Prescription Drug Addiction

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One of the biggest industries worldwide is the prescription drug industry – and it makes gains each year. In the US alone, more than 6 billion prescriptions were written in 2021, which is a huge increase from only about 4 billion prescriptions written in a similar period ten years ago. To put it in perspective, the US population is just over 325 million. That means a lot of people are being prescribed a lot of medication – and not just narcotics. Prescription drugs include insulin for diabetics, prescription saline solutions, and vitamins. 

Habit forming prescription drugs like narcotics are where there’s a real issue, as far as dependence and addiction goes. This type of drug includes fentanyl, oxycodone, roxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin, and other pain killers, also tranquilizers or benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium, stimulants and sedatives. 

Prescription opioid painkillers are a problem in the US now, even though the number of prescriptions written has lessened by nearly 20% over the past ten years. In 2012, 259 million opiate prescriptions were written. On a daily basis, it is estimated that 46 North Americans die from opiate prescription abuse or overdose. That’s just under 50 people that die each day from ingesting a prescription drug. If you believe that yourself or a loved one is addicted to prescription opiates, act now. Getting qualified help can be a matter of life or death.


What are the Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction?

Addiction to prescription drugs can be dangerous. Recognizing that there is a problem is the first step on the road to recovery, however, recognizing the problem could be the hardest part. The signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse are similar to that of any other addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Use & Addiction

An individual currently using and/or abusing Prescription Drugs may show the following signs of use:

  • Using the drug outside of a prescription (taking more than prescribed, taking at times of day not recommended, taken when not physically needed)
  • Focusing on the drug (talking about it, thinking about it, obsessing over it) 
  • Trying to cover-up usage (hiding use from family and friends)
  • Feeling or acting guilty about use 
  • Acting suspiciously 
  • Taking more pills than necessary and/or combining the pills with other substances like alcohol or other narcotics
  • Doctor shopping to acquire more pills (this is a felony) 
  • Committing crimes like stealing to acquire more pills
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Withdrawing from activities that once brought pleasure
  • Reckless behaviors, like driving under the influence
  • Criminal activity 
  • Mood swings
  • Aggressiveness
  • Depression
  • Inability to stop taking the prescription, even if it is having negative impacts on your life

What are the Symptoms of Withdrawal from Prescription Drugs?

Withdrawal will depend on the kind of drug taken. Prescription drugs run the gamut. There are a wide range of substances that require a prescription. There are analgesics, like opiates, sedatives, tranquilizers, benzodiazepines, and stimulants, like methylphenidate and amphetamine. Withdrawal from each of these can be very different, however, there are certain symptoms that will likely show. Benzodiazepines and opiates are the most difficult and dangerous to withdraw from. Withdrawal can even be deadly in some cases. That’s why we recommend working with professionals who can medically detox in a safe and secure manner. If you or a loved one is addicted, act today.

Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal

An individual currently withdrawing from Prescription Drugs may show the following symptoms:

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Anger 
  • Irritability 
  • Low energy 
  • Lethargy 
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia 
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Runny nose
  • Hot flashes 
  • Muscle aches
  • General body aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irregular breathing
  • Fever

In the most severe cases, those currently withdrawing from Prescription Drugs may show the following symptoms:

  • Hallucination 
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Extreme agitation 
  • Extreme depression

Detoxing from Prescription Medication

Detox and withdrawal can take anywhere from a few days to months, depending on the user and the drug they use. Long-acting benzos and long-acting opioids take the longest to detox and withdraw from. This is why it’s important to understand the drug, its side effects, and withdrawal timeline before you begin a detox program. After detox, people usually move on to a residential treatment program and then to an outpatient program. If they need extra help afterwards, they move on to sober living. Treatment programs offer users an opportunity to learn about their addiction on a holistic level, discovering the root causes and figuring out ways to stop the cycle of addiction. In treatment, people learn coping skills, stress management skills, relapse prevention, mindfulness, and more.


Virtual Treatment Center: Who Are We?

At Virtual Treatment Center, we believe quality addiction recovery and mental health services should be easily accessible to those that want or need them, because ease of accessibility is what most often leads to success. That’s why we’re committed to providing top-tier virtual mental health teletherapy and addiction recovery services to all residents of California. Although we’re located in Orange County, our online teletherapy can be accessed throughout the state. In addition to providing addiction recovery services, we treat a variety of mental health issues and offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Our teletherapy sessions are done via two-way, live interactive video or by telephone. Therapeutic visits are conducted on Zoom most often, or on other virtual platforms that adhere to HIPAA compliance requirements.


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