Addiction Alert: Prescriptions That Can Lead To Substance Abuse

Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances after alcohol and marijuana. When doctors prescribe medications to treat specific conditions, they have to take into consideration the patient’s overall health, age, and weight in order to determine the safest possible dosage.

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When patients take more of the drug than prescribed, take it for a longer period of time, or use it without a prescription at all, they are at high risk of developing a dangerous addiction.

The following are some of the most common prescription medications that can lead to substance abuse.

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Opioids

Opioids include a variety of drugs that are derived from the poppy plant. They include illegal drugs, such as opium and heroin, as well as prescription pain medications like oxycodone, codeine, and morphine.

These drugs work by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain, and they’re commonly prescribed for post-surgical pain, cancer pain, and some types of chronic pain. However, patients can quickly develop a tolerance for an opioid drug, meaning that they need more and more of it to treat their pain.

As one of the effects of opioids is to slow down the breathing, an overdose of an opioid drug can cause the patient to stop breathing altogether. When someone is abusing an opioid pain pill, the risk of overdose is high. Fortunately, oxycodone addiction treatment that includes both medically supervised detox and ongoing support can be very effective in freeing people of this type of addiction.

Depressants

Although opioids are getting the most attention in the news these days, they are not the only type of prescription drug that can lead to substance abuse. Another group of commonly abused medications is depressants. These drugs can include anti-anxiety medications, like Ativan or Valium, and sleep aids, like Nembutal and Seconal. These drugs produce a calming effect and, like opioids, they depress the nervous system and slow the breathing.

Patients are likely to develop a tolerance quickly. People who use prescription depressants recreationally are at especially high risk of overdose if they combine the drug with alcohol or other depressants.

Withdrawal symptoms from these drugs can be severe and even life-threatening. Therefore, anyone battling an addiction to prescription tranquillizers or sedatives should seek medically supervised treatment.

Stimulants

Stimulants are drugs that increase alertness and attention, and they are often prescribed for people with ADD, ADHD, and narcolepsy. Some of the most commonly prescribed stimulants include Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. Because they’re often prescribed to students, these drugs may be seen as beneficial for anyone who needs to study all night or focus better during a test.

They can also be used recreationally, as a way to get high. However, these drugs can be dangerous and lead to serious side effects, including addiction, severe paranoia, and heart failure. One of the most effective treatments for an addiction to prescription stimulants is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

If you’re taking any of these prescription drugs, make sure to use the medication only as prescribed and read the warnings about drug interactions carefully. If you or a loved one has developed a substance abuse problem, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Addiction treatment centres not only provide a safe environment for detoxing, but they can also help patients learn the coping skills they need to live an addiction-free life.

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