The growing number of people who misuse prescription drugs – from opioids to depressants and stimulants – is becoming a major public health issue in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2 million people said they misused prescription drugs for the first time over the past year, and a total of 18 million people acknowledged that they have engaged in this harmful behavior in the past 12 months.
There are several reasons behind these trends. One is the sheer number of prescriptions written and filled every year – up to 4.2 billion according to the latest report from Statista – which makes it easier to obtain drugs. Another is the mistaken perception that prescription drugs are less dangerous than other drugs simply because they can often be obtained legally.
But the dangers of this behavior are clear. The misuse of prescription drugs may provide temporary relief, enjoyment or pleasure, but as the abuse continues, the related health problems become more severe. Depending on the type of drugs involved, people who misuse prescription drugs experience long-term negative effects on their mental and physical health. And the longer the abuse goes on, the more serious health risks the user encounters.
The risk of addiction and overdose are the most prevalent dangers of prescription drug abuse. One of the reasons so many overdoses occur is the increased tolerance that a person develops through continued use, which leads them to take more of the drug in an attempt to get the same experience. Another factor in overdose cases is the availability of illicit drugs, which may contain fentanyl or other substances that make them more dangerous.
Other health risks include low blood pressure, a slowed breathing rate or a coma from the misuse of opioids; heart problems, high blood pressure and dangerously high body temperatures from the misuse of stimulants; and memory problems, low blood pressure, and slowed breathing from the misuse of anti-anxiety medications and sedatives.
It’s important to recognize the signs of a prescription drug addiction and know when you may need professional treatment. Some of the most common signs include:
Different types of drugs have different symptoms. Among them:
It can be difficult to admit that you have a drug problem and take that first step of reaching out for professional help. But you shouldn’t fear getting treatment at a rehab facility such as Golden Peak Recovery. Our team of clinicians, therapists and counselors are dedicated to helping you overcome your substance abuse and live a happy, healthy life.
When you first come to Golden Peak Recovery, we conduct a thorough assessment of your mental and physical health, as well as your history of drug use. We take great care to consider any co-occurring mental health disorders that may contribute to your addiction, then assemble an individualized treatment plan that is custom-tailored for your specific needs.
Many people with a prescription drug addiction require a medical drug detox at the beginning of their rehab program. You will likely experience withdrawal symptoms as you go through the process of cleansing your body of drugs. During a medically assisted detox, our team keeps you as safe and comfortable as possible with constant care and medications that reduce the impact and severity of your withdrawal symptoms.
After your detox is complete, your rehab program will include behavioral therapies that our team has selected to help you overcome your substance use disorder. With cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy and more, we help you identify your negative thoughts and emotions, understand how they influence your behavior, and learn to find healthy solutions for dealing with your stress and substance abuse triggers.
We also provide aftercare services that help you stay on the road to recovery after you complete your rehab at Golden Peak Recovery. Even after you leave our facility, we are dedicated to providing the support and guidance you need to achieve your goal of a successful and lasting recovery from your prescription drug addiction.