You may not immediately think that prescription drugs are harmful. After all, it’s a drug that the doctor has prescribed. Whenever we think of a person being addicted to drugs, we immediately think that the drug could be heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances. However, there are also dangers when it comes to abusing prescription drugs.
In North America, the major cause of death by overdose is prescription medications. That’s why it’s crucial to know and understand the long-term problems that abusing these meds can cause. Let’s take a look at some of the commonly abused prescription drugs and why they are harmful.
The Addictive Qualities of Opioids
More and more people are taking opioids. Of course, a majority of these individuals need meds because they have to manage their pain problems. Physicians and doctors prescribe opioids with the best intentions and with clear instructions when it comes to dosage and frequency of intake. However, many still abuse opioids because of their addictive qualities.
Most individuals who use opioids are those who have just experienced injury or are being treated for chronic pain. There are times when the pain can get really bad that these people self-medicate and unknowingly abuse their prescription drugs. It results in painkiller addiction.
Some people immediately get enticed by the high that they experience when taking opioids, and that leads to abusing the drug. For others, it may take a while. For example, when a person takes opioids every day for several months, the mind and body start to need the drug to be able to feel well.
People who get addicted to prescription opioids know that they are going to suffer from withdrawal symptoms once they stop using the drug. But these prescription meds can be really expensive, and so they find a cheaper alternative which is heroin. As you can see, prescription drug addiction can lead to the use of illicit drugs.
Benzodiazepines for Treating Anxiety
This prescription drug is used by people who need to manage their anxiety. Psychiatrists prescribe benzodiazepines to patients so they can use it only as needed. However, there are those who feel the need to take benzodiazepines daily so that they can function normally and not deal with their anxiety.
The problem with taking this prescription drug daily is that it affects the brain in such a way that it begins to produce a lot of dopamine. What this means is that you could get high if you take too much benzodiazepine beyond what is prescribed. There are even people who fake their way into acquiring this prescription medication by pretending to have anxiety disorders.
Amphetamines for Enhanced Focus
Adderall is an example of a prescription amphetamine. This drug is used for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. It can help individuals become more focused so that they can function normally in school or at work. However, there are people who abuse prescription amphetamines so that they can study or work longer.
Usually, the people who abuse this prescription drug are college students. Many use amphetamines so that they can function at social events like parties for extended periods. If they’re using other drugs, they also use amphetamines so that they can hide the effects of those drugs like getting drunk on alcohol.
It’s important to note that amphetamines and alcohol are a terrible combination because the user will be more at risk of suffering from alcohol poisoning. This condition is dangerous and can be fatal. It happens because the individual no longer knows how drunk he or she is, and therefore, continues to consume alcohol.
Clonazepam and Diazepam for Treating Seizures
These two prescription drugs are more commonly known as Klonopin and Valium. Abusing these medications can cause a sedative effect which is closely similar to that of being drunk on alcohol. These drugs are abused because they can cause a person to feel more relaxed and at ease.
The recreational use of these two prescription drugs is becoming more widespread these days. That’s why there’s a spike when it comes to the deaths caused by overdose. People who abuse these medications can suffer from constipation, hallucinations, and paranoia.
How to Seek Help for Prescription Drug Addiction
Abusing prescription drugs can be detrimental to your health and may even lead to death. An overdose or a bad combination of drugs can easily be fatal. Addiction can affect many aspects of your life including your finances. Prescription drugs are expensive so once you get hooked, you’re going to drain your finances just to support your addiction. And when you can no longer afford the prescription drugs, you’ll look for cheaper alternatives which are usually illicit drugs. It will bury you deeper financially.
So, before things get any worse, seek professional help. Go to your doctor and tell them about your situation. They can proceed to arrange for you to be under a drug addiction treatment program. While you’re in the program, you will undergo medical detox as well as counselling. What’s important right now is you tell somebody what you’re going through.
If you have a trusted friend or partner, you can tell them about your situation. They can accompany you to the doctor or to a rehabilitation centre where you can get your treatment. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to admitting that you have a problem with your prescription drug use. Focus on getting better and pulling yourself away from the addiction
Prescription drugs are only to be used according to the instructions of the doctor. Any deviation from what is prescribed can cause harmful consequences. If you think you’ve begun using your prescription drugs beyond the recommended dosage and frequency, it’s time to seek help. The sooner that you can address this problem, then the better it will be for you.
If you have any questions about prescription drug addiction, call us here at Addiction Rehab Toronto and we’ll provide you with more information about addiction treatments.