In the United States, prescription drug abuse has become more common, with many states taking belated action to reduce drug abuse cases. There are different ways in which prescription drug abuse occurs. Self-medicating (ignoring the intervals or dosages stated) is a very common form of abuse. Continuing to take prescribed drugs after the initial medical complaint has cleared up is also a form of drug abuse. Another form of abuse is crushing, snorting, smoking, or injecting pills for recreational use.
Addiction and abuse of prescription drugs requires treatment at a drug treatment center. Get help today when you call Drug Treatment Centers Bridgeport at (203) 612-9630.
One can see that this is a problem that touches people in every social stratum, but getting accurate statistics is extremely difficult. In common with other kinds of addiction and substance abuse, many abusers are unaware they have a problem and do not seek help.
Most estimates and statistics are derived from emergency hospital admissions and autopsies. These reveal that more than 38,000 Americans died from overdosing on legally available drugs in 2010. The following year, there were more than 1.2 million emergency room admissions for prescription drug-related incidents, of which 29% were for opioid abuse.
These are categories that the DEA uses for grading drugs according to their medical usage and their potential for abuse. Since illegal, addictive drugs like heroin have no medical use, they are in Schedule I. Many prescription opioids and stimulants are in Schedule II, so their potential to create addictions and to be abused is very high. Schedule II drugs include anabolic steroids, testosterone and codeine. Examples of Schedule IV drugs are Valium and Xanax, while Schedule V drugs includes the least addictive substances.
The most widely abused prescription drugs are those prescribed to alleviate acute pain. Almost all these drugs are intended for short-term use. This is because they are addictive, and their effectiveness at a given dosage diminishes with continued use. Drugs containing hydrocodone are the most widely abused painkillers. Some brands that contain this drug include Vicodin, Lortab and Lorcet. Medicines containing opioids like morphine, fentanyl and codeine are also commonly abused.
Stimulants are the next most widely abused drugs. They include the amphetamines, and popular brands include Adderall and Dexedrine. These drugs are prescribed for the treatment of conditions like ADHD, but are abused by people, often to give them staying power, when attending events like all-night parties.
The third group of commonly abused drugs are the benzodiazepines. These are synthetic drugs used to treat anxiety or insomnia, and are used surgically as muscle relaxants. Valium and Xanax are well-known brand names. They can be especially dangerous when mixed with alcohol, as it can cause an adverse reaction and damage the liver and kidneys. In some cases, users have even overdosed mixing these substances together.
Seeking drug rehab treatment is the first step in overcoming an addiction to prescription drugs. Many drug treatment centers have recognized the growing need for specialized programs to address addictions to prescribed medication. As a result, there are more treatment options than ever.
Many treatment programs begin with medical detoxification, which removes all intoxicants from an addict’s system to break their physical addiction. Some detox treatments require medication. For example, opiate replacement medication like Suboxone may be used to treat a patient who is addicted to OxyContin.
After detox, patients are encouraged to enter a residential treatment program and stay at a facility for at least 90 days. During this time, they will attend psychotherapy sessions to learn to cope with negative emotions and to replace old drug using habits with more healthy habits.