Prescription Drug Addiction Help
So now that you know that prescription drug abuse is a very real fact, what more do you need to know about it to make sure that you and those around you are safe and receiving the drug addiction help that they need? We have the answers to the most frequently asked questions about prescription substance abuse.
Who is at Risk of Prescription Substance Abuse?
There are three main risk groups:
- Seniors and the elderly have a high risk for prescription substance abuse as they may intentionally or unintentionally take too much, or use medications that are not medically necessary, and they also have a higher exposure to prescription medication. Those who are 65 years of age or older make up only 13% of our population, however they make up about 33% of all prescription medication users.
- Teenagers are a high-risk group for abuse of prescription meds. With a growing drug culture, the nature and trends of adolescents, a greater pressure to perform better and meet peers expectations, as well as a growing availability of prescription meds means that teenagers are obvious targets for prescription abuse.
- Even though most age groups see an almost equal rate of prescription drug abuse, teenage girls (aged 12 to 17) are more likely than their male counterparts to abuse prescription medication.
While these groups are more susceptible to prescription drug abuse and addiction, it is important to note that anyone and everyone can easily slip into this dangerous habit. If you or someone you know is on chronic or prescription medication, make sure that the dosage and directions of use are being followed and that use doesn’t continue further than the period for which it has been prescribed. Especially those who have been prescribed opioid painkillers for a few weeks should be aware that they will build up a tolerance and a physical dependency, and if they had to stop using the medication suddenly, they would experience withdrawal symptoms. It is critical that they do not seek to relieve their symptoms through the same or other medication – after a few days their body will have detoxed and the symptoms will disappear completely.
How Do I Recognize Prescription Medication Abuse and Addiction in Others?
Here are a few signs and symptoms that will help you identify if a loved one may have a prescription drug problem:
- Filling a prescription for the same medication at 2 or more different pharmacies
- Getting a prescription for the same medication from 2 or more different doctors
- Stealing, forging, selling, or “losing” prescriptions (so more have to be written)
- Upping their dosage – either by taking more medication or more than usual or what is prescribed
- A change in behavior, for example, excessive mood swings and becoming more angry or withdrawn
- Talking or thinking about the medication often and being afraid of not having it
- Being uncomfortable or becoming defensive when others ask about the medication
- Making excuses for why they need the medication or attempts to sneak and hide it
- Storing “extra” pills on their persons (either in their purse or pocket)
- A history of alcohol, drug, or prescription drug abuse
- If you find that you are running out of prescription medication faster than usual and have to get refills more often
- A change in sleeping patterns – either an increase or decrease
- Inability to make good decisions or an increase in instances of poor decision-making
- Appearing to be high – either energetic or sedated (this will depend on the drug being abused)
If you can identify any of these signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one, seek professional help and advice immediately. You can either contact a rehab center or your personal doctor.
Where do I go for Help?
If you suspect that a loved one or yourself may need help with a prescription drug problem, there are many ways you can find it. By talking to your or their personal doctor you can make them aware of the problem and they could help curb the addiction by being more vigilant with prescriptions. Alternatively, you can contact a facility that specializes in helping those who suffer from drug abuse, such as a rehab. This way you can ensure that the addict will receive adequate treatment for their addiction, as well as learn how to live without these substances.
Contact Beachside Rehab today for more information about prescription drug abuse or finding help with a rehab.