Data shows that up to 16 million Americans misuse prescription pills every year. That’s nearly 6% of the total US population. This comes as no surprise considering nearly 66% of Americans are prescribed drugs every year.
Not all prescription drugs are addictive, and not all people who are prescribed drugs fall into addiction. But with such a large proportion of the population being prescribed drugs, it’s almost inevitable that some will end up abusing them.
It’s because of data like this that prescription drug treatment has become more important than ever. If you or a loved one is suffering from prescription drug abuse then read along.
What is Prescription Drug Abuse
The use of prescription drugs can help patients heal both mentally and physically. It is common to use them to treat a wide range of health problems.
However, if patients take their prescription medications differently from how their doctors prescribe them, then they might end up suffering from dependence and drug abuse.
Not all prescription drugs are addictive, but some do carry secondary effects that can end up developing an obsession with the drug.
For example, opioids prescribed for the purpose of numbing pain can have similar effects to heroin. Both in its capability to treat pain and its addictive potency.
When taking medication as prescribed by a doctor, patients have less risk for addiction. But that’s not always the case. People who are more prone to addiction might fall prey to prescription even if taken as prescribed by their doctor.
Whatever the case may be, it’s critical to be able to identify the formation of a problem early on and communicate openly with your doctor about it.
Prescription drugs might also be abused recreationally by addicts that don’t have a prescription. In some cases they are mixed with illicit drugs in the order they can also be used to combat the unpleasant side effects of illicit drugs.
When is Prescription Drug Abuse a Problem
Consuming prescription drugs in a way other than prescribed by a doctor might not be a problem right away. Mistakes do happen and rarely will consuming drugs out of line will turn into abuse right away.
But it can become a problem fairly quickly and develop into addiction if a patient breaks away from the instructions of their doctor.
It often starts with playing doctor at home, and deciding when on how to take the prescription yourself. At times, unintentionally.
For example, a patient who is in pain might abuse opioids just because they have a need to ease their pain.
But this is not OK and should not be taken lightly, particularly when dealing with drugs that have such a high potency and risk for addiction.
In such cases it’s always best to check in with the doctor first and always report back any changes.
The most common signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse include:
- Pills or medication bottles going missing from your home
- Taking medication in ways other than directed by medical professionals
- Unexplained changes in their finances
- Extreme mood swings
- Symptoms of drowsiness or intoxication after the prescription timeline has ended
- Slurred speech
- Changes in sleep patterns including insomnia
- Lack of care in oneself, activities, work, and family
- Extreme fatigue
- Rapid changes in weight
- Dry lips
- Problems at work
Immediately seek help if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of prescription pill abuse.
What to Look for in a Prescription Drug Treatment
If you find that you or a loved one has crossed the line and are experiencing signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse then it’s time to seek out help.
These are the most important factors to look out for when looking for the right prescription drug treatment:
- Outstanding and legitimate staff credentials
- Onsite medical care
- Program accreditation by health organizations such as JCAHO or CARF.
- Financing options
- Support and 12-step programs
- Tailored recovery solutions
- Life integration programs
- Comfortable spaces
Where to Look for Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse
Finding the right prescription drug treatment can be daunting. After all, you want to make sure you are making the right decision and investing in the right treatment.
Several online sources provide directories of service centers, such as the federal SAMHSA treatment directory.
But an online search can quickly turn up hundreds if not thousands of queries and leave you more lost and confused than when you originally started.
Fortunately, Outpatient LA offers top-notch prescription drug treatment. We are ready to help you or your loved ones get the help you need and are available 24/7 to take in calls and patients.
Contact us today and speak to one of our admission counselors to see how we can help you or your loved ones get the help you need to get better today.