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Alabama Prescription Drug Addiction
alcohol and drug rehab centers mobile AL

It is commonly believed that substance abuse is confined to only illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin, but that is far from true. In many parts of Alabama, prescription drug addiction is a bigger problem than the use of illegal street drugs. In fact, Alabama prescription drug addiction has become such a large issue that emergency room personnel are reporting a rise in overdose deaths, erratic behavior and several other dangerous matters.

Alabama prescription drug addiction can take many forms, and it often has a range of different levels. In some cases, prescription drug addiction occurs when an individual is prescribed a medication and within time, they become addicted to it. In other cases, the addiction is the result of experimentation. A teenage user may take their friend’s medication in an attempt to get high or simply out of curiosity. No matter what the origin is, addiction to prescription medications is very real and is incredibly dangerous.

 

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem throughout the state of Alabama. Similar to the abuse of street drugs, prescription drug abuse affects Alabama residents in small towns, suburban communities, big cities and rural areas.

Many different types of prescription drugs are subject to abuse, but some are more likely to be abused than others. Medications that are prescribed to treat anxiety and depression are frequently abused, and teenagers often experiment with these drugs in an attempt to get high. These drugs include Klonopin and Xanax, as well as several other medications used to treat anxiety, depression and similar mood disorders. It is important to understand that though prescription medications do serve a legitimate medical purpose, their use should be carefully monitored to avoid bigger problems.

Medications that are used to treat pain are also subject to abuse and addiction, and their use should be carefully monitored as well. For many years, it was believed that pain was not being treated aggressively enough, and the public pushed doctors to take chronic pain more seriously. Their efforts worked, and doctors are now prescribing more powerful painkillers to better manage the problem.

Unfortunately, the increase in the use of prescription painkillers has created its own set of problems. Powerful painkillers on the market today are generally opiate based, and the same properties that make them efficient in numbing pain, also create a serious risk for addiction. Prescription painkillers like Oxycodone and Vicodin, are potentially addictive, especially when taken in larger amounts than prescribed. If you have a loved one that has been prescribed a powerful medication, it is important to monitor their use and be ready to intervene if you suspect a substance abuse problem is beginning to develop.

 

What Are the Common Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?

There are a variety of different types of prescription drugs that are currently on the market, as well as many methods for abusing them. The particular signs and symptoms will differ depending on the type of prescription medication being used. A person who is addicted to opiate based painkillers will exhibit different signs than the individual who is misusing their prescription anxiety medications.

One thing that prescription drug abusers do have in common, is an increase in the number of prescriptions they try to obtain. The individual may start making additional appointments with multiple doctors in an attempt to obtain more and more medications, an exercise known as doctor shopping. They might also attempt to forge their prescriptions or claim to have lost their pills. If you notice any of these concerning behaviors, it is encouraged that you reach out for help and contact a local drug rehab center.

Individuals who have developed an addiction to drugs that are used to treat anxiety and depression, may experience sudden changes in mood, with swings from depression to elation. They may also appear lethargic or lose interest in the hobbies they once enjoyed. These medications affect the physical structure of the brain, which can be reflected in the emotional state of the user.

People who abuse prescription opiate based painkillers often develop a tolerance to the medications. Pain that was once controlled with a single pill, now requires two or three pills in order to obtain the same level of relief. This tolerance is one of the biggest and most dangerous problems that prescription drug addicts face. Accidental overdose is always a risk when taking these kinds of medications, especially if the pills are mixed with alcohol.

 

What Treatment Options Are Available?

Prescription drug abuse and misuse have both been on the rise throughout the state of Alabama. Anyone can be affected, and it is important for friends and family members to be on the lookout for any early warning signs.

Fortunately, prescription drug addiction can be effectively treated, especially if the problem is detected early and treated promptly. There are Alabama drug rehab clinics that specialize in the treatment of prescription drug addiction, and getting this kind of specific help can make all the difference.

There are many treatment options available for those who have developed an addiction to prescription drugs. The treatment will depend on the needs of the individual addict, how long they have been addicted, and how intense their dependence is. In some cases, the substance abuse treatment center will start with a course of medical detoxification to cleanse the body of the prescription drug. Once this has been completed, further treatment will begin, which includes family therapy, peer counseling and psychological support.

In other cases, the prescription drug addiction may have ascended in response to a mental health disorder. In this situation, a psychologist or psychiatrist will be brought onboard to diagnose the problem and recommend an effective course of treatment. No matter which type of treatment is chosen, getting the individual help as soon as possible is essential.

If you suspect that a friend or family member has been misusing their prescribed medication or is experimenting with prescription drugs, it is important to step in. A timely intervention with caring friends and family members can literally be a lifesaver. The sooner the individual gets help at one of the addiction treatment centers in Alabama, the better off they will be.