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Alcohol Treatment Centers Commack (631) 729-7139 Drug Rehab

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Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse affects more than 15 million people in the United States. Prescription drug abuse refers to the act of taking prescription medications that have not been prescribed by a doctor or taking the medications for reasons other than for which they were prescribed.

Prescription drug abuse and addiction can have serious health consequences and may lead to a chronic addiction. The detoxification process for prescription drug abuse isn’t as dangerous as alcohol detox, but it can be very difficult to overcome without professional help.

While the abuse of these medications can involve any type of doctor-prescribed drug, the three classes that are most commonly abused include:

  • Opioids, which are used to treat pain and include drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Demerol and Dilaudid.
  • Central nervous system depressants, also known as sedatives, which are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders and include drugs like Xanax, Valium, Ambien and Klonopin.
  • Stimulants, which are used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and other conditions, and include drugs like Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Some of the signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse are universal, while others are specific to the drug being abused. General signs that someone is abusing prescription drugs include:

  • Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
  • Taking higher doses of prescriptions than prescribed
  • Excessive mood swings or hostility
  • An increase or decrease in sleep
  • Appearing particularly revved up or sedated
  • Making poor decision
  • Getting prescriptions from more than one doctor

Opioids

The abuse of or addiction to opioids can have serious health effects:

  • An increased risk of choking
  • Low blood pressure and slow breathing rate
  • The potential to stop breathing or lapse into a coma

Symptoms with withdrawal from opioids include:

  • Low energy
  • Anxiety, agitation or irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Hot or cold sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Sedatives

The health effects of sedative abuse include:

  • Memory problems
  • Low blood pressure and a slow breathing rate
  • Coma or death associated with overdose

Withdrawal symptoms related to sedative detox include:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting

Stimulants

Stimulants can cause serious health problems, including:

  • Dangerously high body temperature Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia

Withdrawing from stimulants may produce these symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Insomnia and intense dreaming
  • Irritability and anxiety

Treatment Options for Prescription Medication Abuse

Getting professional help for prescription drug addiction or abuse is essential for improving the chances of recovery. The first stage of treatment is detoxifying the body of the drug, which is what causes the withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing at home can be extremely difficult and painful, and while the potential for dangerous medical conditions is relatively small compared to that of alcohol, the risk is still there.

Medical detox is a method of detox that uses other medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and control anxiety and depression. Conducted under the close supervision of medical personnel, medical detox is widely used due to its safety and effectiveness, and it can be done in an in-patient or outpatient setting.

In-patient treatment centers provide respite from daily life and the triggers encountered there. In-patient treatment allows the patient time to reflect, self-examine, and meditate, and a holistic treatment approach includes individual, group, and family counseling and activities that address the health of the mind, body, and spirit.

Outpatient treatment centers allow the patient to continue living at home in order to meet family, work, and school commitments. Outpatient treatment is effective for those who are committed to recovery and will voluntarily abstain from drug use. Outpatient programs provide a strong network of support that includes non-using peers and sponsors as well as group, individual, and family counseling.

If you or someone you love is suffering from prescription drug abuse or addiction, call Drug Rehab Treatment Centers Commack, NY at 631.729.7139.

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