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Prescription drug abuse is thought to be the fastest-growing drug problem in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people associate drug addiction with illicit street drugs. However, prescription drug abuse is responsible for more deaths from overdose each year in America than deaths caused by cocaine or heroin combined. Here are some facts about prescription drug abuse that you need to know.
For prescription drug abuse treatment information, reach out to Clifton Drug Rehab. Call (973) 396-1240 for assistance now.
Abuse of prescription drugs is categorized as misusing medication in larger doses than were prescribed by a doctor or taking pills that were not prescribed for you. Many people take opioid medications in an effort to ‘get high’ by taking advantage of the euphoric sensations these types of drugs can produce. Others take painkillers in an effort to control pain or to self-medicate and often don’t realize they’re developing a dependency on the drug over time.
Prescription medication abuse is more prevalent in America than abuse of heroin, cocaine or methamphetamines. In fact, abuse of prescription pills is third only to abuse of alcohol or tobacco.
Opioids are one of the most commonly abused drug classes. Natural opioids like morphine or codeine have similar effects to heroin and they’re equally as addictive. Oxycodone and OxyContin are semi-synthetic opioid drugs that are also highly addictive. Yet they’re frequently prescribed to help patients control pain.
Hydrocodone is synthetic heroin, so the effects are very similar to heroin but the risk of addiction and dependency is much higher. Fentanyl is estimated to be up to 50 times more potent than natural opioids like morphine, so the risk of abuse and addiction is also much higher.
Stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall act on the same brain neurotransmitters as cocaine. These medications can produce a feeling of euphoria and alertness, which often leads to abuse in many users.
Tranquilizers and sedatives like Xanax and Valium are also commonly abused. These medications are commonly used to treat anxiety, but they’re frequently abused as they produce a calming effect.
The signs and symptoms indicating that a person is abusing prescription drugs will vary, depending on the particular drug being taken. For many prescription pill addicts, common signs may include taking higher doses of the drug than they were prescribed or seeking additional prescriptions from more than one doctor. Some people may lose prescriptions a bit too frequently, requiring replacement prescriptions to be written out.
Symptoms will depend on the type of drug being abused, but some common things to watch for include:
Withdrawal from hydrocodone or fentanyl or OxyContin may require specific drug rehab treatment. Withdrawal symptoms from opiate drugs are very similar to those caused by heroin withdrawal. If the level of dependency is high, methadone treatment may be required to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Adderall affects the central nervous system, so detoxing from the drug can produce powerful symptoms, including intense cravings, anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, depression, insomnia and lack of energy. Treatment for Adderall withdrawals doesn’t usually require medical detox. However, it’s wise to seek professional help from a rehab center to reduce the risk of returning to drug use.
Withdrawing from Xanax addiction can be dangerous unless properly supervised in a rehab center or hospital. Symptoms can include seizures, extreme depression, suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior, blurred vision, anxiety and death as a result of suicide.
It’s never advised to try and withdraw from prescription medication on your own without medical supervision. Always seek the advice of a specialist drug treatment facility. For help now, contact Clifton Drug Rehab at (973) 396-1240.
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