Prescription medications can do great things when used as prescribed by a licensed professional for a medical disorder. Unfortunately, many medications have the potential for abuse and addiction.
If an individual has suspicions that a loved one might be addicted to prescription drugs, they might feel confused. What does abuse look like? How does one recognize addiction to prescription drugs? What does prescription drug detox feel like?
Understanding the answers to these questions is vital for recovery.
Recognizing Prescription Abuse: Know the Signs
When people take medication for the first time, it is usually meant to treat very real symptoms. Perhaps a person is anxious and struggles with panic attacks on a daily basis. Maybe they ask their friend with a prescription to give them a couple of Valium to help.
Though it may seem harmless, this is prescription abuse.
Prescription medication abuse includes:
- Taking someone else’s prescription medications
- Drinking alcohol with medications to increase the effect
- Ingesting a higher dose than prescribed
- Obtaining restricted medications from multiple doctors
- Cutting, chewing, snorting, or injecting medications to feel the effects faster
- Consuming doses closer together than prescribed
- Using prescription medications obtained through illegal means
Medication abuse sets a dangerous precedent. It encourages an individual to handle medical problems on their own. With prescription abuse, a person may be less inclined to reach out for addiction help. They might believe they can deal with it themselves.
At-home withdrawal from prescription drugs can prove lethal, though. This is why detoxing in a facility is important.
Red Flags of Addiction
Prescription medication addictions can be difficult to recognize, especially if the medications are obtained through legal means. Some people may go to great lengths to hide their drug abuse. Some red flags are harder to hide, though.
An individual with a prescription drug addiction may “doctor shop” to receive higher quantities of medication. They might fill their scripts at many pharmacies so that the systems do not recognize the issue. Some may fake symptoms to get a certain type of drug. Perhaps others will “forget” their pills and ask friends to lend them a few.
If someone is exhibiting these signs, it may be time for loved ones to confront them about their prescription addiction.
Why Detox Programs Are Important to Prescription Detox
Many people want to detox in the comfort of their homes, but this is dangerous. They will have easy access to substances and may relapse. People should consider the following factors when deciding whether to enter an inpatient detox program:
- Prolonged prescription drug abuse
- Mental illness diagnoses
- History of seizures
- Lack of social support
- Use of alcohol in addition to prescription drugs
- Opiate abuse
Most clients need the inpatient setting for detoxification. The detox treatment programs offer 24-hour care throughout the process. Medically assisted treatment is available for the withdrawal from certain prescription medications, which eases distressing symptoms.
Additionally, detox facilities, drug rehabs, and addiction centers typically employ therapy to ensure successful treatment. Mental health professionals ease the psychological symptoms of acute withdrawal.
Prescription Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
When a person starts detoxification from prescription medications, they may feel a variety of symptoms. The withdrawal experience will depend on the length of use, frequency of use, medication potency, and type of prescription medication.
The most frequently abused classification of prescription drugs are opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Opioids are highly addictive pain killers that create an intense high. They are responsible for tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States each year. It is important to detox from opioids in a facility. Opioid withdrawal lasts for approximately four to ten days and can be unpleasant and even life-threatening. Acute withdrawal symptoms of opioid use disorder include the following:
- Body aches
- Abdominal cramps
- Dilated pupils
- Suicidal ideation
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Prescription benzodiazepines treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and seizures. They act on the central nervous system, increasing the production of the GABA neurotransmitter. Due to the risk of addiction, doctors are often hesitant to prescribe this class of drugs.
Clients should withdraw from benzos in a detox facility because of this risk. Benzo withdrawal can also be difficult. Detox lasts one to two weeks for fast-acting benzos and two to four weeks for slow-acting benzos. Acute withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepine use disorder include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Severe depression
- Muscle stiffness
- Loss of appetite
- Chills and body aches
- Memory loss
- Suicidal ideation
Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms
Stimulants assist people with ADHD and narcolepsy by increasing energy, attention, and alertness. They are frequently abused by people seeking to stay awake for longer periods.
Withdrawal from stimulants can cause severe, debilitating depression. As such, detoxing from prescription stimulants should be monitored in a facility setting. Acute withdrawal symptoms of stimulant use disorder include the following:
- Severe depression
- Inability to focus
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Lack of motivation
- Increased appetite
- Changes in heartbeat
Helping Your Loved One With Prescription Addiction
By understanding prescription medication addiction and detox, individuals can take the appropriate steps to get help. Continued education about addiction can greatly benefit those in recovery. Change is hard, but everyone has the ability to make their journey easier.
DetoxNearMe.com is the ideal resource for finding reputable, effective prescription drug addiction detox near you. With thousands of listings at your fingertips, finding a place to recover from benzo abuse, stimulant addiction, or opioid addiction has never been easier.
Don’t live with the risks of prescription addiction – start your search on DetoxNearMe.com today!