The dangers of prescription drug abuse

Is it possible that you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs? At Eden Rehabilitation Centre, we understand that most of us take prescription drugs only for the reason the doctor intended. Nevertheless, an estimated 48 million people (aged 12 and older), according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in their lifetime and many result in addiction and the need for recovery.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in prescription drug misuse or abuse. This increase has led to a corresponding increase in ER visits because of accidental overdoses as well as admissions to drug treatment programmes for drug addictions

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is one of the most poorly recognized types of chemical dependency, particularly in women. A prescription drug is any medicine regulated by law to require a doctor’s prescription before it can be obtained. Prescription drugs generally work by either suppressing or promoting chemical reactions in the brain.

Three different classes of prescriptions, Eden Recovery Centre emphasises, are most susceptible to abuse and treatment and recovery is imperative:

  • Stimulants: most commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Opiates: most often prescribed to treat severe or chronic pain
  • Tranquilizers / sedatives: frequently prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or sleep disorders

Drug-seeking behaviours are the primary warning signs of prescription drug abuse, regardless of the chemical makeup of the medication. These behaviours include:

  • Frequent requests for refills from physicians
  • Losing prescriptions and requesting replacements regularly
  • Crushing or breaking pills
  • Stealing or borrowing prescription medications from family members, friends, or co-workers
  • Consuming prescriptions much faster than indicated
  • Visiting multiple doctors for similar conditions
  • Inconsistent answers to questions about prescription usage
  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Consumption of over-the-counter drugs for the same conditions that a doctor has prescribed other medication
  • Ordering prescription medications over the internet

Several other behavior patterns often accompany the emergence of prescription drug addiction and treatment for recovery may be needed. They should also be considered signs of a progressing addictive disease process:

  • Noticeable mood swings corresponding to availability or absence of prescription drugs
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Increasing irritability, especially when prescriptions are unavailable
  • More frequent alcohol consumption

If you are concerned about your, or a loved one’s, addiction with prescription drugs, please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.

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