Data from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates nearly 10 million people misused prescription pain relievers in the previous year. An additional 5 million misused prescriptions stimulants and 6 million abused tranquilizers. This data suggests that abuse of prescription pain relievers is the third-highest substance with the most significant number of initiates of use or misuse in 2019, behind only alcohol and marijuana. Finding the right inpatient treatment in California is crucial to recovery.
Are Prescription Drugs Dangerous?
Because many people struggle with dependency on or addiction to prescription drugs, it is not uncommon to question whether prescription drugs are dangerous. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not entirely yes or no. When used as directed by a medical or mental health provider, prescription drugs are highly beneficial components of a treatment plan. They can help people manage symptoms related to various mental health conditions, reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms during detox and help manage post-surgical or chronic pain conditions. But, as beneficial as they are, prescription drugs are widely abused, leading to potential dangers.
Although the drug itself is not inherently dangerous, a range of complications can arise when prescription drugs are abused. These include medical complications, physical dependence, addiction, and other potential consequences such as legal problems, financial problems, and problems with personal and professional relationships.
What Prescription Drugs Are Commonly Abused?
Drugs are classified by class. Each class addresses the specific needs of the individual to whom the medication is prescribed. Also, each drug (or class of drugs) often produces particular effects that make the drug particularly desirable to someone who struggles with a dependency or addiction. Three classes of drugs are abused more often than others. They include opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants. Each of these classes includes drugs that are familiar to most people because they are widely prescribed.
Opioids or prescription pain killers are drugs used to treat pain. They include familiar drugs like hydrocodone, Percocet, Demerol, and oxycontin. Central nervous system depressants are drugs used to slow the speed of activities in the central nervous system. They are frequently used as part of a treatment plan for sleeping and anxiety disorders. Central nervous system or CNS depressants include sedatives, hypnotics, and tranquilizers. Examples might include Ambien, Ativan, and benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax and others. Stimulants are drugs that stimulate the body. They are often used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. Adderall and Ritalin are widely prescribed stimulant medications.
What are the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?
The signs of prescription drug abuse will vary based on the specific drug. Other factors such as the frequency of use, length of addiction, how much is used, and whether other drugs or alcohol are used simultaneously. Although substance-specific differences do occur, there are various common signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse. Examples may include:
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns.
- Mood swings and irritability.
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using.
- Drug-seeking behaviors.
- Taking higher doses than prescribed or taking a drug prescribed for someone else.
- Using medications faster than prescribed.
- Stealing or forging prescriptions.
- “Losing” prescriptions
- Increasing financial and legal problems.
In addition to the above, someone abusing prescription drugs will exhibit various physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. These will also vary based on the substance, but common examples include cognitive problems, problems with judgment, stomach problems, heart rate changes, changes to respiratory rate, and sleeping problems.
How to Find Prescription Drug Treatment in Beverly Hills
If you are concerned about a loved one or you need help to overcome prescription drug abuse or dependency, it is essential to seek help early. At Refine Recovery, we can work with you (or your loved one) to develop a course of treatment that can help you put a dependency on potentially dangerous substances in the past. Overcoming prescription drug addiction is not an easy journey; however, with the help of ourdrug treatment in Beverly Hills, we can help you achieve your goals.
Seeking help to overcome addiction is a vital first step towards lasting recovery. Many research studies indicate early intervention is the most effective way to maintain lasting recovery from prescription drugs. If you are ready to get sober and quit using prescription drugs, contact us at Refine Recovery today to learn more about how we can help.