Prescription Drug Abuse in Elyria, OH

Prescription drug abuse is when a person takes a medication other than as is prescribed or takes a medication that isn't prescribed to them at all for the express purpose of getting high. While many people associate prescription drug abuse in Elyria with abusing pain medications only, it is possible to abuse and be addicted to other types of drugs, such as stimulants and tranquilizers.

Some of the most common behaviors associated with prescription drug abuse include:

  • Consistently taking more of a pain medication than is prescribed
  • Purchasing prescription medications on the street or from others who have extra medications
  • Seeing multiple doctors to try to get the same prescription
  • Stealing prescription medications from others or stealing prescription pads
  • Taking someone else's prescriptions
  • Taking the medications in a way other than is prescribed, such as crushing and snorting or injecting the medications

Medications don't have to be illegal to be addictive and dangerous. Even when a person follows the prescription instructions, it is still possible to develop a prescription drug addiction in Elyria.

Why Are Prescription Drugs So Addictive?

Three of the most common types of abused prescription drugs are the following medications:

Opioids: Doctors prescribe these medications to relieve pain. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine.

Central nervous system (CNS) depressants: Doctors prescribe these medications to treat anxiety and sleeping problems. Drugs in this category include tranquilizers, sedatives, and hypnotics. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax).

Stimulants: Doctors prescribe these medications to improve concentration. Examples include Adderall and Ritalin.

When taken, these medications have effects on the brain that can range from pain relief to relaxation to improved concentration. They can all create a feel-good sensation that a person becomes addicted to experiencing. Repeatedly taking the drug can create a tolerance in a person's body. As a result, they will need to take more and more of a drug to experience the same sensations they once did when taking less of the drug.

It is important to differentiate between prescription drug dependence and addiction although the difference is a very fine line. Those who are dependent on a drug take it regularly. They will experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking the drug because they need it to manage their condition, such as chronic pain.

Those who are addicted to a drug will seek out the medication compulsively. They do not have control over their use of a drug and will continue to use the drug, even if they have experienced negative consequences in doing so. Because prescription drug abuse in Elyria can have health effects as well as destroy a person's personal life, prescription drug abuse treatment is very important.

Health Risks for Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse in Elyria can lead to serious and severe health consequences. For example, taking opioid painkillers can slow a person's breathing. This can affect a person's ability to get oxygen to their brain. The result can be memory loss and brain damage. When combined with alcohol or other prescription drugs, a person may stop breathing altogether.

In addition to the risks for death and brain impairment due to opioid abuse, other types of addictive medications can have harmful effects. Abuse of stimulants can increase how fast someone's heart beats; this can weaken the heart over time and potentially contribute to heart failure. Other side effects can include seizures, hostility, and paranoia.

Taking CNS depressants can cause a person to feel extremely sleepy and affect their coordination. Sometimes a person may abuse both opioids and CNS depressants, which can be a deadly combination due to their relaxing effects on respiration.

Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment Options

We treat prescription drug abuse in Elyria in a variety of ways. We screen for the potential of a dual diagnosis in our dual diagnosis programs in Elyria. Those with an underlying psychological condition are very prone to substance abuse to self-medicate. That's why this program is essential for treating both disorders so that the patient can recover effectively.

In some instances, as is the case with opioid addiction, a person can take medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for a particular drug. Examples of these medicines include methadone and buprenorphine. A prescription drug abuse treatment program will also often center on creating a customized tapering plan that helps a person slowly withdraw from a particular prescription medication as a means to reduce symptoms whenever possible.

In addition to this service, a prescription drug abuse center can also provide counseling, group therapy sessions, and other methods of coping and support to help a person achieve and maintain their sobriety. Through establishing a link to continued outpatient treatment support, a person can receive the treatments they need to become and stay sober.

If you are suffering from prescription drug abuse in Elyria and are interested in any of our other addiction treatment programs in Elyria, call us now at (440) 540-5418.

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