Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
Yellowstone Recovery doesn’t just help those struggling with illicit drug addictions—we’re also a prescription drug addiction treatment facility. Learn more about prescription drug addiction in the sections below.
Prescription drugs are any medications that are prescribed by a doctor for a person’s medical care. Many prescription drugs can be safely taken every day, while others are not meant for long-term use due to addiction risk. Prescriptions become problematic when they are taken differently than instructed, used regularly to achieve a high or avoid discomfort, or purchased illegally without a prescription.¹
Of the thousands of prescription drugs that exist on the market, there are certain types of medications that are more addictive and more commonly misused than others. Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs include painkillers (e.g., Morphine and Vicodin®) and stimulants (e.g. Adderall® and Ritalin®).²
Some prescription medications are addictive, some are not. The risk depends upon the type of medication, the dosage, and the person taking it (ADHD patients, for example, can usually take stimulants for many years without problems.)
The Physiological Cause of Prescription Drug Addiction
The exact mechanism of addiction varies by drug, but it usually begins with a change in brain chemistry. Regular use of addictive prescription drugs can alter the brain’s normal chemical function and cause the person to need the drug to replace the natural chemical functions that no longer occur.
Different drugs have different effects, but common effects of highly addictive drugs like narcotics and stimulants include powerful relaxation, pleasurable feelings, increased energy, increased heart rate, pain relief, reckless behavior, and poor decision making.
An addiction to prescription drugs can have a variety of telltale signs:
- Erratic behaviors
- Deteriorating physical health and appearance
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Obsession with taking and obtaining medication
- Seeing several doctors (“doctor hopping” for more drugs)
Withdrawal symptoms also vary by drug type, but may include things like the following:
- Irritability, aggression
- Head and body aches
- Nausea, vomiting
- Intense cravings
Prescription medication addiction can be just as difficult to quit as any illicit substance. For the greatest chance of long-term success, it is important that you seek the help of a dedicated prescription drug addiction rehab program.
Depending on the drug type, dosage, and duration of use, withdrawal symptoms can be severe or even life-threatening. In a professional rehab facility, you’ll be able to go through prescription drug detox in a safe environment under the supervision of doctors. Then you’ll learn valuable skills and coping strategies to help you manage your recovery in the long term.
If you’re struggling with a prescription drug addiction, Yellowstone Recovery in Southern California can help you break your dependency and take back your life. Call (888) 418-4188 to get started.
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