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When Prescription Drug Use Turns Into Addiction

prescription drug use

If you or someone you care about is currently dealing with prescription drug use, you may be wondering how a medical need like this turns into prescription drug addiction. Unfortunately, some prescription drugs are both effective when used medically and highly addictive when used recreationally. While this is a consideration for most medical professionals, this doesn’t prevent them from prescribing drugs like this to people that need them.

Some people may not even notice when they shift from medical use to recreational use. The shift from recreational use to addictive use can be even harder to recognize, yet this signals an increase in multiple health risks. If you’re looking for a prescription drug addiction treatment program in Nebraska, reach out to Northpoint Omaha. You can call 402.685.9404 or contact our team online to learn more.

Why Prescription Drug Use Is Dangerous

It’s a common misperception that prescription drugs are safer or less harmful than other types of drugs. Prescription drugs can be highly potent and very addictive—and may, in fact, need prescriptions because they are more harmful than other drugs that provide the same benefits.

These are common short-term and long-term health consequences for the misuse of each type of prescription drug:

  • Depressants: Misusing this type of drug can cause disorientation, fatigue, lack of coordination, shallow breathing, and slurred speech.
  • Stimulants: Misusing this type of drug can cause side effects that are common with cocaine use. These include dangerously high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, and paranoia, especially if stimulants are taken in large doses.
  • Opioids: Misusing this type of drug can cause side effects that are common with heroin use. These include constipation, drowsiness, nausea, and slowed breathing.

Signs That Prescription Drug Use Has Turned into Prescription Drug Addiction

The symptoms of prescription drug addiction vary. The observable symptoms will depend on the type of drug being abused, the frequency of abuse, other possible drug abuse, and the length of addiction.

Common symptoms of prescription drug abuse, regardless of the type of drug, include the following:

  • Being intoxicated, very energetic, or lethargic
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Doctor shopping or visiting multiple doctors to obtain more prescriptions
  • Losing multiple prescriptions for prescription medications
  • Lying about the amount of medication used
  • Mood swings relating to the availability of prescription medications
  • Stashing medication in multiple places
  • Stealing prescription medication or forging prescriptions
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Using prescription medications at a much faster rate than prescribed
  • Withdrawal when the prescription drug is not available

What to Expect from a Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Program

Any effective prescription drug addiction treatment program must focus on the type of drug being misused, as well as the needs of each client. To more likely recover from prescription drug addiction, a client must make sure that the program they go through is comprehensive but also customized. A client’s intake and detox processes must inform the creation of their treatment plan.

Most addiction treatment programs feature behavioral therapy in various forms, typically individual, group, and family or couples. Some programs also have a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) component. Addiction to some prescription drugs may be treated with other FDA-approved medications, such as methadone or naltrexone.

Before being discharged from the addiction treatment program, a client should be given an aftercare plan that’s also customized by the facility’s staff. The plan can include elements such as transitional housing, scheduled medical evaluations, continuing individual therapy, and more.

Learn More About Northpoint Omaha’s Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Programs

If you’re searching for a prescription drug addiction treatment program, reach out to Northpoint Omaha. Call 402.685.9404 or contact our team online to get started.