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Prescription Drug Treatment

What is Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment?

Approximately 52 million Americans age 12 or older had used prescription medications in a non-medical manner at some point in their lives. Many had slowly become dependant. Some people didn’t even notice when they shifted from recreational abuse to addiction, but the consequences are always severe when dependence is present. From there, a drug and alcohol detox, followed by inpatient therapy and support groups, can offer relief.

Prescription medications are intended to manage pain and the discomfort of the user’s conditions. Individuals with medical conditions like cancer or asthma, or with mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, use prescription medications to control feelings of a happy life.

But some people abuse prescription medications recreationally, across the nation and even the globe. While those who use prescription medications may think that abusing them is safe, they can cause severe consequences. Sometimes, those who abuse prescription drugs require the help of a treatment center to recover.

Understanding Prescription Drugs

The most common addictive prescription medications of concern are grouped into three categories.

All medications lumped in each category work equally and present the same sorts of benefits. These are the three varieties of prescription medications that addiction therapy specialists keep close tabs on, which include:

  • Benzodiazepines- Alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam (Valium) are three samples of benzodiazepines, a sedative medication that helps with panic attacks, anxiety, and sleep problems. They work great and are safer than barbiturates. But when abused, and even taken as directed, they can cause addiction. Discontinuing the use of these medications suddenly is dangerous. If you have become dependent on these medications, you must talk to your physician about prescription drug addiction treatment options. Prescription medications must not be shared. They are only for the person who they were prescribed for. 
  • Sleep medication- For those who have trouble sleeping, drugs like Ambien, Lunesta, and Senada can help people rest. But if these medications are used longer then the doctor suggests, there’s a chance of becoming dependent on them. Practicing a sleep regimen is the best way to treat sleeping difficulties. Although sleep medication is not as addictive as some sleeping pills, doctors have shown concern about sleeping pills being abused if not taken as prescribed.
  • Stimulants- Someone who has been prescribed stimulant amphetamines like Mydasis, Adderall, Adderall XR, and Dextroamphetamine use them for help with ADHD. But these medications are also used by some people to get high, boost their alertness and energy, or lose weight. Stimulants are a very addictive substance—higher doses cause danger in irregular heartbeat, elevated body temperature, and possibly cardiac arrest.
  • Painkillers (Opioids) Prescription painkillers will usually contain opioid hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Opioid use causes drowsiness and constipation. Higher doses can cause hazardous breathing problems. If you were taking painkillers, suddenly stopped, and now you experience flu-like symptoms, you may have become dependent upon them. You should speak to your doctor if you feel the need for these medications to do more than relieve pain.

What are Prescription Opioids Drugs?

Prescription painkillers are a form of drugs that are found naturally in opium poppy plants. Some prescription medication opioids come from the plant directly, and others are made in labs using the same chemical composition. Opioids are usually taken as medicines due to their ability to relax the body and relieve pain. Prescription opioids are primarily used to treat moderate to severe pain, but some opioids contrite coughing and diarrhea. Opioid use gives users the feeling of being relaxed, which is how they become abused for non-medical reasons. Opioids are extremely dangerous because they are highly addictive, and overdose and death are shared among users. Heroin is the most hazardous opioid globally and is never used as a medicine in the US.

Common prescription opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin) oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Morphine (Kadian, Avinza)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)

Prescription opioids used to relieve pain are usually safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor, but they can become abused. 

Prescription opioids can be abused by:

  • Using opioids in a way or dose other than prescribed
  • Using someone else’s opioids
  • Using opioids to get high

Prescription opioids are taken by being swallowed in its traditional form. People who abuse opioids will crush the pills capsules, dissolve the particles in water, inject them, or snort the powder.

Statistics on Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs in Florida

Opioids- In 2016, fentanyl and heroin had been responsible for over 4,000 overdose deaths; but, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and methadone were also the cause of almost 5,000 deaths. These prescription drugs have caused substance abuse and addiction for many Floridians over the last ten years. Although they are highly restricted in Florida now, they are still generally diverted and abused. 

Statistics of overdose deaths for prescription opioids include:

  • Morphine was included in 2,040 overdoses and caused 1,338 deaths.
  • Oxycodone was included in 1,382 overdoses and caused 723 deaths.
  • Hydrocodone was included in 692 overdoses and caused 245 deaths.
  • Methadone was included in 499 overdoses and caused 330 deaths.
  • Codeine was included in 509 overdoses and caused 87 deaths.
  • Tramadol was included in 510 overdoses and caused 144 deaths.

Florida’s long-running opioid drug epidemic originated from pill mills and unregulated pain management clinics. These facilities would prescribe enormous amounts of opioid drugs while frequently prescribing benzodiazepines alongside them. 

In 2010, The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced over 900 pain management clinics across the state, operating 90 out of 100 of the top oxycodone-dispensing physicians in the nation. Since 2012, Florida has drastically cracked down on these dispensaries and executed the PDMP to reduce the number of prescriptions. But, prescription narcotics are still overly abused across Florida.

Some of the most common prescription drugs include:

Benzodiazepines- These pills were meant to treat insomnia, anxiety, and epilepsy, but are generally abused due to how they stimulate the alcohol receptors. When taken in prescribed doses, benzodiazepines can block panic attacks or seizures and help users relax when used as directed. 

The most expected overdose fatality causing benzodiazepines include:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax) caused 1,851 overdose deaths with the medication listed as the direct cause in 813 cases
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin) caused 546 overdose deaths with the medication listed as the direct cause in 95 cases.
  • Diazepam (Valium) caused 664 overdose deaths with the medication listed as the direct cause in 183 cases
  • Lorazepam (Ativan) caused 241 overdoses with the medication listed as the direct cause in 32 cases
  • Temazepam (Restoril) caused 511 overdoses, with the medication listed as the direct cause in 101 cases.

Opioids Acting as Gateway Drugs

It is not unusual for people suffering from chronic pain to take a dozen pain pills every day. But taking prescription drugs at this level can come with a hefty financial price. Those who struggle to pay for their prescription medication may seek alternative opioids like Fentanyl or heroin, which are much cheaper than prescription painkillers.

This makes prescription painkillers gateway drugs. Addiction treatment specialists have recognized that prescription painkillers have become gateway drugs to fentanyl and heroin use.

Once a patient is committed to recovery, the next step is to explore all prescription drug addiction treatment options. The length of rehab will vary depending on the specific drug taken. Prescription drug addiction treatment will incorporate different practices, which include:

  • Detoxification- Normally, the first step of rehab will be a medical detox. This is when the treatment staff purges the patient’s body of drugs and alcohol while managing their withdrawal symptoms during the process.
  • Behavioral counseling- Group, individual, or family therapy can help patients identify their substance abuse root causes, help prepare mended relationships, and acquire healthy coping skills.
  • Medication-assisted treatment- Medication-assisted treatment uses medications to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat any co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. 
  • Long-term follow-up- This method helps patients maintain sobriety by preventing relapse. Some exercises will include attending online meetings or in-person support groups to help you keep track of your recovery. 

Types of prescription drug addiction treatment include:

Residential treatment- This form of therapy involves living at the facility for 28-90 days or longer. Patients can focus on recovery and learn addiction triggers while they undergo intensive treatment.

Partial hospitalization- This form of treatment is for patients who require continuous monitoring in a medical setting in a stable environment. These therapy programs typically meet at a treatment center for about eight hours per day, allowing patients to return home at night.

Outpatient treatment- This is not a live-in treatment program. Outpatient treatment programs are scheduled around the school, work, or other personal obligations. Patients are treating during the day or evening and go home after the sessions are over. The main focus is on relapse prevention.

Sober living homes- Residents living in a sober home usually move in after an intensive treatment program. Residents live with other recovering addicts in a supportive and safe environment. Sober living homes are useful for those who have nowhere to go or worried about returning home to an environment that could lead to relapse.

Getting Help for Prescription Drug Treatment

Behavioral Health Centers can help if you or a loved one could benefit from prescription drug addiction treatment. Our team of addiction treatment specialists understands the approach needed to assist in kicking an addiction. Do not hesitate any longer; contact us today at Behavioral Health Centers and allow our team to get you the answers you seek to get the help needed.

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