Drug addiction isn’t restricted to illicit drugs such as crystal meth and heroin. Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem that affects millions of people in the United States. While some drugs pose more of a problem to urban areas or poorer demographics, prescription drug abuse cuts across gender, race and socioeconomic lines. Research by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World suggests that at least 15 million people in the United States currently abuse prescription drugs.
There is hope for people who are currently struggling with an addiction to pharmaceutical substances. Call Drug Treatment Centers Burlington VT at (802) 881-0115 to learn how to take the first steps towards recovery.
Prescription drug abuse can occur with a wide variety of commonly-prescribed medications.
Opiate medications account for the most cases of abuse: Drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet are frequently prescribed for pain relief, but they carry a high risk of abuse.
Anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines represent another frequently-abused category of drugs. Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin are some of the most well-known benzodiazepines.
It’s not difficult to become dependent on opiates or benzodiazepines. Many addictions begin with a user taking a bit more of the drug than prescribed or when someone is experimenting with a drug that was prescribed for a friend or family member.
Some drugs are abused when they’re used for a non-medical purpose. Certain prescription stimulants commonly used to treat ADHD are abused by students using it to improve their focus and study performance.
An effective treatment plan for prescription drug addiction needs to take into account the specific drug of abuse, the extent of the addiction, and the patient’s personal circumstances.
Detoxification is usually the first step of the treatment process. During this stage, the patient is allowed to withdraw from the abused drug in a safe and controlled manner. The dosage of the drug may be reduced gradually, and other medications may be given to ease cravings for the drug and relieve some of the uncomfortable effects of withdrawal.
The withdrawal from some drugs can be intense and potentially dangerous, so the condition of each patient is monitored carefully during detox. After the detox process is complete, the patient can move on to the rehabilitation phase of treatment. Psychotherapy and behavioral modification play a critical role during this stage. In therapy, patients learn how to live without drugs, handle cravings for drugs and avoid the situations that could lead them to use.
Counseling and behavioral therapy can also help patients improve their personal relationships and function better as productive members of their community. Pharmacological therapy can also be a valuable part of prescription drug rehab. Certain medications have proven to effectively block the cravings for prescription opiates and help patients break their addiction.
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