Prescription Drug Addiction & Prescription Drug Rehab

Prescription drug addiction is a significant public health concern rising drastically across wide segments of the American population. Commonly abused prescription drugs include Opiates (like Percocet, Vicodin, etc.), Benzodiazepines (like Xanax or Valium), and Stimulants (like Adderall).

Earlier in the decade, an official report claimed that nearly 20% of Americans were using prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. Most addicts addicted to illegal drugs move toward prescription drug abuse because pharmaceutical medications are synthetic, powerful and “controlled” in their purity and composition.

Prescription drug tolerance builds naturally over time. Even people who take prescription drugs for approved medical reasons often gradually begin to increase consumption, resulting in drug addiction. Even as this may begin as a benign effort, individuals often start to display symptoms and behaviors characteristic of prescription drug addiction.

As with many drugs of dependence, the first major step toward achieving and maintaining sobriety is to enter a detox facility, followed by continuing care in a prescription drug rehab.

Prescription Drug Withdrawal

Opiates

Opiates are usually found in pain relievers and anesthetics. When an individual is in legitimate pain, opiate medications bind to brain receptors and decrease significant pain. If, however, true pain is not present or opiates are taken outside of the limits of a prescription, the drug will produce a euphoric effect – or a “high”.

Chronic opiate addiction contributes to major physical complications like stomach bleeding, kidney damage, liver damage, nervous system damage, respiratory system damage, or even death. Once an individual becomes dependent on opiates, being without opiates will produce extremely uncomfortable physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Itching & numbness

Vomiting

Trouble sleeping

Drowsiness

Anxiety

Cramping

Diarrhea

Dizziness

Mood swings

Depression

Benzodiazepines (Benzos)

Benzodiazepines are drugs typically prescribed to treat insomnia, anxiety, seizures and moderate to severe stress. When benzodiazepines are abused, they create a sense of euphoria and relaxation. The most commonly abused benzodiazepines are Ativan, Klonopin, Valium and Xanax. People become reliant on these medications in effort to change their physical or psychological states, however, they never resolve the underlying issues contributing to the need for “relief”. Individuals who are dependent on benzodiazepines appear to be either in a state of constant stress or panic, or on the opposite extreme exceedingly relaxed.

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

Confusion

Appetite change

Seizures

Energy decrease

Difficulty sleeping

Dizziness

Nervousness

Depression

Irritability

Joint aches

Chronic benzodiazepine abuse facilitates protracted withdrawal. This means that after initial detox, which may last up to two weeks, benzo addicts may suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia, neurological issues and musculoskeletal problems for up to several months.

Stimulants

Stimulants, to put it simply, speed up the functions of a person’s brain and body. They’re usually prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, narcolepsy or chronic fatigue. Stimulants increase energy, wakefulness, and euphoria. They also dramatically decrease appetite (making them a drug of abuse common for people with eating disorders). Chronic abuse contributes to major adverse effects like hallucinations, sleep deprivation (which, in extreme cases may lead to psychotic episodes), malnutrition and problems in the digestive system.

Stimulants are prominent among students, and are used as study aids as they allow the abuser to maintain high energy and concentration levels over a long period of time. The most commonly abused stimulants are Adderall and Ritalin.

Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms

Cravings

Memory impairment

Sleep Deprivation

Appetite loss

Confusion

Depression

Anxiety

Irritability

Prescription Drug Detox

Opiate, benzodiazepine and stimulant addictions all require inpatient, medically-monitored detox at a prescription drug rehab in order to safely cease use. Prescription drug addiction negatively impacts people’s mental and physical health, and as such a monitored detoxification process is advised. Following detox, it is best to admit prescription drug addicts to a licensed prescription drug rehab center for residential and/or continuing care services.

Often, people who suffer from prescription drug addiction have chronic pain issues or mental health issues that require appropriate prescription medications. Doctors in an inpatient medical detox and inpatient drug rehab unit are able to address these issues without the use of addictive medications. Our experienced care team is available to coordinate services in any level of care.

Prescription Drug Rehab

Following stabilization in one of many licensed Pennsylvania drug rehab centers, addicts should participate in residential rehab to learn new coping skills for pain management, mental health management and relapse prevention. Following residential rehab, addicts have much higher recovery rates when attending coordinated therapy sessions at a continuing care drug rehab.

Blueprints for Addiction Recovery's Pennsylvania drug rehab centers offer continuing care services specially designed to cater to individuals suffering from prescription drug addiction. Contact us today for information, referral, admission or connection to additional resources.