According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem and has been classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While prescription drug abuse is not a new problem, it is one that continues to be commonly overlooked. Affecting more than 7 million Americans, there are three classes of prescription drugs most commonly abused:
- Opioids, most often prescribed to treat pain;
- CNS Depressants, intended to treat anxiety and sleep disorders; and
- Stimulants, often prescribed for narcolepsy and attention-deficit disorders like ADHD.
Examples include Ambien, Codeine, Demerol, Dilaudid, Morphine, Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin and Xanax. As in many cases with prescription drugs, addiction happens inadvertently. Often offered to treat chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety or other common medical conditions, an individual begins taking the drugs as prescribed and recommended by their physician. Like most drugs, over time, the body will become accustomed to the presence of the foreign substance and a tolerance is often established. This is where the addictive cycle begins. In many cases, one doctor is no longer able to satisfy an addict’s need for a particular drug, and this often leads to what is commonly known as “doctor shopping.” Patients will seek out additional physicians to prescribe them the medication they have become addicted to. To complicate things more, many popular prescription drugs cause side effects that lead the individual to seek additional medications to counter these effects. When these things happen, neither the doctors nor patient is in control. When safe and proper management and administration of these medications gets out of hand, dangerous consequences will often occur. Unlike street drugs, many individuals are ignorant to the dangers of abusing prescription medication. Since it is prescribed by their doctor, the risks and consequences of abusing these drugs are often overlooked. The reality, however, when not properly administered by a doctor, prescription medication can be just as dangerous and addictive as popular illegal drugs often resulting in physical and psychological problems – including death. Just like any other drug and/or alcohol addition, breaking the dependence can be incredibly difficult. A number of physical and psychological obstacles must be addressed to successfully overcome the dependence. Typically, this is most successfully accomplished following a complete drug detox in a facility equipped to address complications effectively. Supportive and thorough rehabilitation is often necessary to ensure the success of a full recovery. For questions about addictions to prescription medication and the detox process, please contact Gallus Detox or call 855-338-6929.