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Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

Drug prescriptions introduce individuals to more kinds and quantities of drugs than they might otherwise encounter in their daily lives. These drugs can become a part of an individual’s daily routines, even after their treatments have concluded and their prescriptions have run out. Whether to continue to treat their originating issues or simply to maintain the “highs” that came along with the medications, individuals may find themselves looking for new ways to obtain these drugs. However, the use of prescription drugs — including opioids, sedatives and stimulants — does not make those drugs safer to use outside of doctor direction.

Individuals may continue a pattern of prescription drug use without every realizing — or admitting — they have an abuse or addiction problem. Statistics document these trends. Recent studies show that as many as 52 million Americans have used prescriptions drugs for non-prescribed uses and that over 50 percent of prescription drug users obtained their drugs from family or friends. Also, over a seven-year period, prescription drug abuse has contributed to an over 130 percent increase in emergency room visits. The prevalence of prescription drugs, ease of acquisition and wide variety of highs make detox extremely challenging to accomplish without professional help.

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse can lead to a wide range of negative physical and emotional side effects, including but not limited to:

Opioids

  • euphoria
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • breathing difficulty
  • coordination issues
  • increased pain sensitivity

Sedatives / Anti-anxiety

  • dizziness
  • lack of focus
  • disorientation
  • difficulty concentrating
  • slurred speech
  • breathing issues
  • balance issues
  • memory issues

Stimulants

  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • irritability
  • elevated temperature
  • high-blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite

Long-term Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse

Effects of abuse, by substance, include the following symptoms and will vary in severity by length of use.

Opioids

  • increased choking hazard
  • respiratory impairment
  • hypotension
  • addiction
  • overdose
  • coma
  • death

Stimulants

  • elevated temperature
  • tremors
  • hypertension
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • cardiovascular issues
  • heart attack
  • seizures
  • stroke
  • addiction
  • overdose
  • death

Sedatives / Anti-anxiety

  • respiratory impairment
  • severe to life-threatening seizures
  • addiction
  • overdose
  • death

Symptoms of Withdrawal from Prescription Drugs

Withdrawal symptoms from prescription medications vary by substance but will often include:

Opioids

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • body aches
  • sweating and chills
  • dilated eyes
  • insomnia

Sedatives / Anti-anxiety

  • sweating
  • shaking or tremors
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • racing heartbeat
  • seizures

Stimulants

  • irritability
  • trouble sleep
  • insomnia
  • depression

The Need for a Supervised Detox from Prescription Medications

Your body will go through many changes as you cease to use your substance of choice. Since your body has come to rely on these substances, stopping use typically means your entire body chemistry must readjust. With those chemical changes, you will likely experience a combination of emotional and physical trauma, in various degrees of severity and at various times, that will vary from individual to individual. You might start feeling better then immediately worse, leaving you no meaningful way to judge the success of your detox.

To get through this time — and simply know where you stand — you will need the support of knowledgable, trained professionals who know the detox process, its unique challenges and your personal struggles first-hand. You’ll need a mix of comfort, medical care and education — on the process of healing, and how to move forward meaningfully — often all on the same day. You’ll need not only someone to treat you but to stand with you when it gets hardest. Garden Wellness Center’s experienced, capable and caring staff have helped thousands through their detox and into healthier lives and would also like to help you.

Garden Wellness Center’s Integrated Approach to Prescription Drug Detox

Behaviors play as significant a role in addiction as chemical dependency. The presence of certain behaviors may predispose individuals to chemical dependency, while the absence of other behaviors may sustain and prolong that addiction. Further, chemical dependency changes the fundamental ways in which our bodies and minds function, making will-power and simply “deciding to stop” often very ineffective self-treatments, especially if attempted alone.

We believe that treatment methods which help build healthy responses to triggers — as well as provide compassionate medical support — give you the greatest chance at a lasting sobriety. Treating behaviors alone leaves the propensity for addiction intact, while treating chemical dependency alone leaves you vulnerable to future temptations. An approach which supports you medically, while also giving you the tools, positive experiences and self-confidence you’ll need to flourish drug-free, not only addresses all aspects of your recovery, but also prepares you to succeed in the face of real world challenges.

Our doctors, counselors and staff understand the toll addiction takes and the courage it requires to admit you have a problem and need help. We value that trust and strive to create more than a doctor-patient relationship, but a partnership and friendship to provide the support you need when you need it most. Call our counselors today to discuss all of your recovery options. You’ve already taken the first steps towards wellness, let Garden Wellness Center help you complete the journey.