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Prescription Drug Abuse in Concord, NC (704) 490-4263

Prescription drug abuse is widespread in the United States, where five percent of the world’s population consumes 75 percent of its prescription medications.

Prescription drug abuse is characterized by using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes or taking prescriptions other than as directed. Over time, prescription drug abuse can lead to addiction, which is a chronic and relapsing disease that changes the physical structures and functions of the brain.

Getting help for a prescription drug abuse problem through a Drug Treatment Centers Concord NC is essential for preventing addiction and devastating mental and physical health problems that typically result from long-term abuse or addiction. Call (704) 490-4263.

Common Drugs of Abuse

The most commonly abused drugs are those that fall into Schedules II and IV of the Controlled Substances Act. While Schedule I drugs are illegal substances that are highly addictive and have no medical value, such as heroin and ecstasy, drugs in subsequent Schedules have medical value and a high risk of addiction. The drugs on each Schedule are considered to be less addictive than the ones on the Schedule before it.

  • Opiate painkillers like OxyContin, Fentanyl, and Vicodin are Schedule II medications that block receptors in the brain that transmit sensations of pain.
  • Stimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, and Dexedrine are Schedule II drugs that increase the production of neurotransmitters that increase alertness and energy. These are most often prescribed for ADHD and to treat obesity.
  • Sedatives like the benzodiazepines Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin are Schedule IV drugs that slow down nerve transmission to sedate the user. Sedatives are most often prescribed to treat anxiety disorders.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Abuse

Signs are indicators of a condition that others are able to see, such as changes in behavior. Symptoms are indicators of a condition that the person with the condition will feel. While signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse vary widely depending on the drug of abuse, common signs and symptoms of prescription medication abuse in general include:

  • Forging prescriptions.
  • Stealing prescription drugs or prescriptions.
  • “Losing” prescriptions so that another must be issued.
  • Obtaining prescriptions from more than one doctor.
  • Engaging in compulsive drug-seeking behaviors.
  • Building up a tolerance so that more of the drug is required for the same effects.
  • Neglecting responsibilities and declining performance at home, work, or school.
  • Appearing to be high, either sedated or revved up.

Health Risks of Abusing Prescription Drugs

While each prescription medication has its own long-term effects on physical and mental health, some general health risks associated with prescription drug abuse include:

  • Organ damage or failure, including the heart, liver, brain, and kidneys.
  • The onset of addiction.
  • The onset or worsening of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis.
  • Compromised immune system.
  • Decreased cognitive functions, including those associated with memory and learning.

Treating Prescription Drug Abuse

If the abuse of prescription drugs has led to addiction, the first step in rehab will be medical detox, during which the physical addiction will be broken with the help of medications administered to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal. These medications include Subutex and Methadone for opiate withdrawal and bupropion for stimulant withdrawal. Sedative withdrawal is a tapering off process, since there are no medications to treat the potentially dangerous shifts in body function associated with detox from sedatives.

The second phase of drug rehab is treatment, which utilizes various addiction treatment therapies to address the complex psychological aspects of abuse or addiction, which may include co-occurring mental illnesses and secondary behavioral addictions that stem from engaging in certain behaviors like sex or gambling while under the influence of drugs. Treatment therapies include group counseling, family therapy, and individual cognitive and behavioral therapies to help patients identify and change self-destructive thoughts and replace harmful behaviors with healthy ones.

A relapse prevention program is individualized and implemented after the successful completion of treatment to help promote long-term sobriety. Aftercare plans typically include ongoing therapy, participation in community recovery groups, and other components based on the individual’s unique needs.

Call Drug Treatment Centers Concord NC at (704) 490-4263 if you or a loved one is addicted to prescription medications.

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