Image of Prescription Drugs

In this article we’ll cover the following:

Prescription drugs may be beneficial and play a major role in certain individuals. But an alarming and growing number of people use prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. Over the last ten years, the number of prescription drug addicts has increased.

Prescription drugs addiction has slowly been creeping into an increasing number, making it an epidemic.

There are various reasons why it’s easy for addicts to get prescribed drugs to satisfy their addiction:

  • Prescription drugs are prescribed to certain individuals that need it, making it widely available.
  • People prescribed with certain drugs become dependent on them, and later become addicts.
  • Prescription drug addiction has a lesser stigma compared to other drugs like cocaine.
  • Online pharmacies make it easy for prescription drug dependents to purchase addictive drugs.

Three Classes of Addictive Prescription Drugs

The three classes of prescription drugs according to the National Drug Abuse have a variety of effects to the abuser. However, they’ll lead to change in the brain’s activity and addiction. This includes opioids, CNS depressants, and stimulants or prescription amphetamines.

  1. Opioids
    The first class of addictive prescription drugs is opioids. These prescription drugs have analgesic properties. That’s why it’s used as a painkiller. Morphine and codeine drugs belong to this class. They can improve the life of an individual suffering from chronic pain. A short-term and supervised usage of opioids doesn’t lead to addiction. But if someone’s been using it for a long time, they can be dependent and addicted to it without them realizing.There’s another particular opioid called oxycodone, which is commercially sold as OxyContin. In the recent years, it has been a favorite type of opioid in prescription drug addicts especially in rural areas. It takes 12 hours to effect when taken as designed, but users found a way to enjoy its euphoria in less than 12 hours. Drug addicts will chew, crush, or dissolve the pills.Opioids can bring a mild euphoric feeling.
  2. CNS Depressants and DownersThe second class of addictive prescription drugs is CNS depressants. They’re originally designed as a treatment for anxiety and sleep disorders by slowing the normal brain function. These include benzodiazepines and barbiturates.Taking CNS depressant with alcohol can be very harmful to health. It can lead to slowing down your heart and makes breathing difficult. Worse, it can lead to death.When you have taken CNS depressants for a long time, you may experience life-threatening consequences if you suddenly stop taking it.
  3. Stimulants or Prescription Amphetamines
    The third class of addictive prescription drugs is stimulants. They’re originally designed as a treatment for narcolepsy (sleep disorder) and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) by enhancing brain activity. Stimulants are also used as a treatment for asthma and obesity. It works by increasing an individual’s alertness, elevating blood pressure, and increasing heart rate.Prescription drug addicts use stimulants for other reason by crushing the pills or taking a higher dose.

Why do some people taking same prescription drugs get addicted while others don’t?

An individual’s risk for addiction depends on his biology, environment, and stage of development. Your family, friends, and neighbors may be a possible influence to your addiction.
How do I know if I’m already addicted to or abusing a prescription drug?

There are a lot of prescription drug users that don’t know or may be in denial that they’re addicted to it.

Listed below are some signs that you or someone you know may be abusing prescription drugs:

  • Taking a higher dose than what the doctor prescribed
  • Taking the medication for nonmedical reasons just like when you’re bored or restless
  • Asking for more refills from your doctor too often

Guidelines on How to use Prescription Drugs Safely

Here are FDA guidelines on how to use prescription drugs safely:

  • Carefully follow the prescription medication.
  • Don’t increase or decrease your dose without your doctor’s permission.
  • Don’t stop taking medication abruptly and on your own.
  • Don’t break or crush the pills, especially the time-released kind.
  • Inform your doctor if you experience odd effects of the drug on your daily activities.
  • Inform your preferred doctor if you’ve got a history of substance abuse.
  • Don’t take other people’s medications and vice versa.

Treatment

Yes, addiction to prescription drugs has a treatment. But first, you or someone you know should accept the fact that you need treatment.

One way of treating prescription drug addiction is rehab centers. Many rehab centers cater prescription drug addicts. Seek a rehab center near your place and make sure they provide a high-quality service for their patients. An established rehab center with a higher success rate of helping individuals overcome their addiction to prescription drugs can be an excellent choice.

There are non-addictive medications that can aid in counteracting the effects and symptoms of prescription drug addiction. These medications will help you regain control of the addiction.

How do you Help Someone who’s Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

Nothing’s frustrating than seeing your friend or a family member addicted to drugs without doing anything. The thing is you can offer help. How?

  • Seek help or recommendation from a health care professional. Doctors have a big chance in giving your referrals about effective drug treatment programs.
  • Talk to the person in a kind and friendly way. Tell him that you’re aware of the problem. Prepare yourself for their denial and resistance to the fact. Just keep your patience and accompany him on his journey towards recovery.