Prescription drug abuse is when a person uses a drug in a manner other than which it was prescribed or uses a drug that has not been prescribed to them at all. Prescription drug abuse can lead to harmful health effects, among many other problems.
Opiates are the second-most commonly abused drugs after marijuana, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Other prescription drugs abused include stimulants and tranquilizers, which are also called sedatives.
Examples of drugs that are abused in this category include:
Symptoms a person may be abusing prescription drugs may include:
The United States Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970. This act divides illegal and legal drugs into categories or schedules. Each drug that is listed on the categories contains some form of controlled substance, such as codeine or opium.
Schedule I drugs are considered the most addictive while Schedule V drugs are the least addictive and have the lowest potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs have no known medical purpose and include heroin and peyote. Schedule II drugs are less addictive and have some medical purpose, such as methadone, oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone.
Prescription drugs can be addictive because they are designed to change brain chemistry. They can elicit pleasurable responses in the brain, such as pain or anxiety relief. With repeated use, the brain and body become accustomed to these chemicals. This can cause a person to experience drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms if he or she stops using the drug.
Taking an individualized approach to a person's prescription drug abuse treatment is important to helping them successfully overcome their addiction.
If someone struggles with prescription drug addiction, help is available. Drug treatment centers in Providence will tailor a person's treatment regimen based on the drug used. Having an individualized plan can often equal greater results for the person. Addiction specialists at treatment centers are well-versed in withdrawal symptoms and treatments for each prescription drug.
Examples of withdrawal symptoms and available treatment options, if possible, include:
A doctor can prescribe medications in advance to treat opiate addiction, such as addictions to heroin, hydrocodone and oxycodone. Examples include methadone, which is most commonly prescribed to treat heroin addiction, and Suboxone, a medication used to treat opiate addictions.