Many prescription medications are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat a range of different health conditions. Yet, despite their efficacy in medical settings, an increasingly large number of people choose to use prescription medications for recreational purposes. Abusing any medication in ways other than were prescribed by a doctor can increase the risk of developing a prescription pill addiction.
Before making the mistake of believing that prescription pills are somehow safer than illicit street drugs, here are some fast facts about prescription pill addiction to consider.
Fast fact #1: The most commonly abused types of prescription medications fall into three categories:
Fast fact #2: A recent report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that around 4.3 million Americans engaged in non-medical use of prescription opiate painkiller medications at sometime within the last month. The same report showed that approximately 1.9 million Americans had developed a prescription painkiller pill addiction or use disorder within the past year.
Fast fact #3: Research shows that 99% of U.S. doctors prescribing prescription opiate painkillers to patients give prescriptions that far exceed the three-day dosage limit that is federally recommended.
Fast fact #4: Taking any medication in any way other than what a doctor described is considered prescription drug abuse. This includes taking higher doses than were prescribed, taking medication prescribed for someone else, or taking pills for non-medical or recreational reasons.
Fast fact #5: Different prescription medications have varying effects on the brain and the central nervous system. Taking more pills than the body is accustomed to can cause overdose
Fast fact #6: More people died as a result of overdosing on prescription opioid painkillers in America in 2016 than from overdoses caused by heroin and cocaine combined.
Fast fact #7: The signs of pain pill addiction are almost identical to those of heroin addiction. Opiate painkiller medications are almost identical on a molecular level to heroin and act in the same way on the brain's opioid receptors. If a person has been abusing painkiller medications for a period of time then stopping use suddenly or quitting cold turkey can cause the same type of withdrawal symptoms as detoxing from heroin.
Fast fact #8: A person who is developing a dependency on prescription painkiller medications may need to take higher doses to achieve the same effects that used to be reached with smaller amounts. This is known as tolerance.
Fast fact #9: Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that more than 50% of heroin users reported abusing prescription painkillers before starting on heroin. Ignoring painkiller pill addiction signs increases the risk of turning to heroin as the cheaper and more readily available source of opiate drugs.
Fast fact #10: The treatments for prescription painkiller pill addiction are identical to treating heroin addiction. Drug rehab centers may administer treatment medications, such as methadone or Suboxone to help ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms during detox.
It's far too common for people to assume that prescription medications are somehow safer than taking illicit street drugs, simply because they were prescribed by a doctor. However, it is still possible to develop addiction to prescription pills relatively quickly.
If you or someone you know shows signs of pain pill addiction, it's important to seek professional treatment at a drug rehab center. Addiction specialists can provide monitoring and supervision throughout the detox process, as well as providing the proper medications to help alleviate symptoms.
Begin your search today by contacting Drug Treatment Centers Orlando. Call (407) 567-7210 for more information.