Prescription drugs are common aid provided to people who handle complex health issues on a daily basis. From pain medication to sleeping assistance, many different potentially addicting prescription drugs are established within the medical community, which are treated as a convenient solution without regard for the consequences. This type of medication in itself is not wrong, nor should it be seen as such – in fact, it helps many people get through their daily life, decreasing troubles that they might be facing. The problem arises when someone develops an addiction through their misuse – for example, opioid abuse. To be more specific – more than two million Americans are dependent on prescription drugs.
Born from a lack of on-topic education, both from the patient and medical professional side, misuse is often accidental, and addiction is just an unanticipated side effect. This is precisely the main difference between misuse and abuse, where one is born out of lack of knowledge, and the other is usually intentional.
This article will discuss which challenges drug abuse and addiction impose, as well as their causes and some available solutions.
Why Prescription Drug Misuse Can Lead To Addiction
When observing prescription medication misuse through the past, it’s self-evident that it often comes through a lack of knowledge regarding all of the potential side effects a particular medication might carry. Therefore the commonness of addiction is not too surprising. Another common reason for unnecessary addiction is – unnecessary prescriptions. When someone is prescribed a drug, they might not need, for instance – prescription opioids or another possibly addictive drug, the chance of them getting addicted to it dramatically increases. Sometimes even patients who need the medical help the drug provides might develop an addiction as they connect the feeling of euphoria and relaxation the medicine offers. Instead of that feeling being the norm, this unhealthy connection builds up to not feeling relaxed without the prescription being involved.
Some people end up taking medicine in a larger dose or more frequently than recommended, accidentally or purposefully abusing the drug and developing an addiction. Some of the drugs commonly used in this way are Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin.
Although there are seemingly simple and obvious reasons for drug abuse and misuse, the real reasons for addiction to prescription medication are complex and usually not so well known. Of course, the risk differs depending on the individual. Some people develop an addiction easier than others, but there is more than one reason to point towards particular risk factors.
The Dangers Of Prescription Drug Abuse
All drugs, including prescription ones for common medical conditions, come with an array of side effects with different occurrence levels. Some of the more common symptoms are:
- Nausea, stomach pain/cramping, or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Muscle aches
- Tremors in hands with a high possibility of causing seizures
The misuse of drugs can lead to these being significantly more intense. It can also create many other health problems such as addiction, overdose, organ damage, or even failure and, in cases of use over an extended period, death. Some of these side effects can be so severe that they need immediate medical treatment or hospitalization. Unintentional overdose and death are unfortunately also a somewhat common occurrence among people who misuse their prescriptions.
Signs Of Addiction
Although the adverse side effects might be drastic and dangerous, there is a small upside to some of them: the dependency symptoms can be somewhat obvious. This means that sometimes it’s possible noticing addiction and appropriately reacting in time, preventing the situation from worsening. Paying attention to details of patient behavior can bring awareness to the issue and greatly help with therapy and other potential addiction consequences.
How To Avoid Becoming Addicted
Avoiding addiction starts with the prescription. If the prescription is written correctly, it should limit doses individually depending on specific patient needs. Prescription limitations are not enough, though; the drug needs to be adequately regulated and taken carefully, not only within the medical facility but at patients’ homes as well.
While a doctor must prescribe proper dosage to the patient, a patient likewise has to respect the dosages and limit the use of strong medications to that which was agreed upon. A patient needs to be educated on when and how to take the medication; any rulings, special conditions, and potential risks regarding the drug need to be taken into consideration and carefully explained to them. Knowledge about prescription medications that are given out is, in fact, the best prevention of addiction.
Treatment Options For Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms
If anyone has troubles regarding addiction or what comes after, they need to seek help within drug rehab and drug treatment centers they can afford. They might not be able to find them independently, and it is alright to help them and reach out to ease the process somewhat. Some of the many treatment options for prescription drug addiction include:
- Inpatient treatment programs that offer detoxification services, behavioral counseling, and other therapies, such as medication-assisted treatment.
- A counselor or therapist supervised outpatient addiction treatments in an outpatient facility like the individual’s home.
- Addiction rehabilitation centers provide therapy sessions as well as resources to help individuals recover from substance abuse.
Every individual is different. Therefore it’s essential to find a suitable treatment that helps their specific needs. Therapy choice is not a short or straightforward process; it takes time, dedication, and a significant amount of research. Choosing the right therapy is much different than just going to any treatment; making the right choice can make an incredible impact on the later parts of the process. It might take time, but it’s a very giving task that often results in reparation.
If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug addiction, there’s no need to suffer in silence – reach out for assistance today and make sure that the problem is solved correctly.
If drug addiction has taken a toll, help is right around the corner. Reaching out and seeking attention and treatment can help anyone to stop. No individual is immune to addiction, but likewise, no individual is immune to help. The stairway to health is waiting, don’t be scared to take a step – reach out to us today.