Prescription drugs are misused and over used on a regular basis, with drug rehab often needed to help people break their addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 52 million people have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, with this huge figure representing 20 percent of the American population.
While it’s possible to abuse a wide range of medications, the vast majority of prescription drug abuse falls into three distinct categories: opioid painkillers, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants. Prescription drug abuse is treated through a combination of detox, treatment therapy models, with relapse prevention systems also used during aftercare.
Prescription drug abuse can occur in many ways, including taking larger doses than prescribed, combining medications, using medications intended for another person, buying scripts or drugs on the black market, and using a different method of administration than intended. In general, prescription drug abuse involves any situation where people use drugs in a different way than intended by a doctor.
If you are living with prescription drug abuse or dependence, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Call Drug Treatment Centers Stamford at (203) 883-9243.
Prescription opioids are the most widely abused category of legal medications. Taken medically to treat acute and chronic pain conditions, these substances also create a feeling of euphoria when taken in large doses, and are sometimes crushed up to snort or inject for a stronger effect. Examples of opioid drugs include morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone and buprenorphine. These substances are known by a variety of trade names in the United States, including Actiq, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Demerol, Dolophine, Methadose, Avinza, Kadian, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Exalgo, Oxyfast, Duragesic, Fentora, Percocet and Roxicodone. While some of these drugs only contain opioid medications, others combine opioids with paracetamol and other secondary substances.
A wide range of prescription drugs are recognized as CNS depressants, with these medications also called sedatives or tranquilizers depending on the context. Benzodiazepines are the biggest category in this class, with typical trade names including Valium, Xanax, Serax, Xanor, Librium, Ativan and Serepax. These medications differ according to their peak onset time, strength and half-life. Benzodiazepines are normally prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, with these drugs also abused on a regular basis for their sedative and hypnotic effects. Benzodiazepine dependence is a serious issue that requires medical detox and ongoing support, with a gradual dose reduction administered to avoid withdrawal complications.
Barbiturates are another category of CNS depressants, with these drugs producing a wide spectrum of effects from mild sedation to total anesthesia. While barbiturates have been largely superseded by benzodiazepines, they are sometimes used medically as anticonvulsants, para-operative sedatives, and analgesics for cluster headaches and migraines. Barbiturates are widely abused for recreational reasons, with users taking these drugs to induce feelings of relaxation and euphoria. The most commonly abused barbiturates are Amytal, Nembutal and Seconal.
Prescription stimulants include amphetamines like Adderall and methylphenidates such as Ritalin and Concerta. These drugs are taken medically to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, and are also available on the black market as a alternative to methamphetamine.
Prescription stimulants are widely abused to suppress appetite, increase wakefulness and increase focus and attention, with stimulants known to increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, movement and attention, with high stimulant doses able to increase energy and induce euphoria.
If you or someone you love is abusing or addicted to prescription medication, seek the help needed today. Call the addiction and treatment specialists at Drug Treatment Centers Stamford at (203) 883-9243.