Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
As a boutique treatment center, Nexus is able to customize treatment plans based on each client’s individual needs and future goals.
What Might a Treatment Plan Include?
While every treatment plan will be different, our clients recovering from prescription drug addiction will have access to:
- Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Family Therapy
- 12-Step Groups
- 12-Step Alternatives
- Medication Monitoring
- Life Skills Coaching
- Spiritual Guidance
- Mindfulness Activities
- Experiential Therapies
- Group Outings
- Health and Fitness Education
- Peer Mentorship Program
- And More
Click here to learn more about our program and all we have to offer.
We understand that many who struggle with substance abuse also struggle with co-occurring mental health disorders. Whether these disorders are diagnosed or undiagnosed, self-medication with drugs and alcohol is often part of the larger picture. Our Medical Director is double-board certified in addiction medicine and has extensive experience with dual-diagnosis treatment. If a client has struggled with prescription drug addiction, like many of our clients have, we work with them to ensure that their mental health needs are addressed while also addressing their substance abuse.
Alumni & Family Testimonials
“I have great respect for Nexus Recovery and its associated leadership. I believe in their mission to provide ethical treatment and attention to clinical detail. I have seen many lives come in the door broken and exit with purpose, I am one of them.”
Prescription Drug Misuse & Addiction
Prescription drugs are frequently given to patients to treat a specific condition or symptoms, and when taken as intended, they can be incredibly effective.
In recent years, however, misuse of prescription drugs has increased with more cases of people taking medications for nonmedical reasons. Misuse includes taking a medication in any way other than how it is prescribed, taking a medication that is prescribed to someone else (even if it is for a legitimate concern), and purposefully using medication to get high. Because prescription drugs can be found in most homes, it is easier than ever for these medications to fall into the wrong hands and be used improperly.
Types of Prescription Drugs Abused
There are countless prescription drugs available, but there are three main categories of meditations that are frequently misused because of their side effects: Opioids, Depressants, and Stimulants
Opioids are pain-relieving medications used to treat chronic pain or symptoms following an event like surgery. They are incredibly effective and safe to use when taken as prescribed; however, taking the medication incorrectly can have consequences. The side effects of using opioids can make a person tempted to misuse them. Many experience feelings of relaxation and euphoria while under the influence. They can be highly addictive, leading many people to develop dependencies in a short period of time. Some of the most commonly misused opioid medications include:
Depressants, more commonly referred to as Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants, are medications that work as sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. They are useful in treating anxiety, panic, and sleep disorders. These medications can produce side effects that cause a drowsy or calming effect, but because they slow brain activity, they are also incredibly dangerous to misuse. Some of the most commonly misused CNS depressants include:
Stimulants are commonly used to treat conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. They work by increasing a person’s level of energy, their alertness, and their ability to concentrate. Unfortunately, these medications are commonly misused for numerous reasons. In addition to the high it can produce, many use stimulants as a type of “study drug” to help them concentrate and stay alert during long study sessions. Even using the medication for a reason someone may perceive as positive can produce dangerous side effects and lead to the development of an addiction. Some of the most commonly abused stimulants include:
Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction
Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse can range greatly due to the wide array of medications available.
In addition to side effects associated with misuse, you may notice behavioral changes that indicate there is an underlying problem with prescription drug abuse. Consulting a drug and alcohol treatment professional if you suspect misuse is encouraged if the following signs are present.
Behavioral changes you may observe include:
- Taking higher doses than what is prescribed
- Requesting early refills or “losing” prescriptions
- Trying to obtain prescriptions from more than one doctor
- Stealing medications from others
- Extreme mood swings
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Appearing high, whether it be through excessive energy or seeming sedated
Because prescription medications serve a variety of purposes, the signs and symptoms associated with misuse are vast. While any of the following are potential indicators of a substance abuse problem, it is important to note what is considered unusual for the person you suspect is using.
Physical signs may include:
- Slowed breathing rate
- Feeling high
- Extreme, sudden changes in mood
- Poor coorination
- Slurred speech
Causes & Risk Factors of Prescription Drug Abuse
There are many reasons prescription drug abuse occurs.
In some cases, it may not develop as a blatant attempt to get high; rather, a person finds their prescription to be less effective over time and changes their use in order to achieve the outcome they want. While it may seem like this is a reasonable action to take when medication is not working as it is expected, this often indicates a person’s tolerance is increasing and can put a person at risk for developing an addiction.
Other causes of addiction include:
- To relieve stress or tension
- Improving concentration to strengthen academic or work performance
- Experimentation or curiosity
- To feel more alert or reduce appetite
- Preventing withdrawal symptoms
- Maintaining an addiction
- To achieve feelings of being high
While anyone is at risk to develop an addiction to prescription medications, it is most frequently observed in teens and young adults. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in prescription drug abuse among older populations. As people live longer, they are more likely to struggle with pain and ailments that make life difficult. Prescription medications, such as opioids, are frequently prescribed to manage chronic pain, but can often leave many developing dependencies on the drug to feel normal.
Prescription medications are also more frequently abused because they are more readily available. Prescription drugs can be found in most homes and are easy to obtain because they are legal. Their use can also lead some to falsely believe that using them is completely safe and does not carry the same risks as illegal drugs do. Because they are prescribed by a doctor for legitimate medical needs, the false belief that they are safe to use for anyone is often perpetuated, leading many to experiment with them in order to achieve specific outcomes.
Treating Prescription Drug Addiction
There is a wide array of treatment options available that are mostly dependent on the type of substance used, the duration of use, and other individual factors.
In most cases, treatment will follow a similar path, with many beginning their journey in a detox phase. Detoxification is a critical first step in recovery as it helps a person overcome the initial withdrawal symptoms and difficulties that make early sobriety difficult to maintain.
Withdrawing from prescription drugs can be dangerous, making it crucial for a person to complete detox under medical supervision. In most cases, the withdrawal process involves gradually tapering off use until it is no longer used. This is because some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, especially if use is suddenly stopped. There are numerous common side effects associated with withdrawal that can be uncomfortable or difficult to deal with. Depending on the severity of symptoms, a person may need to utilize medications to help make the detox phase more manageable.
Goals of Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
Counseling and therapy are vital aspects of recovery regardless of the substance abused. Therapy may be provided individually, in groups, or to the family. Often times, a combination of these therapeutic approaches are used to improve recovery outcomes. In these sessions, some of the primary goals include:
- Identifying the underlying causes of addiction
- Developing the life skills need to resist triggers, cravings, and temptation in the future
- Learning what healthy coping mechanisms are and how to use them when facing difficult situations
- Fostering the development of healthy,
- positive relationships not dependent on substance abuse to function
- Finding new activities that are engaging, fulfilling, and able to take the time once used for substance abuse
- Understanding what actions to take should relapse occur
Overcoming an addiction to prescription medication can be difficult, especially due to ease of access, but empowering clients through education and the development of a healthy support network is vital to success. While a person who struggles with addiction may be initially resistant to acknowledging a need for treatment, it is important to continue working towards helping them come to terms with accepting help. Prescription drug abuse is dangerous and without proper care, can lead to devastating outcomes. The sooner you are able to intervene and start the treatment process, the better it is for recovery.