Prescription drug addiction is a problem that affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. Prescription painkillers, tranquilizers and amphetamines are being abused by individuals who never intended to become addicted.
Who Is Abusing Prescription Drugs And Why?
Often, the problem begins when an individual is prescribed a medication for an injury or condition. When a doctor says to take a medication “as needed,” it can quickly open up the door for abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80 percent of heroin users first became addicted to a prescription opioid. The shift to heroin typically happens when it becomes harder to obtain the prescription. Heroin is a readily available, cheaper alternative to prescription opioids.
Teens are also particularly susceptible to prescription drug addiction because the drugs are relatively easy to obtain. Nearly two million teens have abused painkillers, steroids, stimulants and other prescription drugs. The vast majority of teens abusing prescription drugs are getting them from the medicine cabinets of their parents and friends. Drugs are also often stolen or purchased on the Internet and sold by classmates. Teens who are prescribed painkillers for sports injuries are also prone to becoming addicted.
The Slippery Slope Of Prescription Drug Addiction
Some common prescription drugs, such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and Adderall, are highly addictive. Experimentation can quickly lead to abuse and addiction, which can be incredibly difficult to overcome.
Often, an addiction takes hold before loved ones realize there’s something wrong. Once it has been identified, overlooking the problem or taking a wait-and-see approach only leads to a strengthening of the addiction. Anyone who is struggling with a prescription drug addiction requires immediate professional treatment.
Preventing Addiction Before It Starts
Physicians are in a unique position to help identify and prevent prescription drug addiction. By watching out for rapid increases in the amount of medication needed or unscheduled refill requests, they can help prevent the escalation of an addiction. Pharmacists can also help by being watchful of prescription falsifications and alterations.
Individuals need to be made aware of the dangers of these drugs and the chance of becoming addicted to them. If an individual notices that he or she needs more of the drug to get the same relief or is taking the prescription more often, it’s time to seek alternative, healthier options. Tell your doctor of your valid concerns and seek holistic therapies or other alternatives that actually benefit and strengthen your body.
Compassionate Help Is Available
If you are seeking prescription drug addiction treatment in the Bay Area, call Summit Estate Recovery Center now. With an experienced medical staff and substance abuse counselors, we are highly experienced in helping individuals overcome addictions to prescription drugs.