Getting Help With Prescription Drug Abuse
Just because a medical professional prescribes medication does not mean it is safe from harm. Although strictly following a prescription minimises the chance of substance abuse, there is still a chance of developing an addiction if you take it for a prolonged period.
Realising you need help with prescription drug abuse can be hard, especially if you didn’t suspect that the medication could be addictive in any way. Admitting there is an issue is the first step towards recovery, the second step is to seek treatment before the problem gets worse.
Recognising The Signs
Drugs are prescribed at GP surgeries and hospitals across the UK daily. Many of these drugs are necessary to keep us alive or to help us better cope with symptoms of various conditions. With advancements in medicine, those drugs enable vast portions of the population to live normal, healthy and longer lives than they could before.
However, some certain prescribed drugs and medications can lead to addiction. Often, these are taken innocently by an individual looking for a solution to either a pain-related or a mental health issue. The most common prescription medications abused are the opioid pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine. In addition, benzodiazepine medications like Xanax or Valium have been linked to many preventable deaths here in the UK.
In many cases, they alter your brain’s chemistry by encouraging the production of key neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. For example, prescription opioids are often used to numb chronic physical pain after an injury, and benzos treat mental health issues like panic attacks, anxiety, and insomnia. In the beginning, your body is not used to the substance, so the effects of those prescription drugs are very noticeable. However, with time, your body begins to build tolerance toward the substance, which means they become less effective unless you cycle them off and on or, as often happens, you start using higher and more frequent doses.
The longer you take a particular drug, the higher the chance of prescription drug misuse and the higher the risk of developing an addiction. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have developed an addiction to prescription drugs, one of the most noticeable signs is whether they experience intense cravings for the substance. Abstaining from a time will usually lead to irritability, and an irrational, at times all-consuming, desire to get another dose.
Another clear sign of addiction is if the person experiences withdrawal symptoms after not taking prescription drugs for a while. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the person’s age, weight, how large and frequent the doses were, and for how long the problem has been ongoing. Some of the physical and mental health prescription drug withdrawal symptoms include:
- Loss of energy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle spasms
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of orientation
- Loss of memory
- Brain fog
- Symptoms of depression
- Intense anxiety
- Mood swings
- Intense cravings for the substance
An untreated prescription drug addiction only worsens over time and can become life-threatening after a certain point. There should be no shame or guilt for not acting sooner, especially if now you realise the magnitude of the situation and are ready to take the necessary first steps toward recovery.
If you want a quick and effortless way to get assessed for prescription drugs addiction, you can contact Providence Projects right away, our team of highly experienced and professional addiction counsellors are ready to help you right away.
When To Seek Help
Many people abuse prescription drugs and believe their situation is hopeless because the cravings are overwhelming and hard to control, and any attempt to stop results in intense withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to recognise that failing to deal with addiction in the past isn’t a sign of weakness, in fact, continuing to fight and seek to be better is an achievement on its own. Furthermore, it’s essential to realise that overcoming an addiction to prescription drugs is not a fight you must lead alone.
There are hidden psychological, emotional and social issues that lead to a person abusing prescription drugs, which is why we put a huge emphasis on working with an addiction counsellor using a plan that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences. By working through personal trauma, unresolved conflicts, and emotional tensions, we uplift the person’s mental health and ensure they get the best chance of maintaining a successful, long-term recovery when leaving treatment.
It’s also important that you do not attempt to quit prescription drugs without the support of a medical professional. Going “cold turkey” on certain medications such as benzodiazepines, can be extremely dangerous.
We have a team of highly experienced counsellors who can help you or a loved one understand the root causes of addiction and help identify the patterns of addictive behaviours or triggers that could lead to potential relapse in future. If you are interested in our holistic and evidence-based approach, click on the link below to learn more about the admissions process for yourself or a loved one.
25+ YEARS OF
ADDICTION RECOVERY SUCCESS
For over 25 years, Providence Projects has helped thousands of individuals overcome the cycle of prescription drug abuse.
Watch client testimonials from real people who have overcome addiction at Providence Projects.
Treatment for prescription drug addiction is available at Providence Projects as part of a comprehensive rehab programme. The most common prescription drugs we treat are opioids and benzodiazepines.
We have tailored our approach with the physical and mental health struggles you are likely to experience in mind. We understand how addictive these medications are, how difficult it can be to stop and the difficult withdrawals which often perpetuate the addiction. The multiple stages we’ve crafted for the process ensure every aspect of addiction is addressed to maximize the chance for successful long-term recovery.
Treatment vary in length depending on your dependency and requirements. Programmes mostly range from 4 weeks up to 12 weeks. Our counsellors are always available to discuss your individual requirements, and we offer a free telephone assessment and consultation service.
On the day of arrival at our rehab facility, you will be welcomed by our team who will undergo an assessment of your condition and use of prescription medication. Once we gather information about your history of prescription medication use, general health, and the current severity of the addiction, we will craft a personalized plan you will follow with the guidance of an addiction counsellor.
Our in-house GP may require you to undergo a medical detox if we’ve determined that you have a physical dependence on the substance, meaning your body is full of toxins that must be cleansed to return to normal without adverse side effects and intense cravings.
You will be supported through an individualised medication regime during the prescription drug addiction treatment. Depending on the length and severity of your dependence, a tailored regime to slowly and safely reduce the dependence until you are either completely drug-free or find an alternative, non-addictive medication will be implemented.
During the detoxification process, you may require careful monitoring by our medical staff, to help you with any discomfort, and act immediately in case of health complications during withdrawal. Detox strains not only the body but the mind as well, which is why our fantastic team of therapists are on hand to give you emotional and psychological support to ensure you receive first-class treatment. The team of rehab professionals at The Providence Projects are kind, experienced and highly skilled.
Removing physical dependence is the first step toward long-term sobriety, and we ensure you get the best chances of successfully detoxifying yourself from the substance with a medically managed detox programme in a safe and supportive environment.
Therapy is designed to help you explore underlying psychological and emotional issues which motivated your addiction and to ensure you stand the best chance of maintaining a successful, long-term recovery when you leave treatment. We have a team of highly experienced counsellors to help you get to the root causes of your illness, identify the patterns in your addictive behaviours, and understand the triggers that could lead to potential relapse in future.
Our residential programme includes a robust set of therapeutic practices and useful activities that help you to build healthy habits and life skills, like meditation, to improve your mental health and help you stay on track with your goals. We also put a huge emphasis on understanding triggers and learning tactics to cope with and overcome any cravings you may experience.
Our programme runs for a minimum of 28-days, with an option to extend treatment into secondary care.