Researchers warn that the United States is in the middle of a prescription drug abuse epidemic. How bad is it? More importantly, are you caught up in it? If so, is there a way out?
What is Prescription Drug Abuse?
How do you know if you’re currently abusing prescriptions? Well, if you’re taking someone else’s prescription drugs, it can be a warning sign. As always, there are nuances that indicate drug abuse.
If you’re at a friend’s house and get an intense migraine, someone might offer you a pain reliever. When you visit the friend’s home again and ask for another pain pill, with or without reason, it might be abuse. Maybe you enjoyed the way the medication made you feel. Now, you want to relive the good time you had after taking the pill last time.
Another form of prescription drug abuse involves the off-label use of medications your doctor gave you. Doing so might include an increase of the dose, crushing pills for snorting, or injecting the substance. You may continue to ask for and fill, prescriptions for pain or other conditions which you no longer experience.
Why is the Abuse of Prescriptions So Serious?
A large number of prescriptions act on neurotransmitters in your brain. The most famous one is dopamine, which produces feelings of well-being. By artificially tricking the brain into releasing dopamine, you can generate these feelings at will. Not surprisingly, this positive reinforcement is the possible beginning of a painkiller addiction.
However, these chemicals also do something else. They change the brain’s chemistry. After a short while, dopamine release becomes dependent on the presence of the chemicals in the prescriptions. You don’t feel good any longer until you take the drugs in increasing doses. With this vicious cycle set in motion, it’s easy to understand the prescription drug abuse epidemic.
What are the Most Commonly Abused Medications?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse identifies three classes of medications. For opioids, the experts mention fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. You may know these drugs as Duragesic, Vicodin, and OxyContin. These are painkillers.
Drugs affecting the central nervous system include diazepam and alprazolam. In your medicine cabinet, the bottles most likely read Valium and Xanax. In the stimulant family, there are methylphenidate and amphetamines, or Ritalin and Adderall. Abuse of these medications can start as early as middle school.
How Do You Stop Prescription Drug Abuse?
If you’ve fallen victim to the painkillers a doctor prescribed for you, you’re not alone. Plenty of patients have suffered pain, visited their doctors, received prescriptions, and became dependent. From there, it was a short step to a substance abuse problem. What you may not know, however, is that ending prescription drug abuse can be just as quick.
Specialized treatment facilities now offer medically supervised detox in as little as seven days. Their programs include:
- Men’s detox that focuses on accountability and rehab readiness.
- Women’s detoxification to assist moms, wives, and daughters to experience detox in a nurturing, safe environment.
- Pain pill withdrawal, which ensures your physical well-being during the hardest part of the detox process.
- Around-the-clock assistance with encouragement, challenges, and someone to talk to.
- A supportive environment where therapists know your name and care about your well-being.
- Gradual withdrawal that minimizes physical discomfort.
- Take the First Step to Overcoming Prescription Drug Abuse.
Detox is the beginning of your journey to recovery. It’s a courageous step to take, and the friendly experts at Serenity House Detox support you along the way. Make today the day that you stop allowing medications to control your life. Dial 866-294-5306 now for immediate help.