Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription medications such as opiate pain medications, central nervous system (CNS) depressants (tranquilizers and sedatives), and stimulants are prescribed for a variety of health conditions. Opiate pain relievers can be prescribed following medical procedures, injuries, or accidents, and are also prescribed for chronic pain conditions. Central nervous system depressants are often prescribed for anxiety disorders or sleep disorders. Stimulants are prescribed in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, these medications all have the potential to be highly addictive, and once an individual starts misusing or abusing their medication it can be very difficult or even impossible to stop on their own.
There is a difference between prescription medication addiction and prescription medication dependency. Even if a person is not actively addicted to the medication, they may be dependent upon it – that is, they may continue to need to take the medication to “feel normal” even though the initial symptoms it was prescribed for are no longer an issue. At Journey Malibu, we can effectively treat prescription medication dependency to help you get back to normal functioning without needing a pill to get through the day.
Prescription drugs are especially difficult to stop using because of the simple fact that they are initially prescribed by a doctor.
We believe that our doctors know what is best for us, and therefore it is easy for the prescription drug addict to justify their continued use of the drug, even above and beyond the prescribed dosages. Before they know what has happened, prescription drug addicts are no longer gaining relief from the initial prescribed dosages; they are experiencing more and more powerful cravings for the drug; and may be contacting multiple doctors or using internet prescriptions to maintain their supply of their prescription drug of choice.
Because they are prescribed by doctors, it is more difficult to think of prescription medications as “drugs”, and people using or abusing prescription medications may continue to use other drugs or alcohol without thinking about it as “mixing drugs”. However, mixing prescription medications with other drugs can create a potent and dangerous cocktail with serious effects, including seizure and heart failure. For all of these reasons, prescription medication abuse has become one of the most serious problems facing our country today.
At Journey Malibu, we understand the complicated “legal addiction” of prescription medications, and the challenge of recovering to a life without pills. Let Journey Malibu help you with your prescription addiction before you become another statistic.
Unfortunately, prescription drug addiction is a problem that does not show any signs of slowing down. According to a recent report released by the NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health), an estimated 6.9 million persons, or 2.8 percent of the population, aged 12 or older had used prescription psycho-therapeutic medications non-medically in the last month prior to being surveyed (copies of the latest survey are available at The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) this includes 5.2 million people using prescription pain medications (an increase from 4.7 million in 2005), 1.8 million using tranquilizers, 1.1 million using stimulants, and 350,000 using sedatives. Past-month non-medical use of prescription-type drugs among young adults aged 18 to 25 increased from 5.5 percent in 2002 to 6 percent in 2007 and is continuing to climb. This is primarily due to an increase in pain reliever use; however, all categories of prescription drugs are continuing to be abused at higher and higher rates.
Are you misusing or abusing
your prescribed medications?
Although many prescription medications can be abused, the following three classes make up the most common ones.
COMMONLY ABUSED PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
Usually prescribed to treat pain
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS) DEPRESSANTS
Usually prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and sleep disorders
Usually prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy
How Do I Know If I Am Abusing My Medications?
Taking your medications in higher dosages than prescribed, and taking them more often than they are prescribed are signs of prescription medication abuse. Developing craving – urges to take pills or a strong desire to feel the effect of the medication, and tolerance – a need to take more than you previously had taken to achieve the same effect, are both signs of prescription medication abuse. Crushing and snorting or injecting pills that are meant to be taken orally is a form of prescription medication abuse. Patients who are prescribed prescription medications may also develop a physical dependence on them. Repeated exposure to the medication causes the body to adapt, and this can result in withdrawal symptoms upon drug cessation.
The good news is that individuals who abuse or are addicted to prescription drug medications can find lasting recovery with treatment. At Journey Malibu, we offer a variety of programs specifically designed to treat all the many forms that prescription medication addiction can take. Options such as supervised detoxification, allopathic treatment, and psychological and behavioral treatments are tailored to each patient’s needs.
Not everyone experiences withdrawal symptoms, but patients taking large amounts of prescription medications should be staff supervised when stopping use in order to reduce or eliminate any withdrawal symptoms they may experience. Here at Journey Malibu, we offer the supervision and treatment to counteract and reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms. Our independently affiliated physicians are certified in the most advanced treatment for opioid addiction including Subutex, Suboxone, and Vivitrol treatments. These medications have been clinically proven to help treat opioid addiction, opioid withdrawal, and prevent relapse. These medications can be administered if appropriate and will ensure that your personal experience of treatment for prescription opiate addiction is comfortable.
Depending on the patient’s situation, Journey Malibu also offers staff supervision for addiction to CNS depressants and staff supervised titration off of prescription CNS depressants and stimulants. Titration involves slowly decreasing the amount of the drug in the patient’s system until they are comfortably drug-free.
In addition to helping you get off of the prescription medications that have taken over your life, we will help you address all psychological and emotional facets of your prescription medication addiction in order to regain the full and happy life you deserve. We will provide you with the tools you need in order to get and stay prescription drug-free, including how to better cope with “triggers” that bring about prescription medication abuse, and developing life strategies in order to make healthier, more productive choices.
Addiction to prescription medications can be devastating,
but treatment at Journey Malibu can help.
There is lasting recovery from prescription medication addiction.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction to prescription opioids, CNS depressants, or stimulants, make the call that can change a life. Call Journey Malibu now at (877) 673-4225.
We are here to help.