As the epidemic of prescription drug abuse grows each year, more and more sufferers are seeking ways to rid themselves of the burden to health and personal life that prescription drug addictions can create. The results of prescription substance abuse can vary from person to person, but damage to health is a major component in the desire to change in many individuals who suffer from addiction.
As results of prescription drug problems, damage to personal and financial affairs can also be a significant factor in seeking help. People suffering from an addiction may miss their old selves, and want to rekindle friendships and family connections that have dwindled as a result of drug use. Whatever the reasons for attempting to solve a prescription drug problem, the good news is that many inpatient facilities can provide safe and calming environments, expert care, and ironclad advice from which to take a step back and renew one’s life.
How Prescription Drug Problems Begin
For a variety of different reasons, from a typical drug regimen that has turned into an addiction to escape from reality that has spiraled out of control, misuse of prescription medications has risen exponentially in recent years. Many experts speculate that this is due to persons trying to self-regulate depression or other disorders. Painkillers are far and away the most misuse of prescription medications, suggesting that for many users the taking of drugs is an attempt to gain a temporary respite from reality. While that escape might initially be liberating, its long-term effects can do untold damage to the psyche and the person.
How Prescription Drug Abuse Can Affect Health and Withdrawal Can Be Dangerous
This form of self-medication can be especially hard on the body because a physician cannot monitor use of the drug and thus prevent damage to the body as a need for the drug increases along with its toxic effects. As people suffering from addiction use more of medication to achieve the same effect lost by tolerance, they often don’t realize that the toxic results of using the drug are not subject to the same tolerance by the body, for example. This damage becomes even more prevalent when drugs are combined or used with alcohol, often resulting in fatal depression of the respiratory or nervous system. Some drug overdose rates have been cited by studies as having tripled in the last twenty-five years alone.
Types of Commonly Abused Prescription Medications
Some types of commonly abused prescription medications include:
- Opiates: Codeine, Morphine, Oxycontin
- Stimulants: Amphetamines
- Benzodiazepines: Xanax, Klonopin
Why Different Prescription Drug Addictions Require Specific Types of Care and Help
Because different prescription medications can have radically different effects, the dangers of addiction to them can be extremely different in nature. This is why physicians and other professionals within inpatient facilities can approach addiction from the best method for the patient.
Barbiturates, sleep medications, benzodiazepines, and opiates, for example, can lower heart rate and breathing levels to dangerous levels when not monitored properly, often resulting in either coma or death on the part of the user. This is especially true when such medications are combined with alcohol or other depressants. Withdrawal symptoms of such drugs can be severe and disabling, but significantly helped by the assistance of professionals and inpatient treatment.
Prescription medications such as amphetamines, on the other hand, can create heart and dental problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and broken teeth due to increased heart rate and blood pressure and grinding of teeth, as well as psychological effects such as paranoia and hallucinations.
For these reasons, prescription medications are often heavily monitored by physicians; when patients take matters into their hands, effects can be devastating. Inpatient treatment is just one way to allow trained professionals to analyze how the drug is interacting with the patient’s life and health.
While prescription medication overuse (or even prescribed use) can offer temporary relief for problems, there can also be a hefty price paid by users of such drugs as health or mental problems arise. Addiction can also be a typical result of prolonged use of an even regulated prescription drug, resulting in an inability of users to control their intake of such drugs without help.
Withdrawal symptoms of even seemingly mild drugs such as Xanax can also be profound in their effects, ironically turning attempts at managing anxiety into a nightmare of stress and depression as the user tries to control their emotional state. This cycle of stress management is one of the most difficult parts of recovery from addiction, as drugs are used to treat anxiety and depression but ultimately exacerbate those conditions.
Dangers of Long-Term Prescription Drug Abuse
Another risk of long-term prescription drug abuse is the relative rarity of supply of such medications. Expense or scarcity of drugs can also make common prescription medications into stepping stones to other, more dangerous and more unregulated drugs: A person who has become addicted to painkillers such as Oxycontin may turn to street drugs such as heroin to meet their habit when pills cannot be obtained, and when drugs like heroin are cut with substances like Fentanyl, the chance of overdose can be extremely high. Users of other medications may turn to black market sources, which can also be cut with dangerous substances. Because of impurities in street drugs, even greater health risks such as overdose and death may be of concern.
Why Inpatient Treatment Works
Inpatient treatment is often one of the best available options for ending addiction to prescription medications because of monitoring by professionals, who can help those affected by addiction overcome withdrawal symptoms and provide continuation into support groups or use of other recovery methods to manage psychological issues related to addiction.
If you feel the need to bridge your life into new and more healthy fields, finding the right inpatient treatment can do much to help. With the right help from professionals, a new and more fulfilling period of life may be just around the corner. And that kind of health and well-being is worth the will to change.