Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription drug addiction ruins lives, and it takes lives. The CDC estimates that every day, 44 people in the U.S. die from overdose of prescription painkillers, and many more become addicted.
This is a problem that is getting worse, not better, and it will not go away on its own. Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, leading to 52 million people in the U.S. having used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In contrast, the number of prescription medicine abusers in 2010 was 8.76 million.
Prescription painkillers are opioids, in the same family of drugs as heroin. These medications have the same effect on the body as heroin, including pain relief, numbness, and drowsiness. Severe symptoms of opioid abuse include respiratory depression, addiction, and overdose. Just like heroin, prescription painkillers are hard to stop, and someone who abuses them can quickly become dependent. They will want more and more of the drugs and will go to great lengths, even lying and stealing from loved ones, to get more.
Causes of Prescription Drug Addiction
For many people, prescription drug addiction starts gradually. The person might have needed painkillers because of an injury or some type of surgery. Because prescription opioids are addicting, many people who use them for legitimate pain management end up craving them and not able to stop using. Over time, they need more drugs to feel the same relief, or they like the way the pills make them feel and take more of them than they should.
Prescription painkillers are widely available because so many people are prescribed them for pain. Those that are addicted might doctor shop to get more of their drugs. Others resort to buying the pills on the Internet or stealing from family or friends’ medicine cabinets.
One reason prescription drug abuse has become such a problem is people’s perception of these drugs. Many would say prescription painkillers are a safe alternative to harder street drugs like heroin or meth, but they are wrong. Prescription painkillers carry with them more risks than just addiction. Overdoses are relatively common, and dangerous side effects can occur when these drugs are mixed with other drugs or alcohol.
Prescription Drug Addiction Recovery
Treatment for prescription painkiller addiction is much the same as for any other drug. Those who are addicted to these drugs must first detox, and then go through counseling and therapy to prepare for a life without the drugs. Drug addiction always starts for a reason, and by learning about the addiction and the underlying reasons for it, a person can learn to take control back from it.
Have you found yourself experimenting with prescription painkillers? Do you think you might have a prescription drug addiction? Community Rehab can help. We offer a full service program that helps people learn what it means to live a sober life again. We focus on not only the physical and psychological aspect of a person, but on their emotional and social health as well.
Our treatment services are designed to bring out your true authentic self without the drugs and alcohol.