One of the most rapidly increasing substance abuse concerns nationwide is that of misuse of prescription drugs. There are a number of people who are given prescription medication for healing purposes but many end up abusing them.
If someone is taking more of a medication than prescribed, taking someone else’s medication or using their medication to get high, it means they are abusing it. Some of the most commonly abused medications include stimulants, opioids and benzodiazepines.
Abusing prescription medication can have a host of consequences from forming a dependence on the drug to developing health issues as a result of abusing too much of the medication. Whether a person is starting to abuse a medication or is fully addicted to it, help should be sought sooner rather than later.
Stimulant abuse involves the abuse of medications that include amphetamines like Adderall and methylphenidate like Ritalin or Concerta. Normally stimulants are prescribed to treat issues such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder by creating a calming or focusing effect. Unfortunately these stimulant medications can be abused to help a person lose weight, perform better in school or just to get the effect of the euphoria they can create.
Signs that a person is abusing stimulants can include:
Stimulant abuse can also create other changes in an individual such as making them more hostile, paranoid or aggressive, causing them to feel nauseous, creating chest pain, causing hallucinations and more.
Benzodiazepines are normally prescribed to help with mood disorders such as anxiety and other issues like insomnia and muscle relaxation. Commonly known benzos include Xanax, Valium and Klonopin. When someone abuse benzodiazepines they may appear sleepy, uncoordinated and hostile. Abuse of this drug can also cause a person to exhibit anxiety, insomnia, headaches, tremors and memory problems.
Benzodiazepine abuse can be very dangerous. Abuse of this type of medication can cause birth defects. Additionally, if someone drives while under the influence of this medication is can put them and others in serious danger.
Opioids are used as strong painkillers normally prescribed for injuries or for after surgeries. Well known opioids are Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and others. Sadly these types of prescription medication are highly addictive and many people end up abusing them. If a person is abusing opioid medications they will normally exhibit symptoms such as
As can be expected there are multiple dangers attached to abusing prescription medications.
Prescription abuse can harm a person’s physical and psychological health. In some cases abuse of medications can lead to the development of mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. It can also cause lowered cognitive ability, memory problems, heart problems and other issues with a person’s organs.
There is also the possibility of a person’s prescription abuse leading to legal complications. If the individual is caught taking another’s medication, he or she could face charges of prescription fraud forgery. Those under the influence are also more likely to engage in criminal behavior.
There is also danger attached to a person withdrawing from these medications. Withdrawal symptoms can include perspiration, agitation, nausea and more. Those withdrawing from opioids could encounter nausea, vomiting and pain in their bones. Stimulants withdrawal could cause exhaustion and sleep problems. In most cases it is better for a person to find an effective detox program to help them through the withdrawal process.
If an individual is abusing prescription drugs it is better than they seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid worsening consequences. Efficient treatment programs will help the individual build a treatment program suited for their specific needs. The program developed can differ depending on the individual’s genetics, chosen abused substance, the length and severity of their abuse and other factors.
Many programs will use a combination of medication and therapy. Commonly used therapies can include Cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy and alternative therapies such as mindfulness or yoga.
For those individuals who have developed an addiction to prescription drugs, the best choice for recovery is to find an effective treatment program to help. Whatever your situation, there is help available.
The Arizona Prescription Drug Addiction Helpline is here for you. If you are looking for a way to overcome prescription drug abuse and addiction we will guide you to the best program for your situation. To learn more about prescription drug abuse or about finding treatment, please call the Arizona Prescription Drug Addiction Helpline at any time.