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Prescription drug addiction is one of the largest epidemics to plague the world. It’s estimated that 5% of the population is responsible for 75% of the world’s prescription drug use, which is a well-painted picture of the issue at hand. These prescription drugs are so readily available and commonplace, that their use goes unnoticed by most until full blown addiction strikes. Prescription drug addiction is no joke, it’s a very serious addiction that more often than not becomes fatal.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), over 19,000 deaths occurred from overdose of prescription pain medications. Our team at Cypress Lakes Lodge understands that prescription drug addiction can be difficult to overcome, but we offer chronic pain management services, detox and dual diagnosis to help ease your pain and struggle with addiction.

Top Three Abused Prescription Drug Categories

1. Painkillers

Chronic pain and the misunderstanding of pain management are what spike the overproduction and supported use of many prescription painkillers. Over 25 million people in the United States alone experience chronic pain daily, making use of prescription pain medications and over-the-counter drugs to tame the sensation. These prescription drugs were created to help patients suffering from unbearable pain manage their pain safely so that they can go about their daily lives comfortably.

 

How do these painkillers work and why are they so addictive?

Painkillers work by blocking nerve impulses in the brain that tell your body to produce pain stimulation. For people that have acute pain, this block of nerve signals can change their lives for the better. However, because these painkillers are effective in blocking pain, they also produce a euphoric or pleasurable effect on the user. The effect is a full-body effect that is unattainable anywhere else, but constantly needs to be fed in higher doses each time, which is why they become addictive.

Painkillers are available in low-dose, over-the-counter forms, such as ibuprofen and aspirin but those in higher doses for severe pain are only available by prescription and usually after you’ve seen a physician to help manage the pain. Painkillers are effective, but they are highly addictive because those that take these medications experience raised tolerance levels that need to be supplemented by higher doses. It’s a vicious cycle since people with serious pain issues cannot perform daily activities with ease unless they have a strong pain management program to support them.

 

The most commonly abused painkillers include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxymorphone

 

 

It is known that more women become addicted to painkillers than men and more women have died from overdosing on painkillers than men. Pain management is possible and can be customized to your specific type of pain at Cypress Lakes Lodge with the leader in chronic pain management, Dr. Flowers. Ask our intake team about our chronic pain management and addiction recovery program.


2. Stimulants

Prescriptions for these particular drugs are often given at an early age in children who are thought to have ADHD as early as 12 years. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, stimulants used to treat ADHD are often abused by those without a prescription for weight loss, hyper-focusing for studying purposes in school and to avoid sleeping for long periods of time. The abuse of these prescription drugs happens early and over one million people are addicted to these drugs.

 

How do stimulants work and why are they so addictive?

Prescription stimulants work by clinging to dopamine receptors in the brain so that the brain will create a signal response and produce more throughout. Unlike other drugs that may be quick to release their effects and quick to end, stimulants are slow to release and last for a long period. These feelings of joy and pleasure combined with alertness and appetite stimulation are pleasing to many people and they have a hard time discontinuing use.

 

Commonly abused prescription stimulants include:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Methamphetamines
  • Amphetamines
  • Strattera
  • Vyvanse

3. Tranquilizers

For those that have sleeping disorders such as prolonged insomnia and stress conditions such as anxiety and panic disorders, these medications can make life manageable. For people that abuse these prescription drugs, they slow brain function to reduce over-anxious thoughts and produce a relaxing sensation and pleasure. When you’re anxious or panicked, these medications will work with the central nervous system (CNS) to slow breathing (dictated by the brainstem), reduce heart rate and relax you.

 

Why are tranquilizers and sedatives so addictive and how do they work?

These prescription tranquilizers are addictive because of the numbing effects they have on people with overactive nervous systems. The calming and pleasing effects that come with their use is often sought out in high doses and because they work directly with the brainstem to lower respiration rates, abuse can lead to accidental death. Nobody knows how much is too much when they’re using until it’s too late.

 

Most abused prescription tranquilizers include:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Ambien
  • Sonata
  • Zoloft
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin

 

 

These drugs may seem like a quick solution to anxiety, acute stress, sleep issues and panic disorders, but there are therapeutic ways that can reduce the side effects without the use of prescription drugs. At Cypress Lakes Lodge, we look into the blending of holistic and evidence-based therapies to keep our clients off prescription drugs and other substances so they can heal naturally and learn to key into mind, body and spirit practices outside of treatment.

 

Symptoms of prescription drug addiction:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Detachment
  • Isolation
  • Reduced or surpassed appetite
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Impaired speech
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Paranoia
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Significant weight loss
  • Drop in productivity
  • Disinterest

 

How are prescription drugs obtained?

We know that many of these prescription drugs are prescribed by a doctor; however, they are more often taken from a family member or friend with or without their consent. It’s common for people to share prescription drugs even though it’s very dangerous to do so. The first concern is the addiction and the second are the health problems that come with it, mainly accidental death from overdose.

At Cypress Lakes Lodge, we believe in recovery from the use of prescription drugs by opting for integrative treatments to address chronic pain, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions that inhibit a healthy and productive lifestyle. We offer every client counseling and dual diagnosis therapy to uncover every aspect of treatment they can benefit from to make a complete holistic recovery. Addiction is serious, and recovery is only a phone call away; call Cypress Lakes Lodge to find out more about our detox and residential addiction recovery program at (409) 331-2204.