Prescription drug misuse can be accidental or may be a deliberate non-medical use of the drug. A person may try to maintain the effects of a drug over time by upping the dose. Substance abuse and possibly addiction has taken hold at this point.
Psychotropic drug addiction and abuse have skyrocketed in the U.S., and accidental death by overdose is on the rise.
How misused prescription drugs are obtained:
Most misused prescription drugs are not obtained through the Internet, but through a doctor’s prescription or using someone else’s medications. All old drugs in the medicine cabinet should be safely disposed of, and others secured. Never share drugs or save unused or expired medications.
Post-surgical relapse is a real risk for those in recovery from addiction. Be sure that every person on your medical team understands your addiction and that all narcotic medications for acute pain are tapered properly. You need support and help monitoring medication dosage following surgery.
Those who are actively addicted to pain pills will no doubt surprise their medical team after surgery because they will demand more pain pills and often ask for an increased dosage.
The incidence of prescription drug abuse is significant in the U.S.
According to the NIH, there were some 7 million people currently using psychotropic dugs non-medically. These drugs target the central nervous system.
The most common drugs reported are:
Adolescents are choosing psychotropic drugs more than they are using illegal drugs to get a high.
Many users don’t realize the dangers in using these prescription drugs. Older people, especially women, have received anti-anxiety or sleep-inducing drugs for long periods of time, even decades. They may seek higher doses or mix with alcohol or other drugs to increase the effect, maintain the effect or feel high. Addiction can develop slowly from misuse, and then the user may “doctor shop” to get more.
Risks of psychotropic prescription drugs:
Opioids are addictive, and can lead to overdose or unintentional catastrophic effects by mixing with alcohol or other drugs. They increase the risk of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C when taken intravenously.
Central Nervous System Depressants lead to addiction and can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Mixed with alcohol, they can be deadly. The half-life of some of these drugs has caused numerous mishaps, such as accidents and unconscious behaviors of which the user has no memory. Overdose can result in severe respiratory depression.
Stimulants used to treat ADHD have numerous health consequences, such as heart arrhythmia and other cardiac problems, psychosis, and seizures.
Prescription drug addiction can be treated:
While alcohol is still the top drug of choice, alcohol is often combined with drug use, including that of prescription drugs, and often multiple drugs.
Holistic treatment includes medical detox and stabilization, and is rooted in the 12-Step philosophy. Origins’ highly credentialed, multidisciplinary team addresses mind, body and spirit. Relapse prevention is integrated in rehab, as the patient and the family gain tools for successful recovery.