Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

prescription-drug-abuse-addictionMany prescription drug addicts never meant to become addicted. Perhaps the use of pills began for legitimate medical reasons, and then spiraled out of control. If you’re ready to take back your life or the life of your loved one from the grip of addictive pills, call American Addiction Centers at 877-640-1943.

Prescription Drug Addiction is a Deadly Problem.

Under certain circumstances, prescription drugs such as painkillers and anti-anxiety medications can be both safe and appropriate. Where prescription drug users often get into trouble is when they try to use the pills’ feelings of euphoria or relaxation to treat problems for which the pills weren’t intended. Prescription drug addiction often begins by thinking, “These pills did a great job at making my back pain go away, maybe they’ll also help me deal with my emotional pain…”

As prescription drugs have become increasingly more available in our society, the deadly problem of their abuse has dramatically grown, too. According to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 6.9 million people ages 12 and older use prescription medications for non-medical reasons. The drugs abused included pain relievers (which are the most common), as well as tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives.

Legal doesn’t necessarily mean always safe.

Prescription drug abuse is almost identical to other forms of illegal drug abuse such as with cocaine or heroin. Just like cocaine can cost you your job, ruin your relationships and can ultimately kill you, pill-popping can do the same. In fact, use of prescription drugs now causes more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

If you or your loved one suffers from prescription drug addiction, call American Addiction Centers today at 877-640-1943. Delaying treatment could be a fatal mistake.

If addicts want to quit on their own, is treatment needed?

Prescription drug addicts go to extremes such as “doctor shopping” or digging through friends’ medicine cabinets because these pills are extraordinarily addictive. Prescription opiates such as hydrocodone, for example, are in the same opiate drug family as heroin.

One of the most important features of drug rehab within the inpatient residential facilities of American Addiction Centers family is the help you’ll receive during the first few days of sobriety, or the detox period during which withdrawal symptoms begin. These symptoms can include physical illness, mood swings, aggression and depression. The doctors at our high-quality prescription drug addiction treatment centers administer less-addictive medications to prescription opiate addicts in order to ease the withdrawal process.

In addition to easing the withdrawal symptoms of detox, prescription drug addiction treatment programs at American Addiction Centers also get to the root causes of the addiction during individual, family and group counseling sessions, plus relapse prevention programming.


Drug Interactions

Millions of U.S. adults are prescribed medications by their doctor every year. Many are for depression or mental illness, heart conditions, skin conditions, or a variety of other ailments. A dangerous problem exists when patients that are on medications prescribed by their doctor abuse illicit drugs or alcohol. The side effects of doing so can be deadly.

Combining prescription drugs and illicit drugs or alcohol may be more common than we think. There is little research on the prevalence of people combining substance abuse and prescription medications, but we do know fatalities and other side effects occur. Government reports rank alcohol-drug combinations as the leading cause of drug-related deaths in the United States, and have for decades. (1)

Here are some of the more dangerous combinations:


Alcohol and anything. Alcohol, when used by a healthy person in moderation is not harmful, but when it is abused, or combined with most medications, has the potential to cause toxicity and other effects on the body.

Alcohol with depressants, like Valium, can slow down the central nervous system and has the potential for causing coma or death.

Alcohol with anti-depressants, like Prozac, can cause blood pressure increases, leading to brain hemorrhage and death.

Alcohol with heroin can depress the central nervous system and lead to respiratory arrest and death.

Alcohol with things like tobacco and pot will increase the effects of these drugs, and cause increased toxins being taking in by the body.

Illicit Drugs

For those taking prescription medication that also abuse illicit drugs, dangerous side effects such as severe drowsiness or coma, cardiac arrest, seizures, and psychosis are possible.

Change in Effectiveness

The reason for such severe side effects is that drugs that are taken together may increase each other’s potency. This causes the effects of the medications to be compounded. If the drugs work on the body in the same way, it is as if the patient is increasing the dose, thereby making the effects on the body, as well as side effects, more severe. The result is a dramatic increase in the impact on the body, and toxicity and possibly death can occur.

With some drugs, on the other hand, alcohol and drugs decrease the effectiveness.

Preventing Drug Interactions

It is important for patients and doctors to work together to prevent these dangerous drug interactions. Most poisonings and overdoses are accidental, because the patient didn’t understand the risks with combining their medication with others, but the overdoses are preventable.

It is never a good idea to take illicit drugs and prescription drugs together. Patients should let their doctor know about all medications and drugs they are taking before beginning a new medications. While many medications can be taken together safely, those with negative interactions can be fatal.


(1)Alcohol-Medication Interactions

What You Need to Know About Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Don’t let prescription drug abuse ruin your life any longer.

With the help of rehab, you can get clean and sober, with a new lease on life. Call American Addiction Centers today 877-640-1943.

No matter your insurance, be it Cigna, Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross / Blue Shield (BCBS), Assurant, Unicare, United Health Care, Anthem, Carefirst, Asuris Northwest Health, Golden Rule, Celtic Insurance, Fortis, Health Net, Kaiser, Vista, Shelter, Wellpoint, Tri Care, Accordia or even Medicare, and state insurance — we can help you find an prescription drug abuse treatment center. We also offer many affordable self pay options as well as luxury prescription drug abuse treatment.