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Prescription Drug Abuse in Chesapeake (757) 447-9507

Prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest problems facing health authorities in the USA. There are many different types of prescription drug abuse. Taking a drug in a manner that has not been prescribed is one example. That could mean exceeding the stated dose, or taking the drug more frequently than prescribed.

Prescription drugs are highly addictive and can cause permanent health complications or overdoses. Contact Chesapeake Drug Treatment Centers for help finding qualified addiction treatment centers that can help today: (757) 447-9507

Prescription Drug Abuse: How and Why

The easy availability of prescription drugs plays a big part in the abuse figures. There is a cultural expectation that any visit to a doctor or medical facility should result in getting a prescription or medication. Doctors are pressured into over-prescribing because they do not have the time to spend with individual patients to get a clear clinical picture of the patient's state of health.

Patients end up taking powerful and potentially addictive drugs to treat the most minor ailments. They will rarely use up all of their prescription, and will have drugs lying around the house. They will take these without consultation the next time they feel they have a medical problem. Alternatively, they will give them to family or friends.

Extreme examples of prescribed drug abuse include crushing and snorting pills, or melting pill contents and injecting the liquid. More commonly, people will mix a prescription drug with alcohol or other drugs to boost the drug's effect. Mixing substances can cause any number of health problems, such as liver and kidney damage or irregular heartbeat.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

There are a number of signs that point towards a person's medical drug abuse:

  • Visiting multiple doctors or clinics for more scripts.
  • Running through prescriptions more quickly than intended.
  • Crushing, snorting, smoking, or injecting altered pills.
  • Combining medications, alcohol, or illicit drugs
  • Using psychoactive medications before driving, working, etc.
  • Lying about drug use

Symptoms of prescribed drug abuse include:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Large or very small pupils
  • Slurred speech or impaired movement and reactions

Recognizing the signs and symptoms can help save someone's life. Increased tolerance to various drugs means that a person will continue increasing the dosage and frequency of their use to get the same effects. As tolerance increases, the risk of overdose or permanent damage to the body's major functions increases as well.

It is important to get yourself or a loved one who is abusing substances into treatment as soon as possible.

Which Prescription Drugs are Commonly Abused?

The classes of prescription drugs that are most widely abused are opioid painkillers, followed by the benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety/sedatives).

Opioids are derived from the Asian poppy plant's seeds, putting them in the same class as the street drug heroin. Often prescribed for pain, this class of drugs includes morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and others. These drugs have a high probability for abuse because they induce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and pleasure in those that abuse them. Mental and physical dependence develops quickly. Many opioid abusers die because of the drugs' ability to slow down a person's breathing until they stop breathing altogether.

Benzodiazepines are prescribed to anxiety patients because of their ability to induce feelings of calm. People suffering from conditions like OCD may abuse these drugs because of their frequent feelings of panic. Drugs like Xanax and Valium can cause liver and kidney damage, especially when paired with alcohol. They can also impair motor skills and judgment, which can be a fatal combination for someone who intends to drive or operate machinery.

If you have a problem with prescription drug abuse, we can help you find treatment centers that will provide you with the tools and support to overcome your addiction. Call Chesapeake Drug Treatment Centers at (757) 447-9507 now.

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