Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
Help and Hope in Florida
If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, there is hope and help for overcoming it. Overcoming addiction is no easy task, but with the help of a good addiction treatment program, it is possible to break the addiction and start fresh.
Prescription drug addiction knows no educational, age or social boundaries; we recognize our patients come from different places and different walks of life. To make sure all our patients receive the specific help they need, we personalize treatment to each client. Doing so increases their chances of achieving their recovery goals, both in the short term and in the days, weeks and months to come.
How Common Is Prescription Medication Abuse?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 52 million Americans over the age of 12 have abused prescription medication at some point. Another 6.1 million have abused prescriptions in the past 30 days.
Types of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drugs are prescribed with strict rules regarding when, how and who should take the medication. This is because any medication that is prescribed is controlled and may be strong enough to cause serious injury or addiction when used incorrectly.
Prescription drug abuse and addiction can involve these incorrect uses of prescription medications:
- Taking a prescribed drug for recreation
- Taking medication intended for someone else
- Consuming prescription medication with other drugs or alcohol
- Injecting the medication in a way that is not prescribed, whether that means taking more of the medication, snorting the medication when it is meant to be swallowed or otherwise deviating from the instructions for the drug
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment & Rehabilitation in Florida
Located beachside in Florida, Tranquil Shores offers a safe and comfortable environment designed to encourage self-discovery and introspection — two elements crucial to the emotional and physical healing process. Because we are one of the leading medical prescription drug addiction treatment centers, our patients benefit from our holistic approach to breaking the cycle of addiction. Commitment to working through recovery means treating both your mind and your body. After all, if you don't address the thoughts and situations that led to the behaviors in the first place, you have only treated half the problem.
Our experienced, trustworthy staff is dedicated to prescription drug addiction treatment, as well as any co-occurring conditions or mental illnesses that may have contributed to addiction in the first place. Our well-trained professionals — some of whom have garnered international recognition for their expertise — collaborate to design a tailored recovery plan for each client. Our 3:1 client-to-counselor ratio is the industry's lowest, and we have seen time and time again what a difference it makes in our client outcomes.
Types of Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Opioids, sedatives and stimulants are the most commonly abused types of prescription drugs. Doctors generally prescribe opioids to treat acute pain after a surgical procedure or an injury. Their purpose is to block pain and additional chemical signals the brain produces to provide temporary comfort and relief while the body begins the healing process. Most people say they provide a pleasant "high" that can get people hooked.
Prescription-strength sedatives help patients who have anxiety or insomnia. Their job is to calm activity within the brain. Higher doses of these drugs may induce sleep. For those who have difficulty with emotional control, sedatives can bring relief from the anxiety or obsessive thoughts that inundate their minds. And, because sleep disorders can disrupt daily routines, sleep-inducing drugs give the body the opportunity to recharge and repair itself. For people who suffer from these conditions, the relaxation and relief these sedatives provide can be a welcome change, and one they don't want to be without.
Prescription stimulants help kids and adults who have attention disorders. They increase blood flow to the brain, which increases alertness and sharpens brain function. This can cancel out the effects of these disorders, allowing the brain to focus enough to complete thoughts and tasks, rather than being overwhelmed by fragments of incomplete thoughts and unfinished projects.
A History of Prescription Opioids and Substance Abuse
In the past few years, there has been an epidemic of opioid abuse in this country, with over 130 people across the country fatally overdosing on opioids every day. Opioids are a class of drugs used in powerful painkillers to treat cancer patients and after surgery. This class of drugs also includes heroin and substances such as fentanyl, which is a synthetically made opioid.
The problem began in the 1990s when manufacturers of opioid pain medication told doctors and the community at large that opioids were a safe and non-addictive way to treat pain. Doctors prescribed the medication freely to help patients suffering from pain. By the time it was uncovered that opioids were, in fact, highly addictive, many patients had developed dependencies.
By 2017, about 1.7 million Americans had prescription opioid addictions. In addition, about 8-12% of patients who are prescribed opioids develop a use disorder and about 21-29% misuse the medication.
The problem is getting worse, too. In 52 regions of the country, opioid overdoses jumped 30% between July 2016 and September 2017. In the Midwest, that number increased approximately 70% in the same time frame.
There is another challenge with prescription opioids: They can lead to heroin abuse. About 4-6% of people who abuse opioids eventually switch, because heroin is accessible and less expensive. In fact, it is estimated that about 80% of heroin users began by misusing opioids that had been prescribed to them.
Contact Tranquil Shores today to learn more about how our experts can help!
Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
One of the challenges in identifying prescription drug addiction is that each type of medication displays different "tells." For example, if a person is addicted to opioid painkillers, they might exhibit constipation, nausea, confusion or poor coordination. If a person is addicted to sedatives, they might have slurred speech, dizziness or confusion. If a person is addicted to stimulants, they may be agitated, anxious and unable to sleep. And, if they have consumed alcohol while the medication is in their system, these effects could be different or more severe.
Have you been asking yourself, "How do I know if someone is using prescription drugs?" While the symptoms can be difficult to spot if you don't know what you're looking for, noticing some common behaviors can be helpful when trying to identify an addiction. People who are addicted to prescription medications generally exhibit the behaviors listed below.
Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse:
- Stealing medications from other people
- Selling medications
- Taking higher-than-prescribed doses
- Displaying extreme mood swings and hostility
- Experiencing major changes in sleep patterns
- Demonstrating poor decision-making skills
- Appearing unusually energetic or calm
- Continually "losing" prescriptions
- Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor
If you suspect prescription drug addiction in yourself or a loved one, you may also notice that work or school performance has suddenly declined. It is also common to engage in unusually risky behaviors or activities that are outside the norm. Relationships with significant others, family members or friends may be suffering as well.
In the case of prescription opiate abuse, someone addicted to opiates is likely to inflate their reports of pain to maintain access to the drug. Since pain is the original reason they were prescribed the drug, they continue to claim they are in more pain than they truly are to convince the doctor to continue giving them the medication they want. They may become obsessed with their medication, frequently talking about it or the number of pills they have left, demonstrating they are always thinking about the next dose.
Unfortunately, sometimes the signs can be much more subtle. For example, a parent may notice their teen's Ritalin prescription needs a refill sooner than expected. While this is not automatically a sign of abuse, if it happens several times, it may signal a problem. Just remember, the person with the prescription may not be the one who is abusing the medication. It could be a friend, and they may not even be aware it's happening.
Who's at Risk?
Anyone can become addicted to prescription drugs, but some people are at higher risk of addiction than others. One of the most at-risk groups is older adults, especially the elderly. Because of their age, they may inadvertently take incorrect doses of medication, or, if they struggle with their memory, they may even forget they took their meds and accidentally take another dose. Adults in this age group also typically take larger amounts of over-the-counter drugs and supplements that can create long-term problems, especially if the adult taking them also consumes alcohol. Depending on the medication, alcohol can create several unwelcome interactions when someone consumes it with medication in their system.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield
Tufts Health Plan
How Does Addiction to Prescription Drugs Begin?
Teenagers are also at risk for prescription drug addiction. Why? Because there is an alarming trend of thought that says a prescription medication is safe to consume, even if the person taking it isn't the one with the prescription. That isn't true, but sadly, many teens have bought into this idea, and they experiment with whatever they find in their parents' medicine cabinets. Not only are they using medicines not intended for them at potentially unhealthy doses, but they are often mixing them with alcohol, which can be deadly. Teenage girls aged 12 to 17 are at especially high risk for becoming addicted to prescription drugs. This group has a higher rate of abuse of psychotherapeutic drugs, as well as painkillers and tranquilizers.
While teens and the elderly are two particularly at-risk groups, it is important to remember there is no stereotype when it comes to prescription drug addiction. In the United States, people of all ages, social classes and educational levels have access to medication of some kind. Anyone can abuse medication to the point of becoming addicted. That is why it is so important to know how to identify the signs of prescription drug addiction.
Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction
Confronting a prescription drug addiction can be scary, whether you are the one struggling with the addiction or you are a concerned family member or friend. Not only are you worried about what is going to happen, but most people don't really know where to get help for prescription drug abuse. It can be especially hard for people who began taking prescription medications legally to admit to their doctor they are now addicted and using them incorrectly.
But the truth is, you are not alone. You are not the first person to encounter this situation, and you have several treatment options to choose from. There is hope for someone with a prescription drug addiction to live comfortably and drug-free if they can take the right steps toward recovery.
Typically, one of the biggest concerns about treatment is whether the person addicted to prescription drugs will have to check in to an inpatient facility for rehabilitation. And, technically, the answer is no. A variety of programs — both inpatient and outpatient — can provide treatment for prescription drug abuse. However, there is no denying the value of inpatient treatment in setting an addict up for long-term success.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
Many people who take prescription medication do so correctly. However, anyone who abuses prescription medications can develop a dependence. Addiction treatment for prescription drugs is challenging for a few reasons:
- The client may still have pain or an underlying condition requiring treatment.
- It may be more challenging to get medical help from doctors if medical professionals know about prescription drug abuse.
- Prescription drug abuse may create a high tolerance for other medications, which can affect how the body responds to them.
Being in a focused, controlled environment while you are vulnerable and trying to get clean can provide more accountability and more focused attention on overcoming addiction. And, the longer you stay in the program, the better your chances of success. This is especially important for those who are addicted to opiates, because their recovery can be long and difficult without around-the-clock support in the early days of their treatment.
Whether you choose inpatient or outpatient treatment, you'll likely receive a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. While it may seem strange to treat prescription drug addiction with medication, several effective, non-addictive medications are formulated to ease cravings and help you gain control of your body again. The meds available vary depending on the type of prescription drug you are addicted to, and your treatment team will be able to help you find the one that works best for you.
Typically, combining medication with cognitive behavioral therapy challenges negative thought patterns like the ones that led to addiction, and retrains the individual to develop new patterns that can help them overcome cravings and addictive behavior.
Call Tranquil Shores at (727) 888-6623 and let us help you discover life after addiction.