Prescription Drug Abuse

When people think of “drug abuse” they usually think of illegal drugs like meth or heroin. But even prescription drugs can be abused and this trend is on the rise. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including both illicit drugs and prescription opioids, which is nearly a 200% increase in a decade.

The National Institute of Health defines prescription drug abuse as misuse of prescription medication in a manner other than for the prescribed purposes; taking another person's medication, or taking medication to feel a certain euphoric effect. This can commonly be referred to as non-medical use of prescription drugs.

Non-medical use of prescription drugs can include taking prescription medication to have more fun, lose weight, fit in, or even increase productivity. Often times, prescription drugs may be easier to come across than street drugs due to their wide availability and legal status.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that nearly 54 million Americans over the age of 12 have taken a prescription drug for non-medical purposes.

Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Most abused prescription drugs fall under three main categories:

  • Opioids – Includes painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin, or codeine
  • Stimulants – Drugs used for treating ADHD and hyperactivity disorder, including Adderall and Ritalin
  • Depressants – Medication used to relieve anxiety or provide sleep relief, such as Xanax or Valium

Recognizing Prescription Drug Addiction

Like alcohol, prescription drug abuse can be hard to recognize because sometimes, they are legal. But there are red flags to look for, including:

  • Drugs being used for something other than their recommended treatment (such as painkillers being used after an injury has healed)
  • Someone having a prescription drug bottle that isn’t in their name or isn’t clearly labeled
  • Changes in behavior, including paranoia, irregular sleep patterns, or clouded mental states
  • Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor
  • High body temperature
  • Unusually energetic, heavily sedated, or appearing high
  • “Losing” prescriptions or requesting early refills
  • Taking medication in a different way. This can include crushing tablets and then snorting or injecting them.

If you take your prescription medication in a manner that is different than the doctors prescription and instructions, it’s called prescription drug abuse.

Each prescription medication carries certain risks and side effects. Doctors always take this into account when prescribing medication to a patient. People who abuse those drugs may not understand the impact of the drugs or the risks it carriers.

The medications may not be safe for them, especially when taken at high doses or in combination with other drugs or substances of abuse.

Prescription Drug Rehab

People abuse prescription drugs for a number of reasons, including pain management, depression, and concentration problems. Identifying the reason behind the abuse is the first step in getting help. If you or a loved one is abusing prescription drugs, getting help at a reputable facility like True Recovery is within reach.

At True Recovery, we focus on more than just your addiction. True Recovery’s goal-oriented addiction treatment programs can help you make a successful recovery from prescription drug addiction. Our extended-care programs in Newport Beach provide individualized services, including prescription drug addiction treatment, in a safe and comfortable environment.

If you’ve undergone prescription drug addiction treatment in the past or you’re seeking treatment for the first time, you’ll find that our alternative programs offer the service that you need for a successful prescription drug recovery. Our intensive programs are customized to help you find your life’s passion and reach your recovery goals.

Fill out our contact form or call us at (866) 399-6528 today to speak with an admissions counselor for more information on how our program can help you recover from prescription drug abuse or addiction in Newport Beach.