Recover From Addiction to Prescription Drugs
Rehab for Prescription Drug Addiction
You can’t turn on the news or read a newspaper without reading about the opioid crisis in the United States. In 2018, two million patients reported having an opioid misuse disorder while 10.3 million patients misused their prescription for opioids. The really scary number is the 32,656 people who died from misuse of opioids.
If you or someone you love suffers from a prescription drug addiction, the time for treatment is right now. Taking the first steps toward recovery can be a little scary, but knowledge is power. Here’s some information you may not know about prescription drug addiction and its treatment.
What Is Prescription Drug Addiction?
When we talk about prescription drug addiction, we’re primarily talking about the addiction to opioids. You’ve probably also heard the term opiates. What’s the difference? Crafted from an opium poppy flower, opiates are a natural drug and include opium and morphine. Opioids, on the other hand, are man-made drugs created from morphine.
All opiates are opioids. Although heroin is an illegal drug, it’s considered an opioid, and some people with a prescription drug addiction to turn to this illegal substance, because it’s easier to find.
Both opiates and opioids are highly addictive. So why do doctors continue to prescribe these drugs? The truth is that after an accident or surgery some patients are in such pain that the only way to make it bearable is with an opioid drug. Not all patients who receive opioids for pain relief become addicted. In many cases, there is an underlying condition that exacerbates the situation.
Opioids aren’t the only prescription drugs that people become addicted to. Some people become addicted to stimulants, such as those prescribed for ADHD, while others become addicted to depressants, such as sleep medication.
Progression to a Prescription Drug Addiction
You or your loved one didn’t wake up one morning addicted to a prescription drug. Typically, you start using opioids to manage pain after an accident or surgery. After that, you gradually progress to an addiction. There are several steps in this progress, and they include:
- Step One: Your body will gradually develop a tolerance to the opioids. You’ll begin upping the dosage to gain the same amount of relief.
- Step Two: The next step involves your body beginning to depend on the opioids. At this point, if you stop taking the opioids your body will experience withdrawal symptoms.
- Step Three: In the final step, you experience psychological dependence. Your body begins to crave the prescription drugs. At this point, it’s considered that you have an opioid addiction. In some cases, your brain will trick you into believing that your body is in pain so you’ll continue taking the pills.
Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction
There is a fine line between using prescription drugs and abusing them. It can be difficult to know when you or someone you love has crossed that line into addiction. Of course, there are symptoms that can be indicators, including:
- Feeling high (euphoria)
- Slowed breathing rate
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- High body temperature
- Reduced appetite
- Unsteady walking
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- Memory issues
- and more.
These symptoms are not only symptoms of prescription drug addiction. If you suspect you are abusing drugs, you need to seek medical attention for a diagnosis of and treatment for prescription drug addiction.
Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction
If someone you love has become addicted to opioids or other prescription medication and need prescription drug addiction treatment, there will be signs. You may not notice anything when the addiction first begins. However, signs of opioid use will become more prominent as the addiction grows.
- They take prescription drugs even when there isn’t any pain. They might say it’s just in case the pain comes back.
- Changing moods and mood swings from elation to anger.
- Using prescription drugs in a way that a doctor wouldn’t recommend. This might include taking more than the recommended dosage.
- Making poor decisions and putting themselves and others in harm’s way.
- Visiting multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions to have extra on hand.
- They may frequently “loose” their pills and need to get the prescription refilled more often.
- Changes in their sleeping patterns.
If you suspect your loved one has an addiction, you need to encourage them to seek immediate prescription drug addiction treatment. You may need to approach the issue delicately and provide support and encouragement to get them to seek professional help.
Treatments for Prescription Drug Addiction
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we understand that everyone is unique, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment for someone with an opioid addiction or other prescription drug addiction. We break the level of care a patient needs into five levels, and those levels include:
- Level One Outpatient: This level is for patients who are happy and have a good support system in place. They can get treatment and support from a doctor at prearranged therapy sessions. When it comes to prescription drug abuse centers, this is the most flexible program and allows the patient to live at home.
- Level Two Intensive Outpatient: This level provides a little more care and guidance from doctors and staff then level one, but the patient still lives at home.
- Level Three Partial Hospitalization: Also called Day and Night treatment, this program allows the patient to live at home but attend daily therapy at the prescription drug abuse center. The patient and doctor work out and agree upon a schedule of therapies and sessions.
- Level Four Residential Treatment: If you don’t pose a risk to yourself or others, but do need constant monitoring and 24-hours per day supervision, then you probably need residential treatment.
- Level Five Inpatient Treatment: The patient needs 24-hour per day monitoring and constant care. They cannot overcome their addiction without help. This treatment level provides them with constant care and access to the tools they need to overcome their addiction.
Prescription Drug Addiction Center Professionals
During the course of your treatment, there will be many professionals who help you along the way. Many of these professionals have a very specialized niche. All of these professionals bring skills to help you beat your addiction and rebuild your life and relationships. The professional staff can include:
In many cases, patients diagnosed as prescription drug addicts have an underlying cause, such as low self-esteem or depression. When the underlying cause is a medical condition or mental health disorder, they receive a dual diagnosis. To be successful in their treatment, the patient must work on and overcome both disorders. Some of the most common dual diagnosis include:
- Personal trauma
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
One-on-One Therapy Sessions
As part of your treatment for a prescription drug addiction, you’ll meet with a therapist for individual sessions. These sessions may be daily or several times a week. You and your doctor will work out a treatment schedule and agree on the number of sessions per week.
During your sessions, you will examine the triggers for your tradition and new ways of dealing with them so you don’t fall into the routine of drug addiction. They will also treat the underlying or dual diagnosis of your addiction. The goal is to heal the entire patient — mind, body, and soul.
Group Therapy Sessions
As part of your prescription drug addiction treatment, you’ll attend several group therapy meetings each day. The group will be made up of people like you who have abused drugs for a variety of reasons. As a group, you’ll examine the causes of your addiction and new ways of coping without turning to a pill bottle.
In each group therapy session, there will be a leader who keeps the group on task and directs the conversation. The leader may pose questions or ask you to complete exercises. During your sessions, you’ll work on interpersonal relationships and better ways of communication.
Your family and support system is one of the keys to a successful treatment for a prescription drug addict. A therapist will work with you and your family and provide you with the skills for better communication. They’ll help your family understand the underlying causes of addiction and that it isn’t as simple as deciding to stop.
When you leave inpatient care, you’ll rely on the support of your family and friends. As part of family therapy, your family members learn about their own self-care so that they can be more successful at providing you with support.
Most Addictive Prescription Drugs
While opioids have garnered a lot of attention in recent years due to the rapid increase in addiction, these are not the only addictive prescription medications. Others can be addictive and long-term or improper use can result in dependence and addiction.
It is important to note that just because an individual is taking these medications, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are addicted. However, frequent or long-term use can lead to addiction. Understanding the signs and symptoms of prescription drug addiction can help you assess whether or not help may be necessary.
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we want you to successfully beat your addiction and not experience relapses. We have extensive experience treating cases of prescription drug addiction just like yours, and we’re ready to provide you with the tools to overcome your addiction and any underlying causes. Whether you need intensive inpatient treatment or more flexible outpatient therapy, we’re ready to access your situation and come up with a viable treatment plan. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or an initial evaluation.
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If you are ready to discuss treatment for yourself or a loved one, the Fairwinds admissions team is here to help.
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