Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drugs are currently the second most commonly abused category of drugs in the United States, only behind marijuana. Actually, prescription drugs are being abused at a higher statistical rate in the country than cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth combined. The National Institute of Health even estimates that nearly 25% of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medicinal purposes at least one time in their life. So what is the reason for this recent surge in prescription drug abuse in the United States and is there anything we can do to stop it?
Prescription Drug Epidemic
The abuse of prescription drugs in this country is in out of control and verging on a full blown epidemic. Whether it’s the abuse of powerful opiate pain relievers like OxyContin, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet, or common prescription drugs found around many households like Adderall, Ambien and Lunesta, if not taken properly, all can cause serious physical and psychological damage. So what is the reason for this new drug epidemic sweeping across the country?
First of all, one of the major reasons for the increase in prescription drug addiction, especially among teens and young adults, is the widespread availability of these popular pills. Whether it’s through doctor shopping, a practice where patients will shop around at multiple doctors to get as many prescription drugs as possible, the illegal drug trade, or just stealing pills from the medicine cabinet. Surprisingly, these powerful prescription drugs can be found almost anywhere.
Secondly, another major reason for prescription drug abuse, especially among teens and young adults, is the common misconception that prescription drugs are safer than illegal narcotics. Because prescription drugs are legal, many associate them as being safe alternatives to taking illegal street drugs like heroin and cocaine. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction
One of the most fascinating aspects of prescription drug addiction is that the majority of individuals currently abusing prescription drugs were once prescribed the drugs legally for treatment of some type of medical problem or ailment. Either they began to take the drug differently than it was prescribed or their body simply grew dependent on the drug’s powerful effects. This is why many powerful opiate-based prescription drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin are only advised to be taken for short periods of time, because of the risk for possible addiction and dependency.
Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction
There are many common signs and symptoms of a prescription drug addiction including an increased tolerance and physical dependency to the drug. Other common symptoms may include:
- Frequent requests for refills
- Crushing or breaking up the pills
- Consuming prescription drugs much faster than directed
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Ordering prescription medications over the internet
- Stealing prescription medications from family members, friends, co-workers
- Noticeable mood swings
- Changing sleep patterns
- Increased irritability
If you live in the great state of Texas and are currently suffering from a prescription drug addiction, do not hesitate to contact a Texas drug rehab facility right away. Whether it’s a stay at an exclusive Texas inpatient rehab facility that specializes in prescription drug abuse and detox, or visiting a local outpatient center or a support group a few days a week, seeking treatment is all that matters.