The 5 Most Addictive Prescription Medications
A Potential for Addiction
Prescription drug abuse has become a rising concern for Americans across the nation. While many believe that illegal street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or meth have become the predominant concern for addiction among Americans, the unfortunate truth is that prescription drug abuse has become the fastest growing concern for substance abuse among Americans and teenagers within the country. Prescription drugs can have profound effects on treating medical or behavioral health concerns when used as directed by a physician, however, when someone abuses prescription drugs there is an increased risk of developing an addiction to prescription drugs that can create a number of short term and long term side effects and impacts within a person’s physical and mental health.
Prescription drug abuse is the leading cause of accidental overdose rates within the United States each year. In 2020, there was a rise in the number of individuals that began abusing prescription drugs with many experts believing that the pandemic had significant impacts on the mental health of Americans. In 2020 alone there were 16.1 million Americans that reported misusing prescription drugs. Of those 16.1 million people, 9.3 million of those Americans reported that they were engaging in prescription opioid painkiller abuse, 6.2 million reported abusing sedatives or tranquilizers, 5.1 million reported abusing prescription stimulants, and 4.8 reported abusing benzodiazepines. The number of young people engaging in prescription drug abuse continues to grow and in 2020, 4.1% of the 9.3 million people abusing prescription painkillers were youth aged 18-24.
Getting help for and overcoming your addiction to prescription drugs is possible with the support of a comprehensive treatment program. Most people did not begin abusing prescription drugs by choice. Your prescription drug abuse often progresses over time and originated from attempting to treat an ongoing co occurring disorder. To effectively treat a prescription drug addiction, it is important to heal from your addiction while gaining an understanding of the root causes of your addiction and learning how to manage your co occurring disorder without self medicating with prescription drugs.
How do Drug Rehabs Work?
Prescription drugs come in many forms whether it be opioids, stimulants, benzodiazepines, sedatives, or sleeping medication. While all forms have a medicinal purpose when used appropriately, they all have the potential of becoming a harmful addiction when they are misused. The most addictive prescription drugs that Americans are engaging in substance abuse with are:
- Oxycodone- This prescription opioid acts on your central nervous system to help aid in pain management. However, similar to other opioids, oxycodone can become highly addictive when people misuse it and attempt to chase the euphoric effects that it produces
- Fentanyl- The number of individuals abusing fentanyl has continued to dramatically increase over the years and there has been a rise in illegal production and manufacturing of fentanyl within the street drug market. Fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine and is highly addictive when abused.
- Xanax- This prescription drug is classified as a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and seizures. When misused, Xanax can produce a calming, sedative effect. Xanax addiction has continued to grow with many becoming addicted to Xanax and combining it with other substances when using leading to an increased risk of overdose or severe side effects
- Valium- A benzodiazepine that is used to treat panic disorders, anxiety, and seizures but can be easily misused and abused if someone is looking for a way to escape from difficult emotions or traumas due to the sedative effects it produces.
- Adderall- This prescription stimulant is an amphetamine that will produce similar effects as crystal meth when abused. Individuals will feel an increase in alertness and energy and many will fall into substance abuse quickly if abuse continues.
How to Get Help for Prescription Medication Addiction
Overcoming prescription drug addiction is possible with the support of an addiction treatment program. Depending on the severity of your prescription drug addiction, you may have developed a strong dependency to prescription drugs that will need the support of a drug detox program. If you were to attempt to quit your use of prescription drugs cold turkey, there is potential for you to experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms that can be unpleasant and, in some cases, dangerous to your overall health and wellbeing. A medically supervised drug detox will provide you with the ongoing medical support and supervision as you move through your detox portion of your recovery program. Patients will be supported through a slow tapering off process that will allow your body to safely release the harmful influences and dependencies to prescription drugs which will help to mitigate the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. Once you have overcome any withdrawal symptoms and begin to regain your normal functioning, you will be ready to start your healing process of drug rehab to address the underlying causes of your prescription drug abuse.
A drug rehab invites patients to explore what is at the core of your addictive behaviors. You did not wake up one morning and decide that you wanted to become addicted to prescription drugs. Your addiction progressed over time and is a form of coping with troubling emotions or deep rooted traumas. Many people that begin prescription drugs do so because they are attempting to treat an ongoing co occurring disorder of either a mental health, behavioral health, or physical health condition. Although your prescription drug use progressed, it does not mean that your co occurring disorder does not need to be treated which is why a prescription drug rehab program will support patients in healing from the core reasons of addiction while gaining the knowledge and coping skills to manage your co occurring disorder. Patients will be invited to engage in a dual diagnosis treatment program that will allow you to participate in evidence based addiction therapy methods while also receiving appropriate medical and psychological care to help you develop the tools to manage any presenting symptoms through healthy, natural methods that will steer you clear of relying on prescription drugs to manage your symptoms.
Overcome Prescription Medication Addiction Today at Resurgence Behavioral Health
Resurgence Behavioral Health provides an addiction treatment program that is individualized to meet the needs of all of our patients. Your addiction is unique to you and deserves to be treated within a program that values your need for individuality and compassion. Our comprehensive treatment programs will utilize the latest in evidence based therapy methods that support you in changing your behaviors, thoughts, and emotional responses to foster a life in addiction recovery. Our team of addiction therapists and mental health practitioners will support you in gaining the tools and coping skills to manage any symptoms of co occurring disorders while developing techniques for relapse prevention that will ensure you are able to handle any triggers that may present themselves and stay true to your goals of living in recovery, free of prescription drug abuse. If you are ready to put your prescription drug abuse behind you and begin to discover a new life in sobriety, contact Resurgence Behavioral Health to start on your road to recovery today.
In our partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient program, there will be plenty of opportunity to practice your self-care skills as you transition back into living at home or in a sober living home. You will continue to receive strong support and care from our team of doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors, but you will also begin to take responsibility for your own actions and create your own routines. Building healthy habits on your own is a huge step toward maintaining your overall mental health, along with your physical health and recovery.
We are a treatment facility that offers the full continuum of care, leading from medical detox programs and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to inpatient and outpatient rehab, and beyond. You will never be alone in your recovery again when you join us, as our alumni group and long-term recovery resources will always be available to you when you need them.
If you have a drug or alcohol use disorder and are considering rehab, please call Resurgence Behavioral Health today. We are here for you, and we can help you learn to practice self-care to better maintain your physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and behavioral health as you live your life in long-term recovery.