Prescription Drug Addiction
It happens to unsuspecting Americans every day. Maybe you get in a car accident or have trouble focusing at work. The doctor hands you a prescription for some pain pills, a stimulant, or whatever they deem will help you. For many people, addiction to prescription drugs catches them off guard. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 18 million people in the United States misuse prescription drugs. That’s more than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, ecstasy and inhalants combined. Additionally, overdose deaths related to prescription drugs have quadrupled since 1999. Fortunately, there is hope for those facing this dangerous form of substance abuse.
Common Types of Addictive Prescription Drugs
There are several types of prescription drugs that are commonly misused and abused. These include opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and sedatives. While all of these prescription medications serve a purpose, it is easy for tolerance to build and for misuse to occur.
- Opioids: Opioids are used to treat pain, but they can also be highly addictive. Commonly prescribed opioids include Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, codeine, and fentanyl.
- Benzodiazepines: These drugs are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Examples include Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin.
- Stimulants: Stimulants are used to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and depression. Commonly prescribed stimulants include Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta.
- Sedatives: Sedatives are used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. Commonly prescribed sedatives include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata.
What Causes Prescription Drug Abuse?
Prescription drug abuse can be caused by a variety of factors. These include having easy access to prescription medications, using them for non-medical purposes like getting high, and not following the instructions of a doctor. Additionally, people may abuse prescription drugs in an attempt to self-medicate due to mental health disorders or trauma. Lastly, some people may be more prone to prescription drug abuse due to their genetic makeup and brain chemistry.
Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction and Abuse
It can be difficult to spot the signs of prescription drug addiction or misuse as some signs can be side effects of the medication itself. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to any changes in behavior or physical symptoms. Common signs of prescription drug addiction and abuse include:
- Taking more than the prescribed dose of a medication
- Trying to get more refills or prescriptions than necessary
- Struggling to concentrate or focus
- Changes in mood, such as irritability or agitation
- Sudden social isolation
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Sudden changes in sleeping habits
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment in Virginia
If you or someone you know is struggling with a prescription drug addiction, it’s important to seek help right away. Williamsville Wellness provides residential prescription drug abuse treatment in Richmond, VA as well as online outpatient treatment. We help to uncover the root causes of your prescription drug abuse and provide individualized treatment plans to help you recover. Williamsville Wellness also offers more individual therapy than a majority of treatment centers. Contact us to learn more and get started today!