Prescription, or Rx drug abuse is a serious problem that spans all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ethnic groups. Not only are these medications being prescribed at record rates, the cases of abuse have gone up as well. With millions of people abusing prescription medication every single day, this is one national issue that no one should ignore.
Of all the people that will use drugs for the very first time this year, nearly 17 percent will start with painkillers. When combined with other prescriptions such as sleeping pills, cough syrup, and stimulants, these medications are some of the most widely-abused substances in the country. Children as young as 12 are now experimenting with Rx drugs at some of the highest rates ever recorded. Currently, around 2.8 percent of all children report having abused some form of prescription medication by the time they the get into high school. Over just a 7 year period, emergency room visits that are the result of Rx drug abuse increased by over 128 percent.
There are a wide variety of reasons that Rx drug abuse has become so popular. One of the major problems is the fact that these drugs are now being prescribed at an alarming rate. Currently, some of the most prescribed drugs that have the potential for abuse include:
While these drugs can be helpful within the healthcare industry, the potential for abuse is still there. Many people that are prescribed this medication will find themselves increasing their dosage without speaking to their doctor or unable to function normally when not on their medication. When the side effects become severe enough, they may then seek out the drug in any manner possible or transition to street drugs. Others will steal or buy this medication from family and friends for recreational purposes and develop an addiction within just a short period of time.
Treating these addictions presents a number of unique challenges. Those people that have been prescribed this medication they will need to find alternative methods to manage their pain or overcome anxiety. Others will need to taper off the medication and transition to prescriptions with a smaller chance of abuse. Whatever path is chosen, however, no one should ever quit taking their prescription without first speaking with their primary healthcare provider or a detox specialist. Just as with street drugs, this medication can create very strong withdrawal side effects including nausea, vomiting, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and hallucinations.
The key to beating any addiction permanently is to think of rehab as an ongoing process. Instead of detoxing from these drugs and then hoping for the best, most people will want to explore their options for inpatient rehab. Over the course of 30 days or longer, addicts will be able to uncover the root causes of their disease and then develop the tools that they need to permanently break free from their Rx drug abuse.