Doctors prescribe medications for many reasons. If you are using them in a way other than recommended by your doctor, then you are abusing the prescription drugs. The misuse of such prescribed medications turns into addiction before you even know and leave adverse effects on your overall lifestyle.
People abuse such drugs for several reasons such as:
- Dealing with stress
- Experimenting the effects
- Getting high
- Social pressure
- Improving concentration or alertness
These drugs are very dangerous as they activate the brain’s reward center and are highly addictive. Once people get addicted to them, they continue using them even after knowing the severe consequences of drugs on their lives.
According to the experts, around 6 percent (over 18 million) Americans aged 12 or more have abused prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the year 2019.
No matter what type of drug you abuse, it can change the way your brain functions. It hampers your abilities to make decisions and self-control. Plus, it leads to intense cravings over time.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Based on the data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people mostly abuse the following prescription drugs:
- Central nervous system (CNS) depressants
What Are The Risk Factors of Prescription Drug Abuse?
Certain things about you may lead to the abuse of prescription drugs. The following are the risk factors:
- Knowledge about the drugs and how they will impact
- Mental health
- Genetic reasons
- Influence of your friends, colleagues
Symptoms And Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
Symptoms and signs depend on what prescription drug you take. If you use stimulants, the following are the signs and symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Troubled heart rate
If you use central nervous system depressants, you may experience:
- Troubled decision-making abilities
- Inability to focus
- Slurred speed
- Difficulty in breathing
- Memory issues
- Slow reflexes
The following are the symptoms of opioids abuse:
- Constipation or upset stomach
- Slurred speech
- Stress and anxiety
Treatments For Prescription Drug Abuse
Opioids addiction treatment involves medications to deal with dependency on drugs and withdrawal symptoms. Medical experts at a renowned alcohol rehab Orange County use Buprenorphine for such patients. They may use it with another drug called Naloxone to avoid relapse.
For patients who take Buprenorphine and effectively get rid of the addiction, doctors may suggest another form of the same medication that is implanted under the skin, called Probuphine.
Clonidine (a blood pressure drug) and Methadone are some other drugs used to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms. For opiate relapse prevention, doctors may use Naltrexone orally or through monthly injections.
Doctors advise you to carry naloxone if you are into opioid addiction. This medicine is available in the form of nasal spray and shots. It can reverse the effects of an overdose. Medical professionals believe that drug-assisted treatments when combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) work best for opioid addicts.
As long as CNS stimulant addiction is concerned, counseling is the best way to treat it. Patients often require detoxification under professional monitoring to treat opiate and Vicodin withdrawal symptoms.
If you or someone you love is battling with prescription drug abuse, consult your doctor ASAP. They may refer you to rehab programs that can save you from unwanted consequences and troubles.