Signs of Addiction to Prescription Drugs
The signs of addiction to prescription drugs are going to be pretty similar to any other illicit substance. They can include:
- Building a tolerance to the drug (needing more and more for any effect)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not present in the system
- The inability to control the use or stop using
- Losing focus on family, friends, pets, social circles, etc. in favor of focusing on drug use
- Using despite the negative consequences of use
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription drug addicts will likely need to undergo medically monitored detox, as the symptoms of withdrawal can be so severe that they can be deadly. For example, users of CNS Depressants can experience severe seizures during detox, and users of opioids may experience intense flu-like symptoms. Luckily, hospitals have a solid understanding of how to deal with these symptoms, so medically monitored detox has the benefit of having access to both medical and physical therapies to help reduce the symptoms and make the detox much more comfortable, safe, and feasible.
The difficulty with prescription drug treatment is that, unlike illicit substances that may be used solely for recreation, the prescription drug may still serve some kind of purpose. Therefore, prescription drug treatment will often combine medical treatment with psychological and holistic treatment. The goal is to find the root of the addiction and present new ways for the user to manage their pain, anxiety, or whatever the initial cause of use was.
Relapse is very common, so relapse programs can also be very helpful. These programs help the patient spot their triggers so they can learn how to manage them before the desire to use gets too intense.
Therapy doesn’t end with detox and recovering from prescription drug addiction can be a lifelong, but very attainable goal.