to pharmaceutical drugs, call Drug Treatment Centers Amherst. We offer help 24/7 at (716) 217-4122.
Prescription medications seem safer because they are given to people by their medical providers. However, they are often developed from the same ingredients that form the street drugs. For instance, heroin and morphine are both opiates. Many other painkillers are also opiates and become habit-forming over time and lead to prescription drug abuse.
One of the most difficult issues with prescription drug abuse is recognizing when someone has crossed the line from using the medication to abusing it. Often, the person complains of problems long after he or she should have seen improvement. The patient may convince the doctor to continue with the prescription treatment or he or she may go to another doctor for the same medication.
Many people get their well-meaning friends to give them a pill or two when they complain of pain or an illness. Those who become addicted may even find the medication for sale on the street.
People who self-treat conditions by increasing the medication without approval by their doctors are likely candidates to become addicts. However, it is far easier to find these medications from other places than one might think. People who want to experience the ecstasy that comes with many drugs often feel safer trying prescription medications. Once the “high” wears off, they may move on to illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine.
Most people aren’t trying to become dependent on the medication when they begin taking it. However, that is often the end result. These medications are more dangerous than they realize.
While taking more of the medication than prescribed can cause problems on its own, other reasons make abusing prescription drugs dangerous. One issue is that many people combine it with alcohol or other medications. The chances of an overdose increase when combined with alcohol or other drugs.
Another concern is that as with any drug, the effects wear off over time. The person begins seeking other medications or increases the dosage to get the same results. People who start out with medications like Vicodin or OxyContin often move on to heroin or other drugs that are even more addictive and dangerous.
The treatment for prescription drug abuse and addiction is similar to that of other drugs. The main difference is that the treatment facility should mention this addiction in addition to others. The person will have to stop taking the drug or detox. Someone that has been abusing medications for a long time may suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These include:
These can range from mild to severe, depending on the type of medication and how much the person has been taking.
Once detox is completed, the person may need to continue treatment. The method of treatment will depend on how the person became addicted and any other underlying problems that he or she may have.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to prescription medication, reach out for help. Realize that it is a real problem that is just as serious as any other addiction. Only when you address the problem and seek help can you get on the path to recovery.