What are Addictive Medications?

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addictive medications

Over the last decade, people have become much more aware of the dangers of addictive medications. Learn about these drugs and the signs of addiction to prescription pills.

As grateful as we are for relief from what ails us, the truth is that some medications are very addictive. While drugs can provide pain relief, or help to manage anxiety or other issues, for some people, they are dangerous.

Each person has a unique metabolism and genetic make-up. Medications can lead to addiction in some of us, and therefore must be used with care. But some people abuse these prescription drugs in search of a high. This can be especially risky, and even result in an overdose or death.

By being aware of the dangers of pills, you can provide yourself with information that helps you avoid these risks. Read on to learn more about addictive meds.

How Medications Lead to Addiction

When a doctor prescribes pain medication after surgery or an injury, you would not think it could become a problem. For most people, taking pain meds for a short period isn’t an issue. For others, though, it can impact the brain’s reward system. When the reward center of the brain records a sensation as pleasurable, it sets up the desire to repeat it. That is the basis for an addiction to slowly take hold.

There are many risks involved in pill addiction. As the tolerance ramps up, the person will take ever-higher doses of the medication to chase that high. Meanwhile, the brain pathways are being altered in response to the dopamine that is produced. In as little as a few weeks of dosing, some people will acquire an addiction. By taking higher doses the person risks an overdose.

Addiction itself is very risky, with adverse impacts to all areas of someone’s life. But when the pills are no longer available, the person may switch to heroin, or buy the pills online. This can put the person at much higher risk of a fentanyl overdose. This is due to the many fake pills on the street that contain the deadly drug.

Pills that are Highly Addictive

It isn’t only opioids that are addictive. There are many types of meds that can cause someone to become addicted. This happens when the person comes to believe that they cannot function without the pills. They begin to be obsessed about getting and taking these meds.

Types of drugs that are highly addiction include:

  • Opioids. These include such drugs as Vicodin, Oxy, Dilaudid, Percocet, and Norco.
  • Benzos. These include Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, and Librium.
  • Stimulants. These include Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse.
  • Barbiturates. These include Nembutal, Seconal, and Mebaral.

Signs of a Pill Addiction

The signs of addiction are similar, no matter which drug is involved. The only noticeable difference are the withdrawal symptoms, as these vary depending on the substance.

Signs of addiction may include:

  • Become obsessed with obtaining and taking the pills.
  • Increased tolerance, leading to higher dosing.
  • Doctor shopping; buying pills on the street or online.
  • Having mood swings.
  • Changes in eating and/or sleeping habits.
  • Weight gain or loss.
  • Become irresponsible; engage in high-risk actions.
  • Irritability
  • Withdraw from friends and family.
  • Keep taking the meds despite the negative impact on life.
  • Stealing pills from friends or family members.
  • Having withdrawal symptoms when drug wears off

These are warning signs that you or someone you know has developed a problem with a prescription drug. The sooner the person seeks treatment, the better the outcome. The first step is to safely complete the detox process.

What to Expect in Detox

Once someone decides they are ready to break free from a pill addiction they must complete detox and withdrawal. This is not to be taken lightly, as certain drugs shouldn’t be stopped with a doctor’s guidance. To quit the drug abruptly will trigger very harsh and sometimes life threatening symptoms.

To avoid this outcome, a medical detox program is advised. A doctor creates a special tapering plan that slowly wears the person off the drug. By using this type of taper schedule, the system slowly adjusts to the lower doses. This can help reduce the discomfort and risks of the detox process.

The withdrawal symptoms will be different based on the drug group:

OPIOIDS:

  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Chills or goosebumps

BENZOS:

  • Anxiety
  • Hyperventilation
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Racing pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle spasms
  • Restlessness

STIMULANTS:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Due to most drug detoxes causing mental health symptoms too, the detox team also provides counseling and support.

Treatment Options for Pill Addiction

After detox is done, the next is to embark on the next phase of recovery—rehab treatment. It is through treatment that the person learns how to change the entrenched addictive behaviors.

Depending on the type of pill addiction, the program also helps the person manage the medical issue without the need for the pills. For chronic pain, they will learn new holistic methods for pain control. If the problem is related to stress, they will learn natural ways to relax.

There are two main settings for addiction treatment, an outpatient program or a residential program. Both types of rehab settings use the same basic treatment interventions. These include:

  • One-on-one therapy sessions. Therapy helps teach new ways of thinking and reacting to stress or other triggers. This is done mainly through CBT and DBT techniques.
  • Group therapy sessions. These sessions have a licensed counselor leading the peer group in talks that revolve around recovery.
  • 12-step meetings. The 12- step program is often a part of the treatment program. This may also include 12-step meetings that the clients all join.
  • Education. Clients learn new coping skills and practice them.
  • Relapse prevention. Clients make their own plans to avoid relapsing after they leave rehab.
  • Stress reduction. Learning new ways to relax, such as yoga, meditation, and massage, are skills that will help in recovery.

With so many addictive medications on the market, it is not a surprise that we might find ourselves struggling with an addiction. With the guidance and support of an evidence-based treatment program, you can overcome a problem with an addictive medication.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Luxury Addiction Treatment

Golf Drug Rehab is an upscale drug and alcohol treatment center for the golf lover. If you or someone you care about has developed a problem with pills, give our team a call today at (877) 958-5320.

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