Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem throughout America, with millions of people misusing legal medications each year. Prescription drug abuse involves a wide range of substances, with the three most commonly abused medications being opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants and stimulants. Prescription drug abuse can be effectively treated at a drug rehab center, through a combination of detox, medication therapy and behavioral therapy programs.
The abuse of prescription drugs takes place when someone over uses or misuses prescribed medications. There are many possible ways to abuse legitimate medications, including taking larger doses than prescribed, taking other people's medicine, combining medication and using a different method of administration than prescribed. Drug misuse can lead to dependence and overdose, with the chronic use of certain medications also having an adverse influence on physical and mental health. Prescribed drugs are generally taken for their sedative, anxiolytic, analgesic or stimulant properties, with some drugs taken in a recreational context or combined with alcohol and illicit drugs.
Prescription drugs are abused for many reasons, with depressants and stimulants influencing mood and behavior in very different ways. The most commonly abused class of prescription drugs are opioids, including morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Fentanyl and Vicodin. While these drugs are generally taken for their pain relief properties, they also provide a sense of euphoria which many users find highly attractive. Morphine and related opioids are well known for their addictive properties, with tolerance and the experience of a withdrawal syndrome likely with continual use.
CNS depressants are another widely abused class of prescription drugs, with benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax often misused and taken in combination with other substances. While the short-term use of these drugs is generally believed to be harmless, long-term use can create tolerance and dependence. Benzodiazepines are especially dangerous when they are combined with alcohol and other CNS depressants, with the cross-tolerant relationship between these substances known to cause overdose and death. Stimulants are the third class of commonly abused prescription drugs, with amphetamines taken for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also widely misused and available on the black market.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 52 million people have taken prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at some point in their life, representing roughly 20 percent of the adult population. The United States consumes 75 percent of the world's prescription drugs, even though it represents just 5 percent of the global population. 6.1 million Americans have used prescription drugs non-medically in the past month, with over half of these people getting their drugs free from a friend or family member.
Typical signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse include changes in behavior, changes in sleep patterns, mood swings, agitation, anxiety and depression. Common signs of opioid abuse include constipation, depression, low blood pressure, confusion, sweating and poor coordination. Common signs of sedative abuse include drowsiness, confusion, dizziness and poor judgment. Common signs of stimulant abuse include weight loss, irritability, insomnia, agitation and impulsive behavior.
The treatment for prescription drug abuse depends greatly on the substance in question, with detox often required to manage the withdrawal syndrome and ongoing therapy administered to treat the underlying issues. Drug rehab centers Tallahassee can help explain the stages of the process with you - from the early stages of intervention and detox to the later stages of behavioral therapy and counseling. Residential and out-patient programs are both available.