Prescription drugs are a common cause addiction, and represent a large percentage of new rehab enrollments across the country. There is a common misconception held by many that prescription and pharmaceutical drugs are not as harmful as illicit drugs since they’re prescribed by doctors and hold recognized medicinal uses. But the reality is, any substance if abused can be harmful. This is particularly true of Schedule 2 drugs, like amphetamines or opioids, which require careful management by trained medical professionals. To put things in perspective, it is important to remember that at one point in the US Heroin was a legal pharmaceutically produced drug and cocaine was a common soft drink additive.
Prescription drug abuse is commonly defined as occurring whenever a prescription drug is consumed or used in a dosage that differs from how it was or should have been prescribed. Often, this abuse is the result of the drugs being taken when they have not be prescribed for the user. Others, who are prescribed the substances, increase their dosages enough for long enough that a tolerance of physical addiction develops.
This abuse can often take the form of users crushing and snorting their prescribed pills and snorting the powder. By snorting, instead of swallowing the substance, the effects of the drugs are often felt more quickly and at a higher potency of “high”. Other times, addicts will fake injuries, or in some instances, actually injure themselves seriously, to convince or trick doctors into increasing dosages or refilling their script sooner.
If you suspect prescription drug abuse or believe that you may suffer from pharmaceutical drug addiction, it is important to seek help out immediately.
It is not recommended to stop taking prescription medication without medical assistance as certain prescription medications, such as oxycodone, are as addictive as heroin, with very similar physical addiction mechanisms. Needless to say, it is exceptionally dangerous to detox without professional help. It may seem counter intuitive, but in some instances the use of other prescription drugs, like methadone, may actually help alleviate or minimize the effects of withdrawal. In many prescription drug rehabilitation centers, patients are monitored 24 hours a day by medical staff while they detox from their addiction.
Detox alone is often not enough to recover from addiction and the process is usually followed by a formal recovery program, centered upon therapy and complementary treatments like yoga, exercise, meditation and acupuncture.
If you suspect a friend, loved one, child or other family member is abusing any of the following street or illicit drugs, it should be addressed immediately, before addiction can take hold and grow into a larger, more serious or fatal issue:
- Adderall, Amphetamines
There is no magic bullet
Like all addictions, there is no one cure for substance abuse. Even in sobriety, an addict remains an addict, and true recovery requires a lifelong commitment. Aftercare plays a crucial role in the recovery process and many drug addiction treatment facilities provide aftercare planning and touch-up sessions, scheduled for after an addict have completed a program in their facility. Recovering addicts may also benefit by reaching out to local support groups, like Narcotics Anonymous, that can help serve as a source of strength when relapse or temptation to relapse occurs.
Recovery Options Differ
Relapse is never inevitable, but it can happen
If you are a recovering addict, please realize that there is no shame in relapsing. Addiction is a lifelong struggle and while all of us wish it were not the case, many addicts do suffer at least one relapse in their lifetime. If this happens, remember, recovery starts with you and your commitment to sobriety. As long as you are trying to recover, there are resources available to help, including rehab. Even if you fail the first time, you can detox, enter a treatment program and try again, as many times as you need to.
Remember, you are not alone and you can get sober
If you need help with recovering from substance abuse or illicit drug addiction, please contact REHBS -they are discreet and their help comes at zero cost to you.