Prescription Drug Addiction

prescription drug addiction

Prescription drug addiction is a problem on the rise in the United States and accounts for more than 25 percent of drug use in San Jose. Residents are becoming addicted to the medications that their doctors are prescribing them to treat legitimate medical conditions. There are some cases where addiction occurs intentionally and is fueled by what is called “doctor shopping.” To obtain drugs, addicts visit multiple doctors to receive medications that would not otherwise be prescribed if not enough time has elapsed since their last prescription. By doing this, doctors are unable to truly moderate a patient’s drug use. Doctors are becoming careful about what they prescribe to their patients, but there is legitimate demand for commonly abused prescription drugs and addiction can still occur.

If you are taking a prescription drug in a manner that varies from your doctor’s orders, you may have an addiction. Knowing the signs of prescription drug addiction can help identify the problem before it gets out of control.

Prescription Drug Addiction Signs

Like many Americans, you may believe that your drug addiction does not need to be taken seriously because the drugs are not illegal. Even though they are legal prescription medications given out by doctors, when these medications are used improperly, they can be very addictive and even lethal. Commonly abused prescription drugs include:

  • Percocet
  • OxyContin
  • Vicodin
  • Valium
  • Ritalin
  • Dexedrine

Recognizing Prescription Drug Addiction

Commonly abused drugs are prescribed for medical needs including sleep disorders, anxiety and pain. Not all individuals who use prescriptions for these purposes develop substance abuse, but it is signified by the following behaviors:

  • Taking a higher dosage of medication than recommended by a doctor (e.g., ingesting three or four pills rather than two as prescribed).
  • Taking the medications more frequently than prescribed (e.g., taking a painkiller every hour when there is supposed to be four hours between dosages).
  • Neglecting to feel the normal effects of the drug due to dependency which is what can fuel the above behaviors.
  • Doctor shopping to get extra prescriptions for the drug.
  • Hoarding medications just to ensure they are always available.
  • Purchasing prescription medications off the street.

These signs of addiction must be recognized to prevent serious health complications that can appear due to prescription drug abuse.

Risks of Prescription Drug Addictions

If you show signs of a prescription drug addiction, help is available. Treating this type of addiction will greatly reduce the negative health effects that can be brought on by long-term use. These effects can include:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sedation
  • Coma
  • Mental confusion
  • Seizures
  • Death

If you’re putting yourself in harm’s way due to your prescription drug use, you need addiction treatment help. We are here to help you and other addicts overcome their addictions.

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