If you ever suffered an injury or contracted a disease, you were undoubtedly given prescription drugs as part of the healing process. It is estimated that 70 percent of Americans are currently on at least one prescription medication. While prescription medications are effective when used as directed, they also have a high potential for misuse. In many cases, the symptoms of prescription drug misuse aren’t caught until the user is in the throes of addiction. The misuse of prescription drugs is devastating to the user and has the potential to be life-threatening.
In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of prescription drug abuse, what prescription drugs are, and where you can find help for the misuse of prescription drugs. Thrive Treatment is one of Southern California’s top-tier treatment facilities. We offer individualized treatment plans that are evidence-based and proven to work. Call us today to learn more about our Los Angeles drug rehab center.
What Are Prescription Drugs?
Let’s start by defining what prescription drugs are. These drugs are medications used to treat a variety of medical conditions and diseases. Doctors prescribe prescription drugs, bought at a pharmacy, and prescribed to be used by one person. The Food and Drug Administration regulates prescription drugs.
Prescription drugs fall into four general categories: pain relievers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants. These medications are highly effective, extremely potent, and must be carefully prescribed and administered by experienced medical staff. Importantly, these medications are intended for the short term only. The overuse of prescription drugs is a serious issue in the United States, with just over 16 million people reporting misusing prescription medications in the last year.
Why Do People Misuse Prescription Medications?
What drives the misuse of prescription drugs? The answer is dependent on the type of drug being abused. People who misuse painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin do so because of the intense euphoria they feel when using the drug. On the other hand, people may abuse stimulant medications such as Ritalin because it helps them concentrate or makes them more productive. Those who abuse tranquilizers do so because it helps them relax or fall asleep.
While these medications are prescribed by doctors, they are not “safe” by any means. Even if taken as prescribed, there is a risk of developing a dependence issue and even addiction. As a result, it becomes crucial to understand the symptoms of prescription drug misuse as early as possible.
What Are the Signs of Prescription Drug Misuse?
It is important to note that seeing the signs of prescription drug misuse can be difficult to spot at first. Users go to great lengths to conceal their drug abuse from others. In general, the symptoms of prescription drug misuse depend on the type of drug. Those who abuse prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin may become chronically constipated, nauseous, and have prolonged feelings of happiness and euphoria followed by extended periods of lethargy.
People abusing stimulant-based drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin may be always on “high alert” and hyperaware of their surroundings. They also experienced insomnia and can become extremely agitated over trivial things. People abusing anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Klonopin can show great confusion and can have trouble walking. They may also have slurred speech and are unable to concentrate.
Besides these specific symptoms, people who abuse prescription medications show the following general signs of abuse:
- Forging prescriptions
- Stealing medications out of a family member’s or friend’s medicine cabinet.
- Engaging in doctor shopping (going to multiple doctors to get extra prescriptions
- Exhibit wide mood swings and will engage in high-risk and impulsive behavior.
Do You Need Help with Prescription Drug Abuse? Thrive Treatment Can Help
Prescription drug abuse is a serious matter that needs immediate attention. Thrive Treatment is a top-tier rehab center located in Southern California that offers treatment programs and support that help you or a loved one beat prescription medication addiction for good. Our evidence-based programs, multiple levels of care, and experienced treatment staff will motivate and inspire you to overcome prescription addiction and regain your physical and mental health. Call Thrive Treatment today and break free from the tight grip of prescription pill addiction.