Prescription drugs have worked miracles in the medical field. From alleviating minor discomforts to saving lives, prescription medication has become a regular element of everyday life in the United States. However, what many fail to recognize is the underlying darkness that these drugs contain.
Prescription drug abuse is a swiftly growing issue in the U.S. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 52 million Americans have abused prescription drugs in their lifetime.
It is imperative that you understand which prescription drugs are the most abused and addictive, so you can begin to combat the devastating dependence afflicting you or a loved one.
What Is Prescription Drug Addiction?
Prescription drug addiction isn’t an instantaneous development, but a debilitating disease that festers over an extended period. In most scenarios, initial prescription drug consumption is voluntary. A medical professional administers the medicine to help treat your pain, allergies, or some other remediable ailment. It may fulfill this primary function successfully, but often coupled with this victory is a devastating side-effect.
A continued influx of a particular drug demands that your body reshapes its chemistry to adapt. Your brain notices the consistent intake of a new, foreign substance, and acts accordingly. This chemical modification creates dependency. Your body may be able to handle this repeated dosage, but it also now requires it. Crippling withdrawal symptoms will emerge in the wake of your failure to satiate this newly-developed need. You will find yourself increasing dosage in both quantity and frequency, desperately chasing alleviation. This vicious cycle only guides you further down the depths of addiction.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
The are three classes of prescription drugs that see the most widespread misuse in the U.S.
The opioid class refers to all opiate drugs, both synthetic and natural. Derived from the latex of the opium poppy plant, opiates find their most frequent use as prescription pain relievers. This practicality is not meant to denote high user susceptibility to addiction. Some commonly prescribed, but highly addictive opioids include:
Drugs in the stimulant class are meant to do just that, stimulate. Stimulants are not only prescribed to increase energy, attentiveness, and heart rate, but to treat respiratory problems ranging from moderate to severe.
A high probability of addiction development has led to a sharp decline in the prescribing of stimulants. This decrease does not denote a complete exit from the pharmaceutical scene, as stimulants are still prescribed to treat ADHD, depression, and narcolepsy. Some commonly prescribed, but highly addictive stimulants include:
|Central Nervous System Depressants|
Drugs in the central nervous system (CNS) depressant class slow brain activity by directly manipulating the CNS. Often referred to as tranquilizers or sedatives, CNS depressants are regularly prescribed to treat insomnia and anxiety. Some commonly prescribed, but highly addictive CNS depressants include:
The Rise of Prescription Drug Abuse
The onset of the new millennium correlated with a boom in prescription drug abuse across the U.S. This disturbing phenomenon can be partially attributed to the knowing or unknowing sharing of medication with friends and family. Getting high is no longer mediated by dealers or dangerous environments; you can now find the tools you need in the medicine cabinets of your loved ones.
With the emergence of the internet came a booming online pharmaceutical industry. The lack of face-to-face interaction required in this e-commerce environment is conducive for anonymity, making the obtainment of generous quantities of medication profoundly easier.
Combine this multifaceted ease of non-supervised access with an all-time high prescription writing rate, and you have the addiction crisis plaguing the Nation.
Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
Many prescription drug users have difficulty differentiating proper intake from abuse. The distinction is fairly simple.
If you feel any of the above accurately describes you, it is imperative that you seek help as soon as possible. If you live in the Tampa, Florida, area, Riverside Recovery is the solution to your struggle.
Is a Loved One Abusing Prescription Drugs?
If you fear that a loved one may be tumbling down the dark path of prescription substance abuse, there are certain key indicators to keep an eye out for.
- You notice an excessive buildup of empty pill bottles around their home or office.
- They increase the frequency of their doctor’s appointments.
- They visit multiple doctors for the same purpose.
- They regularly run out of money.
- They now place more value on their medication than their family, friends, and hobbies.
If you see a combination of any of the above in a loved one, it is of paramount importance for their physical and mental safety that you seek help. Riverside Recovery of Tampa, Florida, can provide the nurturing and productive environment required for a successful detox.
Veterans and Painkillers
Prescription painkiller addiction is tragically common amongst veterans of the U.S. military. According to the Veterans Health Administration, roughly 68,000 veterans are prescription opioid addicts alone.
Such a potently high rate of veteran prescription painkiller addiction can be attributed to the nature of war. The violent intensity of the battlefield leaves many soldiers with harsh wounds, both physical and mental.
From minor injuries to debilitating handicaps, veterans are prescribed painkillers to do exactly what the name implies, kill their pain. Some veterans even turn to painkillers without a prescription to help them escape from their haunting PTSD.
Veterans are not immune to the potent addictive properties of opioid-based medication. They undergo the same chemical restructuring and dependency building that facilitates addiction development in any long-term drug user. The U.S. military’s unprecedented prescription frequency only exponentiates this addiction rate.
If you or a loved one is a veteran suffering from a painkiller addiction, Riverside Recovery of Tampa, Florida, is here for you. We provide a tranquil and nurturing environment for veterans to combat their addiction, and return to a life of positivity and productivity.
How to Combat Prescription Drug Addiction
We understand how immensely difficult combating prescription medication addiction can be. It’s an exhausting process for both yourself and your loved ones. You may be losing hope, feeling as if there is nowhere left to turn. If you live in the Tampa, Florida, area, Riverside Recovery is there for you. Our state-of-the-art resources and experienced staff will work together to facilitate your self re-discovery. We will work effortlessly to help you overcome your addiction, and return to a life of positivity.
For more information, we encourage you to call (800) 871-5440, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t let prescription drug addiction hold you back from achieving happiness; contact Riverside Recovery today.