Prescription Drugs
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Prescription drugs refer to the medications prescribed by doctors to treat pain, anxiety, sleep disorders and conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They can be classified into three main categories: opioid painkillers, depressants or tranquilizers and stimulants.

  • Opioids: Used to treat severe pain. Function by binding themselves to opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body and blocking the sensation of pain.
  • Depressants: Used to treat anxiety or sleep disorders by slowing down the central nervous system. Depressants include alcohol, marijuana, barbiturates and benzodiazepines.
  • Stimulants: Used to increase energy or alertness; treat symptoms of hyperactivity, poor attention span and impulsive behavior.

Some of the common prescription drugs include OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Xanax, Valium, Adderall and Ritalin.

When taken as prescribed, prescription drugs help get rid of the problem. However, when taken in excess or in forms other than prescribed, they can increase the risk of prescription drug addiction because they are highly addictive. In 2016, an estimated 6.2 million Americans (aged 12 or above) misused prescription drugs (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives) at least once in the past month with prescription pain relievers being the most commonly misused psychotherapeutic drug.

How prescription drug abuse and addiction develops

All prescription drugs produce different effects and side effects. And people who take prescription drugs recreationally are either looking to get a “high” or have become dependent on the drugs during the prescribed period. Some people, especially students, may take stimulants to boost their energy or focus in academics or sports. However, taking prescription drugs for any reason other than prescribed can lead to prescription drug addiction.

Following are some of the common signs and symptoms of prescription drug addiction:

  • Doctor shopping — obtaining multiple prescriptions from various doctors to obtain more opioids or depressants
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking prescription medications
  • An increased reliance on prescription medications in order to get through everyday life
  • Switching from one prescription medication to an illegal substance, such as going from oxycodone to heroin
  • Combining different types of prescription drugs, such as mixing alcohol and Valium
  • Depression
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Episodes of psychosis (especially with stimulants)
  • Permanent mental impairments
  • Compulsively seeking out the drug (i.e., addiction), often at the cost of everything else

These symptoms depend on the type and the quantity of the drug abused. In addition to common symptoms, addiction to prescription drugs can make the user experience drug-specific symptoms as well.

Following are some of the signs and symptoms of opioid abuse:

  • Decreased sense of pain
  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Decreased respiration
  • Sedation
  • Stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting and constipation

Following are some of the signs and symptoms of depressant abuse:

  • Slow brain function
  • Slow pulse and breathing
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Fever
  • Sluggishness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disorientation, lack of coordination
  • Depression
  • Difficulty in urination or other urinary problems

Following are some of the signs and symptoms of stimulant abuse:

  • Sleep problems
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headaches and stomachaches
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

Reducing or stopping the use of prescription drugs abruptly can cause one to experience painful, and sometimes, deadly withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cramps
  • Insomnia

Hence, a supervised prescription drug detox treatment at certified prescription drug detox centers is recommended to help ease the withdrawal symptoms and minimize the likelihood of a relapse.

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Treatment for prescription drug addiction

Addiction can take over someone’s life and can turn to be fatal, if not treated promptly and adequately. There is also the danger of an overdose, especially with depressants, which can slow breathing to an extent that a person may stop breathing. If a person is addicted to prescription drugs, it is crucial to seek professional treatment for prescription drug addiction.

Prescription drug addiction treatment depends on the type of prescription drug a person is addicted to. In most cases though, a prescription drug rehab is one of the best places for prescription drug addiction recovery. While the treatment plans may vary for different individuals, a comprehensive prescription drug addiction treatment program combines medically supervised detoxification treatment with counseling and therapies.

The detox program helps gradually flush out drugs from the system, manage the withdrawal symptoms and treat any issues that come up during the treatment process. Once a detox is finished, the patient undergoes intense therapy or counseling sessions, which is often the most crucial step in prescription drug addiction treatment.

Therapy helps the recovering individual in learning to live without drugs and mastering the necessary life skills to identify trigger situations and avoid them accordingly.

Why choose Sovereign Health

As one of the most sought-after addiction treatment facilities for adult men and women, Sovereign Health of El Paso, Texas offers holistic residential treatment for substance use disorder. The individualized treatment offered by Sovereign Health includes cutting-edge treatment programs, which combine a vast array of traditional and modern evidence-based treatment modalities to treat the specific disorders and cultivate wellness that lasts.

Depending on a patient’s symptoms and duration of the disorder, the treatment may involve medically supervised detox followed by therapies or counseling sessions. It helps get rid of the toxic substances as well as prepare the person to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. However, the consulting expert recommends the same after a thorough assessment of the patient’s physical and psychological needs. Therapy or counseling sessions help the patients in addressing any underlying issues that may contribute to their disorder, and in learning effective coping skills to maintain recovery post successful completion of the treatment.

What gives us an edge over other behavioral healthcare providers is the fact that we remain available to provide after-care as well. This encourages the patients to attend 12-step meetings, educational events, and other activities organized especially for them after the treatment period. Continuing care offers an opportunity to our patients to seek help, in case they are unable to maintain sobriety or handle the daily life challenges on returning to routine lives.

If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drug addiction and is on the lookout for professional treatment, do not hesitate to call us. We offer the latest cutting-edge treatment methods and excellent care at our prescription drug rehab centers, thereby, facilitating a smooth transition to sobriety and a full recovery. For more information on our evidence-based treatment programs or to locate our state-of-the-art treatment centers in your vicinity, call our 24/7 helpline and speak with our specialists. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.

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Success Story
Success Story

“The therapy here helped me really look at myself and find that I am a strong individual that can deal with this and move forward in my life.”- Katie