Addiction is possible for anyone using any drug. Just because your doctor prescribed it doesn’t mean you can’t get addicted if you misuse it. Prescription drug misuse means:
- Using a prescription drug in a manner or dosage not intended by the prescriber.
- Taking someone else’s prescription drug, even if for a legitimate reason such as pain.
- Taking medication for the single purpose of getting high or to feel euphoria.
The term “nonmedical use” also refers to these types of misuse. Prescription drug abuse may become ongoing and compulsive, despite the adverse results. Early identification of drug abuse and early interference may prevent the problem from becoming an addiction.
If the time for early intervention has passed and you’re experiencing or witnessing these signs of prescription drug addiction, prescription drug detox centers are likely to be in your future. Programs at prescription drug detox centers is the safest and most successful way to begin your recovery, whether the drug was prescribed or not. In the state of Florida, there are currently 401 rehab centers with payment assistance, 217 accepting Medicaid, and 149 with drug and alcohol detox services.
Following are some signs of prescription drug addiction.
Warning Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction
- Stealing, forging, or selling prescriptions
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- Extreme mood swings or hostility
- Decrease/increase in sleep
- Poor decision-making
- Appearing to be high, unusually energetic, or sedated
- Constantly “losing” prescriptions or
- Requesting early refills (so more prescriptions must be written)
- Getting prescriptions from more than one doctor (doctor shopping)
What Are The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs?
Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse depend on the specific drug. But, due to their mind-altering properties, the most commonly abused drugs are:
Opioids are usually prescribed to treat pain and can produce a feeling of euphoria. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that 58.8 million prescriptions for oxycodone were filled in the U.S. in 2013, and the opioid epidemic continues to grow.
Examples of misused prescription opioids are:
Oxycodone is used to treat pain and sold under the brand name OxyContin or combined with acetaminophen as Percocet. Similar to heroin, it causes a euphoric, sedative effect.
Sold under the brand name Norco.
Prescribed for mild to moderate pain and frequently combined with other medications to treat colds and flu. Codeine-based cough syrups have a sedative effect when taken in large quantities. And it is used as a base to make an illicit drug mixture called “sizzurp” or “purple drank.” Effects of this concoction include sedation and altered levels of consciousness.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid prescribed for intense and continuous pain. It is usually prescribed for people suffering from cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine (the base for heroin). Fentanyl is frequently mixed with heroin, cocaine, or both. In 2017, the CDC reported that fentanyl was involved in over 50% of opioid-related deaths in the U.S.
Sold under the brand name Demerol, meperidine is usually used to treat mild to moderate pain. Like the other opioids, it produces feelings of euphoria. The CDC reported in 2011 that 2,666 Americans died from drug poisoning involving opioid painkillers other than methadone (an opioid addiction treatment).
Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants
Central nervous system depressants include barbiturates and benzodiazepines and are sometimes called tranquilizers. Their purpose is to have a calming effect.
Examples of the most misused CNS depressants include:
Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine sold as Xanax. It is usually prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is typically misused for its fast-acting sedative effects. The CDC has estimated that four times as many Americans died in 2015, compared to 2002, from overdoses that involved benzodiazepines. Many of the deaths involved combining benzodiazepines with opioids.
Clonazepam and Diazepam
These drugs are also benzodiazepines, sold under the names Klonopin and Valium respectively. They are used to treat anxiety, panic disorder, and to treat seizures. They are misused for their sedative effects. Mainly, they can cause “highs” that feel like the effects of alcohol: drunkenness, talkativeness, and relaxation.
Stimulants increase your brain activity. By doing so, it helps to increase your alertness and energy levels. They are often misused for their energizing effect by people who tend to be sleep-deprived like truck drivers, college students, shift workers, and people who work on deadlines.
Examples of frequently misused prescription stimulants are:
The brand name is Adderall but it is also known as “speed.” Amphetamine is a CNS stimulant. It is mainly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Medications containing amphetamine are usually misused for their energizing effects. A University of Michigan study reported 9% of college students misusing Adderall.
The brand name for this drug is Ritalin and it is a stimulant, like Adderall, that affects your CNS. In addition, it increases the amount of dopamine in the brain (a neurotransmitter that affects your reward circuitry, movement control and improves attention). Unfortunately, one of the reasons prescription stimulants are so misused is their availability. More than 13 million prescriptions for methylphenidate were filled in 2012, as reported by the DEA.
What to Expect In Prescription Drug Detox Centers
The principle behind detoxing from prescription drugs is the same as any other substance use disorder (SUD). Detoxification is usually the first step in the treatment of alcohol or substance abuse. It is the process of ridding the body of any substances that created a dependency by stopping drug use and going through the withdrawal process.
What is Withdrawal?
Withdrawal is the combination of mental and physical effects that you experience after you stop using or reduce your intake of a substance such as alcohol, prescription, or recreational drugs. If you’ve been using a substance with a high likelihood of dependency, such as prescription medications, the withdrawal symptoms can vary widely.
The intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms depend on the type of drug and your biological makeup. Withdrawal effects can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous. For these reasons, a medically supervised detox is recommended. Symptoms of withdrawal are unpredictable, so 24-hour monitoring is the best choice for a safe and successful detox.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
When detoxing from prescription opioids, common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Cravings for the drug
- Difficulty sleeping
- Runny nose
- Excessive sweating
- Digestive problems
Symptoms of Withdrawal from CNS Depressants
These are common withdrawal symptoms when you detox from CNS depressants:
- Drug cravings
- Excessive sweating
- Sleep disturbances
- Muscle pain
Symptoms of Stimulant Withdrawal
If you have developed a dependence on stimulants, you may experience these withdrawal symptoms:
- Extreme fatigue
Typical Signs of Prescription Drug Misuse
Symptoms of Prescription Opioid Misuse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breathing problems
- Behavior or personality changes
CNS Depressant Misuse
- Vision changes
- Loss of coordination
- Memory problems
- Changes in personality or behavior
In addition to these typical symptoms, misuse of Xanax may cause sleep problems, tremors, and swelling of the hands or feet. Additional signs of Klonopin and Valium misuse are paranoia, hallucinations, and constipation.
Symptoms of Prescription Stimulant Misuse
- Appetite suppression
- Weight loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Vision changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Personality or behavior changes
In addition to these possible symptoms, addiction to Adderall may cause increased body temperature, high blood pressure, and rapid breathing.
Treatment for Addiction at Prescription Drug Detox Centers
Years of scientific research have shown that SUDs are brain disorders. And these disorders can be effectively treated. But treatment depends on the type of drug and the needs of the individual. Successful treatment should include these elements:
Treating Opioid Addiction (Opioid Use Disorder)
- Detox: Withdrawal from opioids can last for hours, days, and sometimes weeks. The duration depends on which particular drug used, how long you have been using it, and how much you were using. Most people choose a medically supervised detox program to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal, which are a prime reason for relapse.
- Medication: Medications used to treat OUD include:
These medications work to prevent other opioids from having an effect on the opioid receptors in the brain. This is also an aid to preventing relapse.
- Therapy: According to addiction experts, psychological and social factors are the main causes of relapse. Lifelong therapy to stay drug-free usually includes counseling and “talk therapy” programs. Counseling can also help in discovering the reasons for drug use in the first place. Frequently, it is an undiagnosed mental disorder.
Treating CNS Depressant Addiction
- Detox: It needs to be repeated, do not attempt to detox from CNS depressants on your own. Withdrawal from these drugs is severe and needs to be tackled with medical supervision.
- Medication: There are currently no medications for CNS depressant addiction. Withdrawal needs to be accomplished by tapering the doses over a period of time, with the direction of a medical professional.
- Therapy: Forms of talk therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have been used successfully in treating this addiction. CBT focuses on adjusting the patient’s thinking expectations, and behaviors. It also helps the individual learn skills for coping with the stressors in their life and preventing relapse. Therapy can also help discover underlying mental disorders, a common cause for drug addiction.
Treating Addiction to Prescription Stimulants
- Detox: Detoxing from prescription stimulants is done by tapering the drug dosage to ease the patient’s withdrawal symptoms. Medical supervision is necessary to ensure that the dose is being properly tapered.
- Medication: At this point in time, there are no FDA-approved medications for treating stimulant addiction.
- Therapy: Behavioral and individual therapies have proven to be effective for treating stimulant addiction. As with many addictions, therapy can uncover underlying motivations for drug misuse as well as co-occurring mental conditions. This is known as a dual diagnosis.
The Best Place For Treatment in Florida
So, where can you find prescription drug detox centers in Florida? Chapel Hill Detox in West Palm Beach, Florida, can offer you a safe and secure facility in which to begin a new chapter in your life. Or to set a loved one on the right path. Many people prefer to enter treatment that isn’t close to home. Chapel Hill is close to I-95, Tri-Rail train stations, and Palm Beach International Airport, so it’s easy to get to, no matter where you’re coming from.
Our clinicians and therapeutic staff are experienced in caring for and professionally treating people struggling with addiction. Some of our staff members have been through our treatment program. Chapel Hill uses evidence-based techniques, and they are our best evidence.
Don’t wait. The longer the duration of the addiction, the more difficult the recovery. We are available 24-hours a day to an