Addiction by Prescription
In this essay, I’m going to explore the abuse of prescription drugs, provide information on the most commonly abused substances, and on the current treatment options available for users. Because of the rise of prescription pill addiction, it is important that people are made aware of the very dangerous effects that these drugs can have on them. The negative effects can result in jail time, illness, and even death. Painkillers, Depressants and Stimulants, are currently the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Years of research has shown that addiction to any drug (illicit or prescribed) causes a brain disease that can be treated effectively. Successful treatment may need to incorporate several components, including detoxification, counseling, and sometimes the use of addiction medications. Behavioral and pharmacological treatments are both necessary for the recovery of individuals with addictions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is estimated that 48 million people (aged 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetime. That’s approximately 20% of the U.S. population.
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In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in prescription drug misuse or abuse. This increase has led to a corresponding increase in ER visits because of accidental overdoses as well as admissions to drug treatment programs for drug addictions. It’s thought that prescription drug addiction is on the rise because there are more drugs available to more people and the opportunity for abuse is greatly increased. Doctor’s are reporting writing more prescriptions for patients than ever before. In addition, you only have to go on the Internet to find high numbers of online pharmacies selling these addictive drugs. People become addicted to prescription drugs for various reasons. One may have an injury or any type of pain and begin to take the drug, and soon become dependent. Some take the drug longer than necessary and take more than the prescribed dosage. Other people have genetically addictive personalities. It just takes one prescription and the drug can quickly become addicting. Prescription drugs can still get you high, just like street drugs. People often don’t realize the impact these medications can have on them because they were prescribed by a doctor so they tend to think they are safe. Some people might abuse prescription drugs because they are more readily accessible than street drugs. It is, unfortunately, very easy to “doctor shop” and get all of the pills that you want.
“Doctor shopping” is moving from provider to provider in an effort to obtain multiple prescriptions for the drugs an abuser is using. Vicodin, Oxycodone, OxyContin and Percocet are common painkillers that are abused. Painkillers often contain opioids which are highly addictive and can have a serious effect on the brain. They can cause a “physical dependence,” meaning the body becomes accustomed. There are also very severe withdrawal symptoms. Depressants, such as Valium and Xanax are drugs that slow brain function. They include sedatives (used to make a person calm and drowsy) and tranquilizers (intended to reduce tension or anxiety). These can cause depression, confusion, exhaustion and irritability and can dangerously diminish heartbeat and respiration. This is especially true when depressants are combined with alcohol and over the counter (OTC) medications. It’s a combination that can even lead to death. Stimulants are a class of drugs intended to increase energy and alertness. These drugs can increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. Stimulants affect the brain through a slow and steady release of two neurotransmitters; dopamine and norepinephrine.
They are used for treating conditions including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and, occasionally, depression. Excessive vomiting, tremors, sweating and anxiety are just some of the risks of abusing stimulants. Breaking free from prescription drug abuse takes much more than willpower. Fortunately, medications and counseling can improve the chances of success. New treatments like Suboxone, and traditional therapies like methadone and 12-step programs, are helping thousands of people stay on the road to recovery.
There are various options such as; Drug Rehab Programs Available from Support Systems Homes, Detoxification, Residential Treatment (Residential Drug Rehab), Outpatient Treatment, and Community-Based Self-Help Groups. Now we have explored the depths and effects of addiction and dependency on prescription drugs. There are many causes for addiction and almost any substance can be dangerous if used improperly. As long as there are new drugs there will always be new developments in the way to treat them. In summation, there are many ways and substances to become addicted too and anyone can be at risk. If the dangers are known it is much
easier to combat the problem of substance abuse.
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