Prescription drugs are a blessing for people who need to manage a medical condition, such as ADHD, anxiety or pain. However, many are addictive and have a high likelihood of being abused. Just because a drug came from a doctor, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe to use outside of its intended purposes. Even if you use a prescription drug according to the instructions, you could become dependent on it. If you’re having trouble weaning off of it or you think that you’re addicted, you might need to undergo prescription drug detox.
Any pharmaceutical that is prescribed by a doctor is considered to be a prescription drug. They’re issued for a wide variety of diseases and ailments. However, many people misuse them. Approximately 20 percent of Americans have abused prescription drugs.
Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs include:
• Opioids – Narcotics, such as fentanyl, heroin and oxycodone, which are usually prescribed to treat pain
• Central nervous system depressants – Benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, which are typically administered to treat depression and anxiety
• Stimulants – Medications that increase alertness and energy and are generally prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy
Many people take prescription drugs voluntarily. Either they decided to take it based on a doctor’s recommendation or they chose to use it recreationally. If they use the medication repeatedly, however, the substance can cause changes in the brain that make quitting difficult.
Drug abuse can also affect your ability to make good judgments and rational decisions. If you have become dependent on a substance, your body sends you signals to use it even though you may know that it’s not good for you. You may have intense, uncontrollable cravings to use the medication. In many cases of prescription drug addiction, you don’t feel as though you can function normally without the substance.
Some signs of opioid addiction include:
• Poor coordination
• Increased pain
Some signs of benzodiazepine addiction include:
• Unsteady gait
• Trouble concentrating
• Memory problems
• Slowed respiration rate
Some signs of stimulant addiction include:
• Increased alertness
• High blood pressure
• Trouble regulating body temperature
• Diminished appetite
If you’re seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors, taking the medication at higher doses or more frequently than prescribed, feeling unusually energetic or sedated or having trouble making decisions, you could be struggling with prescription drug addiction and require prescription drug detox.
When your body has become accustomed to the effects of a prescription drug, it becomes difficult to quit cold turkey. As the drugs leave your system, they produce prescription drug withdrawal symptoms, which may become severe.
Prescription drug withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the type of drug and the manner in which you used it. Prescription drug withdrawal symptoms that occur during home detox from opioids typically feel like the flu. They’re not always dangerous, but they can make you feel as though you’re dying.
Prescription drug withdrawal symptoms that happen when you stop using benzodiazepines are similar to those that occur when you detox from opioids. In addition to nausea, abdominal cramps, headaches and muscle pain, you might experience confusion, heart palpitations, panic attacks and trouble focusing.
Prescription drug detox from benzodiazepines can be dangerous if it’s not medically supervised. Because your body is used to being slowed down from the drugs, it can go into overdrive when you stop using them. Experts often recommend that you wean off of benzodiazepines gradually, especially if you’ve been taking large doses for a long time.
Detoxing from stimulants can also be hazardous. Some of the prescription drug withdrawal symptoms that are associated with stimulant detox include insomnia, anxiety, muscle pain, erratic moods and depression. If symptoms become severe, individuals may have suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Prescription drug detox should be performed with medical supervision in a safe environment. For many people, home detox is the best option. Most people feel secure and comfortable at home. When everything else seems to be going haywire, remaining in a familiar environment is crucial. A successful prescription drug detox program sets you up for a long-lasting recovery.
If you want to stop using medications but are worried about prescription drug withdrawal symptoms, contact us for more information. We can help you get through the process with medical, physical, mental and emotional support so that you have the best chance of staying clean.
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