Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
Like alcohol, the severity of prescription drug addiction is often minimized due to the legal status of such substances. Drugs prescribed by a doctor can easily be justified as taking a necessary medicine, however prescription drug abuse can be just as devastating to the lives of clients and their families as that of illicit substances. Immediate cessation of prescription drugs can induce withdrawal symptoms, just as alcohol and other drugs, and requires the aid of a substance abuse treatment facility.
The most commonly abused prescription substances are opioids, stimulants and sedatives, hypnotic & anxiolytic drugs. These medications may have been started by a doctor to treat a legitimate health concern yet their highly addictive nature results in a quickly formed physical and psychological dependence.
Oxycontin and other opioid medication are tremendously effective in treating pain, yet clients can become addicted rapidly, even when taking the medication as prescribed. Sedatives, hypnotic & anxiolytics are also effective medications in treating a wide range of psychiatric and physical symptoms however are also physically addictive and discontinuation can result in severe withdrawal symptoms.
The Rise of Prescription Pain Medication Addiction
Prescription pain medication has been available for a number of years in the United States but it wasn’t until 1996 with the release of OxyContin has the abuse of such drugs has become so widespread. In 2000, a campaign by the pharmaceutical industry had been targeted towards doctors, describing the medication as a “miracle drug” for treating conditions like chronic pain, pain after surgery, and pain in cancer patients. Although this new medication offered patients relief from these severe conditions, the potential for abuse was as great as its chemical composition is similar to that of heroin.
The most recognizable prescription drugs in the class of sedative, hypnotic & anxiolytics incorporates a wide spectrum of substances including Xanax, Ativan, Phenobarbital, Ambien, Valium, Klonopin, Librium, Serax, etc. and are more broadly referred to as benzodiazepines and/or barbiturates. Despite being an effective means to treat anxiety, panic and sleep disorders, the depressive effect on the nervous system can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, similar to alcohol, if stopped abruptly. Arguably, the risk for withdrawal related seizures is just as high as alcohol, if not more so. Decompensation during the later stages of withdrawal management is also common with clients often requiring a longer, more detailed detox protocol.
Breaking Prescription Medication Dependence with Detox & Long Term Treatment
Having received medicine from a doctor which then eventually led to their addiction, clients are often left wondering what treatment is available for prescription drugs, as their trust for medical professionals has since become wary. Although unfortunate, it is often that case that general practice doctors don’t always have a treatment plan in place to include the safe discontinuation of these powerful medications, leaving clients on their own if they wish to stop. Along with the help of trained substance abuse professionals, clients are able to safely and successfully break their dependence on prescription medication by enrolling in drug treatment.
Drug rehab centers that offer treatment for prescription drug addiction are faced with a new set of challenges: most clients do have a legitimate medical or psychiatric condition that has been effectively treated with the drug they are now dependent on. Opioid medications are an effective means to treat chronic pain conditions, despite being highly addictive, just as sedatives are for treatment of various conditions.
Alternate Techniques for Pain Management
Alternate techniques for pain management are vital aspects of drug treatment for clients addicted to prescription pain medication. In addition to non-addictive pharmacological interventions, holistic approaches such as relaxation techniques, chiropractic visits and yoga have shown to assist in positive treatment outcomes. Chronic pain conditions must be taken seriously during a course of drug treatment as physical pain is often identified to be clients’ main trigger to use.
Clients with anxiety or mood disorders previously treated with addictive prescription drugs and sedatives will need to be taught new techniques for keeping symptoms under control as to not require medication. Although anxiety can elicit an objective, physiological response, like sweaty palms and/or rapid heartbeat, therapeutic techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and self-esteem building exercises all become powerful tools in managing and stabilizing clients moods.
If you are struggling to stop using and relying on your prescription medication, please call us today to discuss how we can help start you on a path of recovery.