Prescription Drugs Addiction Treatment

Prescription drug abuse is claiming more lives than ever. In fact, many recent surveys, including those done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), state that prescription drug abuse has been continuously increasing among young adults, thereby, leading to more prescription drug overdose deaths than a decade ago. Yet the fact that prescription drugs save lives and give the much-needed relief from pain and illnesses cannot be negated.

Prescription drugs abuse happens whenever they are consumed in a manner or quantity not recommended by the prescribing doctor. Methods of abuse include taking drugs in a greater quantity than directed or snorting crushed pills in an effort to get an enhanced effect. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately an estimated 8.2 million adults aged 26 or older misused pain relievers in 2015. This number represents 3.9 percent of this or the older age group who used prescription drugs non-medically in the previous year.

It is a fact that the use of various drugs can lead to the development of prescription drug addiction. According to the NIDA, the three classes of most abused prescription drugs are opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants and stimulants.


Opioids are used to treat intense pain that cannot be relieved through any other means. In addition to pain relief, they can also produce the feelings of well-being and euphoria. The well-known examples of opioid pain relievers include drugs that contain active ingredients, such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Some of the common opioid brand names are:

  • OxyContin
  • Vicodin
  • Norco
  • Percocet
  • Demerol
  • Paregoric
  • Darvon
  • Dilaudid
  • Fentora
  • Tylenol with Codeine

According to NIDA, “More than 2 million people in the United States suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers. The terrible consequences of this trend include overdose deaths, which have more than quadrupled in the past decade and a half.”

The signs and symptoms of prescription drug addiction vary between classes of drugs. One can identify the presence of opioid abuse or addiction with the help of following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Feeling high (euphoria)
  • Slow breathing rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Poor coordination
  • Increase in pain with higher doses
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Central nervous system (CNS) depressants

Prescription drug addiction is often seen in case of this class of drugs. These are primarily used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Many of these are classified as benzodiazepines (often called “benzos”) and include the following:

  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Halcion
  • ProSom
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin

CNS depressants also include non-benzodiazepine sleep medications, such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata. Although they are thought to carry less risk of dependence, when abused, these drugs can still lead to addiction.

The following are some of the symptoms of CNS depressant abuse:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Unsteady walking
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with memory
  • Slow breathing
  • Stimulants

Stimulants are often used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some of the commonly prescribed stimulants include Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. These drugs often have a calming effect on patients and allow them to focus their attention. An increasing number of students have been abusing these drugs in recent years in an effort to study longer and improve their academic performance. A 2015 study found the rate of stimulant medication misuse among college students estimated at 17 percent.

The following signs may be indicative of stimulant abuse:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Agitation
  • High body temperature
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

Seeking help for prescription drug abuse

Opioids, CNS depressants and stimulants are those classes of prescription drugs that are not just misused but also highly abused. According to the NIDA, “When abused, all of these classes of drugs directly or indirectly cause a pleasurable increase in the amount of dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway. Repeatedly seeking to experience that feeling can lead to addiction.”

Prescription drug addiction can be both at psychological and physical levels. Thus, treatment for prescription drug addiction begins with a detox program, during which the build-up of chemicals caused due to chronic drug abuse is removed from the body slowly and gradually. This detoxification treatment process must be conducted under careful medical supervision as it involves preparing the patient to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.

Post detoxification, the patient undergoes comprehensive treatment for an overall recovery that includes counseling, therapies, medications, etc. Undergoing an end-to-end treatment process is important to ensure that there are no loopholes or risks remaining that might lead to a relapse.

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Why choose Sovereign Health of Florida?

At Sovereign Health of Florida, treatment for prescription drug addiction is done on an inpatient basis. This is done to ensure that the individual concerned receives the utmost attention and care at the specialized facility. For individuals who may not find this in-house treatment comfortable or suitable to their circumstances, we offer them a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Both these programs are also designed keeping the exact needs of the individual in mind.

A patient may choose any of these treatment processes, but what we keep on priority is preparing them to undergo a prescription drugs detox treatment at one of the specialized prescription drugs detox centers. On successful completion of this step, the person is then encouraged to undergo the other steps of the treatment process, including attending counseling and therapy sessions, learning the necessary coping skills, getting treated for any underlying mental health condition, and after-care.

At all levels of care, Sovereign Health of Florida employs evidence-based therapies that help patients get on the road to lasting recovery without any hassles. If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, then contact us right away. To learn more about prescription drug addiction recovery and the various available treatment programs, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online.

Sovereign Health Group is a leading addiction, dual diagnosis and mental health treatment provider. Call our admissions team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get the help you deserve.

The dual diagnosis program was what attracted me to Sovereign Health. My therapist was always open for discussion and the group sessions were very informative and educational.

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