Prescription Drug Addiction

by Garreth Myers


Prescription drug abuse basically refers to the consumption or use of a particular medication in the manner and dosage that was not originally prescribed or recommended. Prescription drug abuse can manifest in the form of over consumption of painkillers or even in the form of snorting up certain ground up pills Typically prescription drug abuse is often seen in case of drugs such as sedatives that may be used for anxiety, sleep disorders or depression, painkiller and even stimulants that are usually prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Signs and Symptoms

Prescription drug abuse symptoms:

  • The signs of prescription drug abuse in an individual depend upon the kind of drug the individual is consuming. If the drug abuse is in the case of painkillers, then the individual may experience depression, confusion, low blood pressure and constipation whereas an individual who is addicted to prescription drugs like tranquilizers and symptoms may display symptoms such as poor judgment, rapid movement of the eyeball, drowsiness and may also have an unsteady gait.
  • Prescription drug abuse symptoms also include symptoms such as poor decision making, excessive and sudden mood swings, consuming higher doses of the medication as compared to what is actually prescribed.
  • An individual may also try to steal or forge prescriptions to have access to certain medications or may even try to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors for the same medication in some extreme cases of prescription drug abuse.

Treatment options

  • One of the treatment options for prescription drug abuse is to put the individual into rehab or counseling. The counseling could be in the form of one to one counseling or even family or group counseling which is also known to be very effective. Rehab or counseling will help the individual to remain without access to the prescription drugs for certain period of time which may be very difficult initially but with the right support the person will be able to gradually get over the cravings and dependency for the prescription drugs. Counseling and rehab is also effective in allowing the person to understand the various factors that may have led to drug abuse and will also equip the person with the necessary skills to avoid the recurrence of the prescription drug abuse.
  • There are various medications that the individual may be administered to gradually minimize the withdrawal symptoms from the addictive drugs such as stimulants, sedatives and painkillers.

References:

  1. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmra023160

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