Prescription medicine abuse is one of the least recognized types of chemical dependency. Prescription medicines, most commonly used to treat pain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety/ sleep disorders, are being abused at an alarming rate.
Just like drug addiction, prescription medicine abuse can be treated effectively. Prescription medicines most commonly used to treat pain, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety/ sleep disorders, are being abused at an alarming rate. This abuse frequently leads to addiction, is the cause of many overdoses, and a direct link to heroin addiction.
The Effects of Prescription Abuse and Addiction
The consequences of prescription medicine abuse have been steadily worsening and young adults between the ages of 15 and 27 are driving the prescription medicine abuse epidemic.
Symptoms of prescription medicine abuse include:
- Frequent requests for refills from physicians
- Crushing or breaking pills
- Stealing prescription medications from family members, friends or co-workers
- Faster consumption of prescriptions than indicated
- Visiting multiple doctors for similar conditions
- Mood swings corresponding to absence or availability of the drugs
- Change in sleep patterns
- Increased irritability
- More frequent alcohol consumption
Abuse symptoms vary based on the class of drug.
Sedative abuse symptoms include:
- Drowsy, intoxicated appearance
- Unsteady movements
- Rapid, involuntary eye movement
- Poor judgment and decision-making
- Poor memory
Stimulant abuse symptoms include:
- Extreme agitation
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Elevated body temperature
- Heart failure
- Increased hostility
- Weight loss
Opiate abuse symptoms include:
- Rapid decrease in blood pressure
- Constipation or other digestive irregularities
- Shortness of breath
Break The Cycle of Addiction
At the Claudia Black Young Adult Center, we understand the seriousness of prescription medicine abuse and addiction. Our treatment program includes detoxification to an intensive, inpatient psychotherapeutic program that addresses the symptoms and underlying causes of abuse and addiction.