By now, it should be no surprise that many people in the United States suffer from prescription drug addictions. There are so many addictive medications on the market, and not every doctor does their due diligence to inform their patients of the risks.
There are many types of prescription drugs, and it is important to understand the risks before starting to take them. Once people take them, they need to know what to expect.
Our goal at Northpoint Washington is to offer guidance about prescription drug addiction guide for anyone who thinks they might be addicted and then provide the means to find the necessary substance abuse support to heal.
What Is Prescription Drug Addiction?
Many people make the false assumption that addiction is all about willpower. That is not the case at all. It has nothing to do with that whatsoever. Once someone has a drug addiction, they have become both physically and mentally dependent upon a substance. It can happen with both illegal drugs and legally prescribed medications.
This is how The American Association of Addiction Medicine defines addiction:
“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry…It is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.”
Once a person is addicted to prescription drugs, it is very difficult to stop. It is possible, but usually only with the right kinds of treatment. Also, being an addict does not mean that someone lacks self-control. It only means that they have taken a drug for far too long to be able to quit without assistance.
How Do People Get Addicted to Their Medications?
It is quite common for people to become addicted to prescription medications completely by accident. They usually start taking them because a doctor recommended them and prescribed them. Sometimes doctors will allow their patients to take drugs for far too long, and an addiction inadvertently happens. Eventually, that individual feels they cannot cope without their medication.
Others may become addicted to prescription drugs because they are using them illegally. There are ways to buy painkillers and other types of medications online, and they are also available on the street. It is not uncommon for young people to steal pain medications or share addictive prescription stimulant drugs with college students.
Continued abuse is what leads to addiction. At first, the drug is a way to relieve pain or experience a euphoric high. Eventually, it becomes something the person needs.
Dopamine is the chemical in the brain that is released when someone has a pleasurable experience. It makes them feel good, and it encourages that experience again.
Through repeated substance abuse, dopamine levels are increased even more than they normally would be. Over time, the brain can no longer make the chemical on its own, and it relies on the drug for those moments of euphoria. It is at that point that a person becomes addicted to the drug. They no longer feel like themselves unless they use it, and they have to have it to feel normal.
What Form of Rehab is the Best?
There are several different forms of rehab, and they include both inpatient and outpatient programs. Every patient must decide which type would be right for them.
In many cases, inpatient programs are highly recommended. This is because they remove the patient from their normal surroundings. This allows them to focus on recovering from their addictions completely. They also provide them with constant sources of support from both other patients and staff members.
Help is Available For Those Who are Addicted to Prescription Drugs
If you are addicted to one of the addictive prescription drugs listed above, please know that you are not alone. So many people are facing the same situation. Also, there are a lot of people who have overcome their addictions. You can take the same steps to reach that goal as well.
At Northpoint Washington, we understand that it is hard to stop using prescription drugs. Your addiction is very powerful, but with the right treatment, it can be done.
Do you have more questions about prescription drug addiction? If you do, we would love to answer them for you. Please contact us today by calling 425.437.3298.