Most people associate don’t associate prescription drug addiction with drug abuse or drug addiction to illicit drugs like heroin or fentanyl. However, research has shown that this addiction is far more common with medications like sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and other perfectly legal medications. Dependence upon a drug or medication can be psychological or physical. This dependence manifests itself as an overwhelming desire to use the drug to achieve the euphoria and associated effects. The other significant reason why one might feel a strong urge to use is to prevent the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal.
After using for a period, your body can build up a tolerance to a drug. “Tolerance” means that because of continued use, the dosage must be increased to achieve the same results. This phenomenon is called drug tolerance. It is a common characteristic among the commonly abused substances including:
The prescription medications most commonly abused include opioids such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), sleeping pills like zolpidem (Ambien) and eszopiclone (Lunesta), and stimulants like methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin).
When a person develops a physical dependence on prescription medicine, the body has adapted to the drug’s effects. This adaptation is so significant that if the person stops using causes withdrawal symptoms. One of the most common ways to get free of the drug’s grip is to slowly use less and less. This is a form of detoxification from the drug and should be considered only after consulting your medical practitioner and only under their supervision. This will help in preventing the most severe symptoms of withdrawal which may be serious in their health implications.
There are other clear signs that you are using prescription medications in a different way than prescribed; This “Drug Misuse” could be:
- Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
- Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
- Taking the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. This might be crushing tablets and then snorting or injecting them.
- Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high
There are a small number of people whose addictive behavior can develop during treatment with narcotics or tranquilizers. Particularly, those who have addiction problems with other substances. In these circumstances, supportive counseling combined with careful monitoring of prescribed dosages may be necessary to prevent addiction. To avoid becoming addicted to a medication, USE AS DIRECTED and be thoughtful and aware of any signs that you are becoming dependent. Use the medication for the time is prescribed.
If you are at the point where you feel dependent and that your drug use has turned into drug abuse or drug addiction, you may be a candidate for our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). VBRC Intensive Outpatient Program recognizes that you have family, work, or school responsibilities and gives you the freedom to meet those obligations during treatment. However, IOP is far more Structured than regular outpatient treatment and is ideal for you if you want more Accountability. Call or text (772) 538-8847 to see if you or a loved one is a candidate for our IOP treatment.