The number of Americans misusing prescription pills each year is estimated to be 16 million. In other words, nearly 6% of the US population. Considering that nearly 66% of Americans are prescribed drugs every year, this isn’t surprising.
Prescription drugs are not all addictive, and not all people who are prescribed drugs become addicted. With such a large proportion of the population prescribed drugs, they are almost inevitable to be abused.
These data highlight the importance of prescription drug treatment more than ever. Here are some tips to help you or a loved one cope with prescription drug abuse.
The Definition of Prescription Drug Abuse
Both mental and physical healing can be facilitated through the use of prescription drugs. Their use is common for treating a variety of health problems.
Nonetheless, patients might end up abusing drugs if they take their prescription medications differently than their doctors prescribe.
While not all prescription drugs are addictive, some do carry side effects that can result in an obsession.
An example of this could be that opioids are prescribed for numbing pain which can have similar effects to heroin. In terms of their ability to treat pain as well as their addictive properties.
Medication taken according to a doctor’s prescription reduces the risk of addiction. However, this isn’t always the case. Even if prescribed by their doctor, prescriptions can become addictive for people who are prone to addiction.
Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to recognize problems early and speak openly with your doctor about them.
A prescription drug might also be abused recreationally by addicts without a prescription. They can be mixed with illicit drugs to combat the unpleasant side effects of illicit drugs in some cases.
When Does Prescription Drug Abuse Become a Problem?
It might not be a problem right away if you consume prescription drugs differently from the way you were prescribed by a doctor. It is rare that drugs out of line turn into abuse right away.
In some cases, however, patients can become addicted quickly if they do not follow their physician’s instructions.
In many cases, it starts with playing doctor at home and deciding when and how to take the prescription. In some cases, this is unintentional.
As an example, a patient who is in pain might abuse opioids just to ease their discomfort.
However, this is not OK and should not be taken lightly, especially with drugs of such high potency and addiction risk.
When such a situation arises, it’s always best to consult your doctor first.
The most common signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse include:
- Pills or medication bottles going missing from your home
- Taking medication in ways other than directed by medical professionals
- Unexplained changes in their finances
- Extreme mood swings
- Symptoms of drowsiness or intoxication after the prescription timeline has ended
- Slurred speech
- Changes in sleep patterns including insomnia
- Lack of care for oneself, activities, work, and family
- Extreme fatigue
- Rapid changes in weight
- Dry lips
- Problems at work
Prescription pill abuse can be serious, so seek help as soon as possible if you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms.
What to Look for in a Prescription Drug Treatment Center
You should seek help if you notice that you or a loved one is experiencing the signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse.
When searching for the right prescription drug treatment center, keep these factors in mind:
- Outstanding and legitimate staff credentials
- Onsite medical care
- Program accreditation by health organizations such as JCAHO or CARF.
- Financing options
- Support and 12-step programs
- Tailored recovery solutions
- Life integration programs
- Comfortable spaces
Where to Look for Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse
It can be challenging to find the right prescription drug treatment. Ultimately, you want to make sure that you are investing in the right treatment and making the right decision.
A number of online sources provide directories of treatment centers, including the federal SAMHSA treatment directory.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by hundreds if not thousands of search results when searching online, leaving you even more lost and confused than when you began.
Fortunately, Veritas Detox offers top-notch prescription drug treatment. Call us or get in touch with us 24/7 so we can help you or your loved one get the help you need.
We can assist you or a loved one in getting the help you need right now by contacting one of our admission counselors.