Prescription Drug Addiction: Prescription medications are often prescribed to alter mood and treat various current psychological conditions. They can have a synergistic effect when mixed with other drugs and/or alcohol and can result in severe addiction and withdrawal when used differently than prescribed.
Prescription drug addiction is one of the most poorly recognized types of chemical dependency.
Prescription medications and some over-the-counter medications are increasingly being used in ways other than intended. This practice can lead to addiction, and in some cases, overdose. Among the most disturbing aspects of this emerging trend is its prevalence among teenagers and young adults, as well as the common misconception that because these are used medically or prescribed by physicians, they are safe even when not used as intended.
Three different classes are most susceptible to abuse:
- Stimulants: most commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Opiates: most often prescribed to treat severe or chronic pain
- Tranquillizers/sedatives: frequently prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or sleep disorders
These drugs generally work by either suppressing or promoting chemical reactions in the brain. Drug-seeking behaviours are the primary warning signs of prescription drug abuse, regardless of the chemical make-up of the medication. These behaviours include:
- Frequent requests for refills from physicians
- Losing them and requesting replacements regularly
- Crushing or breaking pills
- Stealing or borrowing them from family members, friends, or co-workers
- Consuming them much faster than indicated
- Visiting multiple doctors for similar conditions
- Inconsistent answers to questions about usage
- Stealing or forging them
- Consumption of over-the-counter drugs for the same conditions that a doctor has prescribed other medication
- Ordering more over the internet
- Noticeable mood swings corresponding to availability or absence of the drugs
- Changing sleep patterns
- Increasing irritability, especially when they are unavailable
- More frequent alcohol consumption
Even after the withdrawal is managed by our team at Aurora Recovery Center according to the individual’s needs, there is still emotional and psychological distress. Specific individualized attention to the person’s emotional and psychological needs are critical as well. During this time, exercise is very helpful along with counselling sessions that meet where you are at following the withdrawal.
The next step is to make sure that your emotional and psychological pain is addressed and your needs are met. Fortunately, Aurora’s expert counsellors provide both cognitive therapy and behavioural modification. These are the best therapies for any addiction. You will learn new ways to handle old problems and new behaviours that work for you instead of turning to pills that have been working against you up to now.
Exercise and other physical activities are crucial to your recovery. Aurora has beautiful walking trails, mountain bikes, an exercise room with equipment for you to use, and one of the largest pools in Manitoba. We have sports equipment and other options available as well. You will have a personal medically approved physical activity program designed especially for your current physical condition.
Treatment would be incomplete without skill-building techniques to help you to avoid the need to return to pill use. If you have and use these tools, permanent recovery is possible and likely. Another important element of treatment is learning relaxation techniques. Once you are no longer depending on pills you will need to learn other ways to manage your free life and enjoy it to its fullest. Spiritual and meditative treatments have proved to be quite helpful, amongst other techniques.
One of the most successful things users can do is attend a twelve-step program. Twelve-step programs have the greatest success for the greatest number of addicts. You will benefit from this experience while in treatment and will learn how to be able to enjoy your life, deal with your problems and achieve your dreams through the practice of these steps.
Our residential treatment program and ongoing outpatient care are the best practices for anyone suffering from prescription drug addiction. Aurora provides all of this to you at our beautiful centre located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Our landscape and magnificent views of the lake and wildlife provide a relaxed, serene and spacious environment as you receive your daily treatment services. Your nutritional addictions recovery meals, your treatment program, your treatment experts at Aurora all combine with your courage to provide your best opportunity for permanent recovery. You have taken your very first step to recovery just by reading this. Now, call us and give yourself the opportunity for a new life. We can help, substance abuse treatment is possible.