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Prescription Drug Addiction

Unfortunately, drugs prescribed by doctors for legitimate medical issues can often introduce you to drugs and lead you to addiction. You might continue taking the drug even after you no longer have the condition, because you have not used all of your medication, or you may continue to use because it treats other problems you suffer from, such as stress, emotional trauma, social issues or other, undiagnosed physical problems.

If you suffer from a long-term condition that requires you to take medication on an on-going basis, this could even mask an addiction problem. Up to 52 million Americans have used drugs for reasons other than which their doctor prescribed them and nearly equal number of individuals obtained their drugs from friend’s or family’s legal prescriptions. Prescriptions drugs will also not negate your need for a medically-supervised detox. Prescriptions drugs pose many of the same health dangers as illegal drugs.

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Abuse of prescriptions drugs, like abuse of illegal drugs, can cause many negative, dangerous and life-threatening side effects, including:

Opioids

  • euphoria
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • difficulty breathing
  • issues with coordination
  • increased sensitivity to pain

Sedatives / Anti-anxiety

  • dizziness
  • difficulty focussing
  • disorientation
  • difficulty concentrating
  • slurred speech
  • breathing issues
  • balance issues
  • memory issues

Stimulants

  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • irritability
  • increased body temperature
  • high blood-pressure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • appetite loss

Long-term Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse

Abuse symptoms differ by substance, and they will also differ in severity depending on which drug or drug combinations you use and how long you’ve used them.

Opioids

  • increased risk of choking
  • respiratory difficulties
  • hypotension
  • addiction
  • overdose
  • coma
  • death

Sedatives / Anti-anxiety

  • breathing problems
  • seizures varying in severity
  • addiction
  • overdose
  • death

Stimulants

  • high body temperature
  • tremors
  • hypertension
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • cardiovascular problems
  • heart attack
  • seizures
  • stroke
  • addiction
  • overdose
  • death

Symptoms of Withdrawal from Prescription Drugs

Withdrawal symptoms vary from prescription to prescription but will include some or all of the health issues listed below.

Opioids

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • gastrointestinal issues
  • body aches
  • sweating and / or chills
  • eye dilation
  • insomnia

Sedatives / Anti-anxiety

  • sweating
  • shaking and tremors
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • fast heart-rate
  • seizures

Stimulants

  • irritability
  • sleeping problems
  • insomnia
  • depression

Prescription Medications Require a Supervised Detox

You might think that prescription drugs pose a lesser risk to your health than illegal drugs, but any drugs taken without doctor supervision can do serious harm to your physical and emotional health, create strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms and invite life-threatening symptoms if you try to detox on your own. If you take multiple drugs in combination, you will invite more complications and increased risks.

Regardless of your drug of choice, a medically-supervised detox provides you the safest way to break your chemical dependency and gives you the highest likelihood of completing detox. Completing your detox helps guarantee that all drug traces have left your body, and being free of drugs will make your subsequent addiction treatment and therapy much more successful. Cravings and chemical dependence make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to develop new, healthy habits.

The Serenity Recovery Center’s Integrated Approach to Prescription Drug Detox

Addiction is much more than a medical problem; it is a human problem. Many factors lead to addiction, and some reasons you use may go back to your childhood or even begin in your genes. For others, drug use and addiction may start by hanging out with the “wrong” people or by trying to deal with job or family stress in unhealthy ways. However your addiction, you have made the right choice by choosing to stop, but that is only the beginning of your battle to get well.

To win, you will need the best possible odds and experienced, committed help on your side. The Serenity Recovery Center embraces a patient-center, holistic and compassionate approach to addiction recovery. We want to make this process comfortable so that you can complete it and fully live your life, leaving drugs behind you. Our approach affects everything we do, from providing medically-supervised detox to traditional and alternative therapies, to the kind, judgment-free and affirming interactions you will have with our staff and your peers.

You want to get well, but you can’t do it on your own. The Serenity Recovery Center can help. We have helped thousands beat addiction and live healthy, sober lives by helping to restore the self-worth and self-confidence that will sustain you long after you leave our care. You have made the first step. Let us help you the rest of the way.

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