There are a number of prescription drugs that are legal, when prescribed by a medical professional and used as prescribed, in the United States. Prescription drug abuse occurs when an individual ingests prescription medication that has not been prescribed by a medical professional, uses more than the amount prescribed, or uses a different ingestion method then prescribed. Mixing prescription medication, especially when clearly instructed not to, with other drugs or alcohol can also be considered abuse.
There are several different kinds of prescription drugs. Stimulants, for example, are typically prescribed to help treat individuals for narcolepsy and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Commonly prescribed stimulants include Adderall (a combination of dextroamphetamine and ampthetamine), Ritalin (methylphenidate), and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine). Opioids are another type of medications regularly utilized amongst the medical field. These are most frequently prescribed as pain relievers, and include OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone), morphine, and codeine. Depressants are often prescribed by a medical professional to help treat anxiety disorders, seizure disorders, and sleep disorders. Some of these include Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ambien (zolpidem), and Xanax (alprazolam). Each of these medications can be extremely helpful when used appropriately and under the care of a medical professional. Risk arises when a person misuses or abuses prescription medications.
When an individual chooses to begin his or her recovery treatment for substance abuse or addiction he or she must undergo a detox process. One will most commonly experience the bulk of his or her withdrawal symptoms during this period of time. Detox is the period of time directly after a person stops using drugs or alcohol. Depending on the type of drugs, as with any abuse of a substance, a person’s body will adjust to accommodate the regular presence of the substance. This can result in the changing of one’s proper brain functioning. Meaning, that the moment an individual removes the substance from his or her body, it will react to the lack of substance, which are what cause an individual to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Individuals who abuse prescription drugs for an extended period of time, or even for a short period of time will most likely experience some degree of withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops abusing the drug. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms an individual may experience will rely on several components. The duration of one’s abuse, the type of prescription drug, the dosage and potency of the drug, whether or not an individual abused or used other substances while abusing the prescription drugs, the method of ingestion, and the individual’s health history all will reflect the intensity and severity of one’s withdrawal experience from prescription drug abuse or addiction.
Some of the possible withdrawal symptoms that can occur for an individual detoxing from prescription drug abuse or addiction can include depression, sweating, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, shakes, diarrhea, seizures, anxiety, agitation, fever, joint and bone pain, muscle aches, poor concentration, and decreased blood pressure. Each individual is different and will experience his or her withdrawal symptoms differently. Any combination of the aforementioned symptoms can occur, and a person will not know the true gravity of his or her withdrawal symptoms until he or she undergoes detox. The length of time an individual may experience withdrawal symptoms will vary, but typically begin anywhere from hours after a person’s final use, lasting as long as two weeks after a person’s last use, and in some cases, longer.
The difficult thing about prescription drugs is that they are widely used to treat serious disorders and diseases in the medical field. When used properly and as prescribed by a medical professional, prescriptions drugs can be greatly beneficial to an individual. They are, however, a slippery slope, because many of them have highly addictive qualities. Furthermore, there is no guarantee, even if taken as prescribed, and not abused, that an individual will not experience withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops using the medication.
The detox process from prescription drug abuse or addiction can lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms, if done so incorrectly. It is highly advisable to go through the detox process in a medically supervised detox facility to ensure an individual’s safety throughout the duration of his or her withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction.