Prescription drug addiction is seeing a gradual increase and many don’t understand its seriousness.
Since the doctor prescribes the medicine, the addicts feel it’s different from drug addiction. The reality that drug abuse is as dangerous as any other drug addiction like marijuana, cocaine or heroin, and when goes beyond a level, the addicts need drug addiction treatment. Around 50 percent of emergency rooms patients admitted with drug addiction complaints come under the category of over use or over dosage of prescribed medicine. Prescription drug abuse statistics states that prescription drug abuse accounts for one third of drug addiction in the United States.
What Does Addiction Mean?
A prescription drug addict continues to use the drug although it begins to have negative effects in their life. If you suspect your family member, friend, relative or a co worker is becoming a victim of this addiction, it’s necessary that you take the necessary steps for prescription drug abuse prevention. If you think the situation has gone beyond prevention, you should immediately arrange for a drug abuse treatment. Here are some facts that might be useful.
Signs and symptoms
- Complaining about unclear symptoms as an attempt to acquire more drugs
- Disinterest in any other treatment option than medication
- Record of drug addiction in the past
- Mood swings
- Making use of prescription drugs meant for others
- Using the prescription drug more than the prescribed amount
- Consulting more pharmacies/physicians to obtain more medications
- Agitation when the addict is unable to get the drug
- Gradually deteriorating teeth
- Financial problems where all other requirements take a back seat except the expense for the drug
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Episodes of euphoria in the midst of depression
- Frequent anxiety attacks
- Disturbance in sleeping pattern
- Attempts to steal the required drug
- Borrowing other’s left over medicines
Some of these signs, especially the ones related to mental health might also indicate other illness that is arising due to over usage of the drug. In this case the new condition along with the addiction has to be treated.
Causes off Dependency
Prescription drugs work the same way on the user’s mind the way other illicit drugs do. When a person becomes addicted to a specific drug it alters the chemistry of the brain, thereby restricting the production of endorphins or dopamine. The brain slowly stops producing these chemicals and is in need of another source to make up for the deficit. This is the point where a person becomes physically dependant on the drug. Aged people are at more risk of developing this addiction because they get their prescriptions more often than the other age groups. For instance, if a physician prescribes a tranquilizer to cope with a death in the family, the patient is able to have a peaceful sleep. Slowly he/she starts to depend completely on the drug for sleeping and calming the mind.
When they run out of the drugs, they consult the same or another doctor for prescription of the same tranquilizer. This is the way the addiction begins and may need to seek prescription drug addiction help
Effects of Abuse
- Difficulty in sleeping or sleeping all the time
- Disinterest in spending time with family members and friends
- Withdrawal symptoms on discontinuation of the drug
One of the most important effects to be aware of while dealing with this kind of addiction is the drug interaction. If the physician or chemist is unaware of the medicines the addict is already taking, they may prescribe a drug that might produce undesirable effects when combined with the other prescribed drug. Herbal remedies and vitamins come under this classification as well. Alcohol consumption along with prescription drug intake sometimes can produce devastating effects. Alcohol taken along with pain killer or a sedative has the power to impair your central nervous system that in turn can lead to respiratory problems and sometimes even death.
Just like any other form addiction, treating prescription drug addiction can be done in rehab.
In a rehab, the patient affected by prescription drug addiction is closely monitored. The effects of medicines they take are tracked and necessary help is provided.