Tag: Prescription Drug Abuse

Abuse and Addiction to Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drug AbuseIt is likely that you have heard about the hazards of abusing and becoming addicted to prescription drugs. Unfortunately, even with all the press that prescription drug abuse and addiction has received it continues to be a growing trend. As of 2011, the National Drug Threat Assessment reported that controlled prescription drug abuse was only surpassed in the United States by marijuana abuse. The primary drugs fueling the plague of prescription addiction problems here in America are pain and anxiety medications. Both of these types of medications are potent, highly addictive and extraordinarily unsafe when combined with one another or other substances including alcohol.

What are some of the most common prescription drugs abused?

OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma are the most common prescription drugs abused. Fentanyl is another prescription narcotic that is being abused by more and more individuals. This medication is a painkiller that comes in a few unique forms; patches and lollipops. One of the primary reasons why this drug is so desirable to prescription drug abusers is because it is said to be 100 times more powerful than morphine.

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Prescription DrugsWhen it comes down to it, in some ways prescription drug abuse is much more dangerous than street drugs because users do not have their guard up. They tend to feel safer taking prescription drugs because they have been prescribed by doctors and handed out at pharmacies across the country. Prescription drug addicts do not have to buy their drugs on the streets; many can find what they need right there in their home medicine cabinet or that of their family or friends.

What is also different between street drugs and prescription drugs is the stigma attached with addiction to this genre of substances. Where illicit street drugs like heroin, meth and cocaine can seem dirty or even low-class, taking a prescription medication is something that almost everyone does at some point in their life. Abusing prescription drugs doesn’t have the same negative associations that illicit street drugs do because these medicines come out of bottles or blister packs making them feel clean and safe to consume.

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Today, drug rehab is available throughout the country for addiction to prescription drugs. Narconon Fresh Start helps individuals recover from prescription drug addiction and find lasting sobriety. We understand that choosing to get help to stop your addiction problem is one of the most life challenging decisions you might have to make. While the process is not easy, getting off of prescription drugs will lead to a better quality of life and a chance to see your future free from the control that prescription drugs have over you today.

I didn’t know the dangers of prescription drugs

Prescription DrugsBefore Narconon Fresh Start I didn’t realize the many dangers of prescription drugs. I had a prescription in my name so I figured that if I wanted to take another Xanax it wasn’t really a big deal. I would use these prescription drugs to help me come down from the cocaine I was abusing, to help with the “recovery” from my binders and to take the edge off when necessary.

When I came to rehab I thought my only addiction was to the cocaine and marijuana I was using every day. After about a week I realized that I was craving Xanax and other prescription drugs that I regularly abused; that made me stop and think about my total drug use. Turns out that I was not only addicted to cocaine and marijuana but also to the prescription drugs that I was habitually consuming. It had never even crossed my mind that they were even an issue. After completing the Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab program and having several years of sobriety under my belt I know better than to put blind faith in a prescription drugs.

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I only take what is absolutely necessary these days and avoid addictive substances. For example, when I had my children I made it clear that I didn’t want any pain medication after their birth and refused to take the prescription for Vicodin home that my doctor had left for me. I didn’t need that kind of temptation in my house. While prescription medications have a place in helping people, their abuse has led to so many deaths and tragedies that I am a strong supporter of being open and frank with today’s youth about their dangers. My children know the dangers of drugs, including prescription drugs and I will continue to reiterate that fact over and over again throughout their life.

Prescription Drugs: What Parents Need to Know

Talking to your child about the dangers of prescription drugs can be a difficult topic to discuss. As a parent of two boys I understand the struggles of just getting them to open up about their day and who they are “hanging” out with. It is shocking to hear but a recent survey found that only 22% of teens today report discussing the risks of abusing any prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription with their parents. While it may be a rough topic to bring up, it is vital that you speak with your child or young adult about the dangers of prescription drugs before they hear about them from their friends. Current statistics show that one in five seniors in high school has abused a prescription drug by the time they graduate high school! It is estimated that each day in America an average of 2,000 teens abuse a prescription drug for the very first time.

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Today’s youth are under the impression that all prescription drugs are safe because they are prescribed by a doctor and come in regulated doses. They are right there on their parent’s medicine shelves so how could they be dangerous?  Unfortunately, this misguided belief draws more and more youth to try prescription drugs each year without realizing that under certain circumstances the prescription drugs they are abusing are just as dangerous for their health and wellbeing as street drugs. When prescription drugs are abused, taken in combination with alcohol or other substances or ingested in a way contrary to the directions on the container … severe consequences are likely to take place; anything from dependence, slower brain activity, irregular heartbeats, dangerously high body temperature, heart failure, even strokes and seizures.

As a parent, if you don’t know what signs or symptoms to look for regarding prescription drug abuse then you might miss them all together. Common signs and symptoms of prescription opioid painkillers include: constipation, depression, low blood pressure, decreased breathing rate, confusion, sweating, and poor coordination. Signs and symptoms of prescription sedatives and anti-anxiety medications include: drowsiness, confusion, unsteady walking, poor judgment, involuntary and rapid movement of the eyeball and dizziness. The common signs and symptoms of prescription stimulant abuse include: weight loss, agitation, irritability, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, restlessness and impulsive behavior. Additional signs of prescription drug abuse among teens include stealing, excessive mood swings or hostility, an increase or decrease in sleep, poor decision making and appearing to be “high” either energetic/revved up or sedated.

America’s youth are abusing prescription medications as well as over the counter drugs such as cough syrups. These substances are being abused because they are easily accessible, harder to detect by parents and simpler to hide. Teens are getting prescription drugs from their own parent’s medicine cabinets, the homes of their relatives or friends and even for sale from some drug dealers.

For many young adults, prescription drug abuse has become a gateway into the abuse of “harder” street drugs. A person who abuses and becomes addicted to a drug such as OxyContin may eventually switch to using heroin because it is cheaper. Recently, the University of Buffalo conducted a study, the results showed that 92% of the drug users who abused heroin were doing so because they had first become addicted to OxyContin and had switched to heroin.

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Speak openly with the children you care for about prescription drugs. Instill in them the fact that they need to respect the power of prescription drugs and choose to use these substances properly. Explain that ALL medications, including prescription drugs have RISKS when taken along with their benefits; and that these risks increase when the mediation is abused. Be sure that the young adult in your life understands that it is their responsibility to only take their prescription medications and to do so safely and appropriately. Lastly, if they recognize that they or a friend has a problem with prescription drugs or any other substance they need to speak up and seek help right away so that the problem does not escalate.

Young adults, the most common abusers of prescription drugs

Current research from SAMHSA has found that young adults between the ages of 18-25 years old are the largest age group abusing prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHD stimulant medications and anti-anxiety drugs. There are many reasons behind their misuse of these drugs including to get high and to help them study better in school. What these young adults do not realize is that prescription drugs can be just as deadly as illegal street drugs when misused or taken in combination with street drugs, other prescription drugs or alcohol. Reports show that in 2010, nearly 3,000 young adults died due to prescription drugs (primarily opioid) overdose. Even more young adults died that year because of illicit street drugs such as heroin and cocaine raising the death toll even higher.

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Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab centers are able to help prescription drug addicted individuals stop using, uncover and resolve their underlying issues and develop new ways of handling life without resorting to prescription drugs as a solution. Their treatment methods are entirely drug-free and utilize a cognitive behavioral modification model of addiction recovery resulting in a very high success rate at accomplishing true rehabilitation for over 45 years. The treatment philosophy that Narconon Fresh Start programs operate under is not based on the disease model of addiction, which states that a person with an addiction will always be an addict with an incurable disease. The addicted person can only hope to learn to cope with their disease for the rest of their life, never truly recovering from it. Narconon Fresh Start treats addiction to drugs and alcohol for what it truly is, a physical and mental problem that has to be overcome while addressing and resolving the underlying issues that drove the person to use in the first place. Their rehabilitation philosophy is centered on identifying and handling the specific causes of the individual’s addiction and the many behaviors related to it.

Prescription Drug Rehab

Typically, when you think of a drug addict a number of stereotypical images come to mind. However, prescription drug addicts, in a majority of cases, do not look like the cliché addict or alcoholic. People who struggle with prescription drug issues might be your close friend, your mom or even the dependable co-worker you chat with each day. Prescription drug addiction is a dangerous problem and has been growing exponentially for years; this is attributed to the fact that many people are able to hide their abuse of prescription drugs. Loved ones are unable to look at them and know what the problem is because there are few if any telltale signs. It is not until the prescription drug abuse has progressed to full-fledged prescription drug addiction that the issue becomes obvious. Additionally, the majority of prescription drug addicts wouldn’t acknowledge their problem; this is a key reason why prescription drug addiction is so dangerous. When looking at those who may struggle with prescription drug addiction, it is not usually the people you’d expect. As a leader in the field of addiction recovery, Narconon Fresh Start is seeing an increase in prescription drug addiction cases. These are individuals who years, if not months prior were non-addicted people. However, the addictive makeup of specific prescription drugs affected them to a point where a problem with prescription drug abuse got out of hand and has developed into an addiction problem.

Usually when talking about prescription drug addiction problems, the culprit that comes to mind is pain pills (analgesics). Many prescription analgesics have a narcotic/opiate makeup, making them highly addictive in the right situations. But opiates are not the only prescription drugs that have an addictive makeup. Many individuals are prescribed benzodiazepine (tranquilizers) based drugs for anxiety and panic problems. Additionally a number of other psychotropic drugs prescribed for things like depression and attention deficit disorder have also caused prescription drug addiction issues.

Prescription drug addiction can begin so subtly. A person is prescribed a drug to meet the needs of a particular ailment or problem. The doctor will make recommendations on frequency and amount of use. The prescribed amount is usually a standard measurement or dosage to provide effective relief. Over a period of time however, the body can become accustomed to the effects of the drug in the system and a standard dosage may seem ineffective. A person can have thoughts of “These pills aren’t working”, or “Maybe I should take one more with my doses.” An increase of dosage should always be consulted with a medical professional. Because of the addictiveness of some drugs, an increase can result in substance abuse, and a consistency of needing to increase the dose to feel the effect. Over time, the increase in dosage problem can spiral into severe drug addiction problem requiring prescription drug rehab, i.e. Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab centers.

So how does one determine if a loved one has a prescription drug addiction problem? Look at how the drugs are being used. Are they taken according to dosage, or in excessive amounts? Are they looking for prescription refills despite their doctor’s recommendations? Is the practice of taking prescription drugs more about the feeling they provide than what they were prescribed for? When prescription drug addiction takes hold of a person the best and most effective solution is for the person to enroll in prescription drug rehab. Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab centers have been able to help people addicted to all types of prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and alcohol make lasting recoveries. Their treatment programs are all inclusive and address each part of the individual’s addiction problem. Through the course of their time at a Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab center clients heal physically, psychologically and emotionally from the damage their prescription drug addiction has taken on them. All Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab centers are not for profit, provide a time variable approach to recovery, non-group therapy/individualized approach, secluded distraction free locations, body cleansing and purification program, proven life skills rehabilitation technology, an extremely high success rate and program guarantee.