Woman with long blond hair looking away from prescription drug abuse.

In recent years, prescription medications have become the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States. Many people don’t realize how bad the prescription drug problem currently is because the heroin epidemic is also huge. When people think about drug abuse, they think of drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth. The reality is that more people are dying from prescription drug abuse than heroin and cocaine combined.

The primary reason prescription drug abuse goes unnoticed is because it’s a drug that many obtain from their doctor. These medications help people with a wide range of issues, but there can quickly become a problem. Before a person knows it, he or she is no longer treating pain or mental illness, but abusing the prescribed medication. It’s important to know how to spot the signs of abuse with prescription medications so you can find help for you or a person you care about.

How Does Prescription Drug Abuse Progress?

In the United States, we’re brought up to believe that some sort of pill can solve any problem or illness we have. From a young age, we take pills for headaches, a cold, sleep, and many other different reasons. As time goes on, people get prescriptions to handle more serious issues like chronic pain or symptoms of mental illness. Many of these medications are narcotics, though, which means they have the potential of being addictive.

Statistics show that the United States prescribes approximately 80 percent of the world’s entire supply of opioid medications. What this statistic shows is how prone to taking these narcotic medications we actually are. One has to wonder what the hundreds of other countries around the world are doing to treat pain as well as mental illness. The medications that are most commonly associated with prescription drug abuse include:

  • Opioids – Used for chronic pain or treating an injury.
  • Benzodiazepines – Used for treating symptoms of anxiety.
  • Amphetamines – Used for treating symptoms of ADHD.

Spotting Prescription Drug Abuse

Whether you’re wondering if you or a loved one is developing a problem with prescription medications, it’s important to know the signs of abuse. This type of drug abuse is very subtle, but there are common signs that indicate a need for help. The sooner a person has his or her abuse addressed, the better chance they have of recovery. The first sign of abuse is justifying taking more than what the prescription bottle says.

Not long after a person starts doubling up on his or her medication, they’ll begin running out sooner than the refill shows. To get more of the medication, the person may begin lying to the doctor or seeing multiple doctors. The next stage of abuse is stealing medications from friends or family members. Many people begin buying the medications illegally from drug dealers, as well.

Why is Prescription Drug Abuse Hard to Stop?

The primary reason it’s difficult to stop this type of addiction is because of the way addiction affects the brain. Addiction hinders a part of the brain responsible for self-awareness, so the person will have many justifications for the drug abuse. Having a doctor prescribe the medication makes it much easier for the person to justify use. The other primary issue is that the person can’t imagine treating his or her pain or mental illness without medications.

Finding a New Way to Live

Believe it or not, it’s possible to live a brand new life without the use of narcotic prescription medications. There are millions of people around the world who are living proof of this fact. Those who develop an addiction must find a new way of dealing with pain and mental illness without using narcotics. First, you must go through a medical detox process to get stable.

After medical detox, you’ll transition to substance abuse treatment where you’ll learn a new way of living. You’ll go through different types of therapies to see if you’re covering up other issues with your substance abuse. You’ll also learn a variety of holistic methods that can help you reduce pain and symptoms of mental illness. This is difficult at first, but the good news is that it doesn’t take long for it to get better.

Don’t wait another day to get help with prescription drug abuse. Serenity House Detox will answer your questions about drug detox and get you started on your way to a new life of recovery. Call 866.516.8356.