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Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction

Did you know that every single day there are over 2,500 adolescents, from the ages of 12 up to 17 who will abuse some type of prescription pain reliever in the United States? While the abuse of prescription drugs is most widely seen in the U.S., it is an issue that faces communities all over the world. Over 15 million people in the United States abuse some type of prescription medication. This is higher than the number of individuals using heroin, inhalants, hallucinogens and cocaine combined.
Prescription Drug Addiction

What Constitutes Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is defined as the use of any type of prescription medication in a manner that the prescribing physician does not intend. In most cases, people abuse prescription drugs for the feelings that are produced from the drug. This type of abuse can easily become an ongoing problem, despite the severe nature of negative consequences that may be a result.

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

The symptoms and signs that are associated with the abuse of prescription drugs will depend on the actual drug that is being taken. The most commonly abused prescription drugs, due to their mind-altering properties include the following:

  • Stimulants: This includes Ritalin, which is used to treat some sleep disorders and ADHD;
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications/Sedatives: Examples include Valium, Xanax and Ambien;
  • Opioids: This includes any substance that is used to treat pain such as oxycodone and any that contain hydrocodone.

While there are many symptoms of prescription drug abuse such as weight loss, high blood pressure and restlessness, the actual physical signs are much easier for a third-party to recognize. These physical signs of prescription drug abuse include the following:

  • Taking more than the prescribed dosage of the medication
  • Making bad decisions, despite the consequences
  • Selling, forging or stealing prescriptions
  • Irregular mood swings
  • The appearance of being high, such as revved up or energetic
  • Sedated and lethargic
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Losing a prescription so more must be written
  • Attempts to get prescriptions from more than one physician

Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse

The issues associated with the abuse of prescription drugs are many. Prescription drugs are especially dangerous when they are taken in very high doses or combined with other prescriptions, over the counter medications or alcohol. When prescription drug abuse is an issue, it is essential to call for the help from recovery center. Unchecked it can lead to severe consequences, unfortunately prescription drug addiction is the gateway to heroin addiction.  Serenity Malibu will help ensure treatment is received to help and overcome the addiction for good.

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