Prescription Drugs Are Widely Abused
Prescription drugs do have legitimate medical uses, but unfortunately, many people abuse them.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the most commonly abused prescription drugs are depressants (widely used to treat anxiety or sleep problems), stimulants (widely used to treat ADHD), and prescription painkillers (also called opioids).
Data from NIDA shows that young adults age 18 to 25 are the most likely to abuse prescription drugs.
In fact, 14.4% of this demographic has admitted to abusing prescriptions within the past year.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, young adults are not the only age group abusing prescription painkillers -- 7.7 million Americans over 25 abused opioids in 2018.
Prescription Drug Abuse Has Been Moving to the Suburbs
One alarming effect of the opioid epidemic is the prevalence of painkiller addiction among suburban housewives.
These young and middle-aged women may begin using prescription drugs legitimately as prescribed after a surgery or injury, but they quickly become dependent upon them.
Prescription painkillers or opioids do not just relieve pain; they also have a relaxing effect and produce feelings of pleasure.
Suburban housewives may find that prescription painkillers make life a little more enjoyable and/or "take the edge off," so they continue to use these drugs even when they are no longer medically necessary.
Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse
Suburban housewives may initially use prescription painkillers for legitimate medical reasons, but over time, their abuse of these prescription drugs can lead to addiction.
Those who abuse prescription painkillers are also likely to experience side effects, including nausea, constipation, drowsiness, confusion, and slower breathing. As time goes on and substance abuse continues, addiction to painkillers can lead to brain damage.
Overdose and Prescription Drug Abuse
Another unfortunate effect of prescription drug abuse with painkillers is the risk of overdose.
As NIDA explains: "When a person takes too large of a dose of painkillers, their breathing slows or even stops. This cuts off oxygen to the brain, resulting in brain damage, coma, and in some cases, death." Emergency medical treatment is necessary in the case of a prescription painkiller overdose.
Prescription Drugs, Tolerance, and Dependence
Prescription drugs, including painkillers, also produce tolerance and dependence.
When someone develops a tolerance for prescription drugs, they will need larger doses to achieve the same effects. Over time, they may also become dependent on prescription painkillers, meaning their body does not function the same without them.
Someone who develops a dependence on prescription drugs will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they stop using prescription drugs. For prescription painkillers, withdrawal symptoms include pain, sleep disturbances, goosebumps, extreme drug cravings, involuntary leg movements, and gastrointestinal symptoms -- like diarrhea and vomiting.
Your Mental Illness and Prescription Drug Addiction
Another key piece of the conversation surrounding painkiller addiction among suburban housewives is the link between mental illness and prescription drug addiction.
According to NIDA, half of those who have a mental illness will also suffer from addiction at some point. When suburban housewives develop an addiction to prescription drugs, they may be self-medicating an underlying mental health issue, like depression or anxiety.
This means that any treatment sought should address both the prescription drug abuse and the mental health issue.
Prescription Drug Addiction Rehab
Given that prescription painkillers are addictive and that the use of these drugs can quickly lead to tolerance and dependence, prescription drug addiction rehab is necessary for those who want to stop using these drugs.
Withdrawal symptoms can make it difficult to stop using on your own.Additionally, prescription drug addiction creates changes in the brain, leading to continued abuse, despite negative consequences -- such as health problems or difficulty caring for family members.
Prescription drug addiction rehab can help.
Detox for Prescription Drug Addiction
If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to painkillers, prescription drug addiction rehab will likely begin with a detox program to help clear your body of drugs.
As previously mentioned, when you stop using prescription painkillers, you are likely to experience significant withdrawal symptoms. A detox program can provide support and medical care to make the withdrawal process more manageable.
A prescription drug addiction detox program may even provide you with prescribed medications, like buprenorphine and methadone, to reduce cravings for painkillers and alleviate some withdrawal symptoms.
Ongoing Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse
While detox is typically a vital part of prescription drug addiction rehab, it is only the first step in the recovery process.
After completing detox, you will need to engage in ongoing treatment services to learn the skills necessary for leading a drug-free lifestyle. A prescription drug rehab that provides behavioral counseling can help you change your perceptions of drugs and learn new ways of coping with stress.
For example, a prescription drug addiction rehab may use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you overcome addiction. According to experts, evidence shows a rehab that includes both behavioral therapy and medication in your treatment plan is most likely to be effective.
Treatment at BriteLife Recovery
If you are seeking treatment to overcome prescription drug abuse, BriteLife Recovery is here to help.
We are situated in the heart of beautiful Hilton Head, South Carolina. We welcome clients from surrounding areas, including places such as Atlanta, Georgia, Wilmington, North Carolina, and other locations throughout the U.S.
Our rehab center offers a range of treatment options, including inpatient and outpatient rehab, detox programming, sober living, partial hospitalization, and aftercare services. BriteLife Recovery’s founder experienced the effects of addiction firsthand in his own family and has dedicated his career to using evidence-based approaches to treat addiction.
Paying for Prescription Drug Addiction Rehab
Thinking about covering the costs of treatment for prescription drug addiction can be overwhelming. However, BriteLife Recovery can help.
We offer free insurance verification for all of our clients.
Simply call or email us with your insurance information, and we will provide you with feedback regarding what services your health insurance plan covers, and what you can expect to pay out of pocket for a treatment program with us.
If needed, our admissions team can assist with filing a claim with your insurance company once you begin treatment, simplifying the process even further.
Start Treatment Today
If you are ready to take the first step toward recovering from prescription painkiller addiction, contact BriteLife Recovery today.
We believe in providing each of our clients with individualized treatment plans that meet their unique needs, and we are here to help determine what type of treatment services are the best fit for you.
The staff at BriteLife Recovery are also qualified to treat substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illnesses. Therefore, you can receive treatment in one place if you have a mental health disorder, along with an addiction disorder. If you or a loved one struggles with prescription painkiller abuse, reach out to our support team now.
We are here to listen to your concerns, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.