Prescription drug abuse is rampant in the U.S., with 15 million people actively abusing prescription medications in any given year. A full 20 percent of the population has used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons.
The Federal government classifies commonly abused prescription medications as Schedule II drugs, which are slightly less dangerous than Schedule I drugs like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, but still have a high potential for abuse. Schedule II prescription drugs include methadone, Dilaudid, OxyContin, Fentanyl, and Adderall.
Prescription drug abuse occurs when these medications are used for purposes other than those for which they were prescribed. A clear sign that prescription medications are being abused is when a person has to continually increase the dosage to get the same effects.
Prescription drug abuse can have far-reaching and long-term effects on health, family life, school, and work. Some of these consequences include:
Types of Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs that are commonly abused typically fall into three categories:
General signs of prescription drug abuse include:
Prescription drug abuse can lead to serious long-term health effects. Opiates can cause brain and heart damage, as well as major depression and reduced cognitive function. Stimulants can cause severe anxiety, hostility, and psychosis, as well as malnutrition due to extreme weight loss. Sedatives can cause chronic paranoia, memory problems, and low blood pressure.
The sooner help is sought, the more likely the user will be able to avoid becoming the large number of problems caused by dependence. Treatment is available at New London Drug Rehab Centers. The first step in treatment is the detox process, during which traces of the drug are flushed from the body. Medical detox is performed under the supervision of medical personnel and involves administering drugs to help alleviate intense cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe.
Individual, group and family therapy will follow the completion of detox. Through these sessions, patients will learn to identify and address their addiction triggers and learn how to manage temptation and avoid relapse. Through holistic treatment methods, patients learn to adopt new, healthier behaviors and lifestyles.
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