Dealing with a prescription drug addiction can define every aspect of a person’s life. What might start out as a legitimate need for medication could quickly spiral into substance abuse and dependence. Once this happens, recovery can be a tough road to find and stay on. Fortunately, there are treatment options available for those who want to wake up from their nightmare.
At Olympus Recovery, our treatment center focuses on helping our clients overcome addiction and any secondary diagnoses they may have. This means if addiction led to a disorder — or if an underlying condition could affect treatment — our professional staff is here to help. Take a moment to review what we offer and contact us today if you or a loved one needs help.
‘Am I Addicted to Prescription Drugs?’
The path to addiction isn’t always a clear one. Maybe you started taking medication because your doctor prescribed them, or maybe a friend loaned you a few pills for pain relief. In nearly every case, though, no one expects to need addiction treatment. In fact, the path to prescription drug addiction can be so subtle that you may not even be sure you have a problem.
If you’re questioning whether you’ve become addicted to prescription drugs, that’s a good sign that there’s cause for concern. There are several red flags, though, you can pay attention to in your life. While these actions may not seem abnormal for you, they’re actually very common among those with substance abuse disorders:
- Taking medications in higher doses than prescribed
- Using medicines for longer than directed by your doctor
- Developing a tolerance that requires higher doses for the same effect
- Using any prescription medication for non-prescribed purposes
- “Doctor shopping” — visiting multiple doctors to find one who will prescribe a drug
- Lying to others about your usage of a drug
- Taking a medication prescribed to someone else
- Visiting multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions
- Withdrawing from family, friends, and activities you once enjoyed
- Prior attempts to end use have proven unsuccessful
- Lying about lost prescriptions to get early refills
While none of these is enough on their own to determine you have a prescription drug addiction, they point to a pattern of behavior common among those who abuse medications. For instance, borrowing a pain pill from a family member once doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve developed a dependence. That’s the keyword, though: dependence.
Once the human body becomes accustomed to a drug, there’s a negative response when it suddenly doesn’t have access to it. You may experience withdrawal symptoms because of this, and that’s a definite red flag for prescription drug addiction. If you’ve ever experienced any of the following symptoms when trying to cut back or stop use altogether, you very likely have an addiction:
- Changes in your behavior (e.g., reclusiveness, agitation)
- Changes to your normal sleep patterns
- Changes in emotional state (e.g., feelings of anxiety, depression)
- Nausea and vomiting
- General feelings of unwellness
- Unexpected health issues (e.g., panic attacks)
- Hallucinations and delusions
Unfortunately, it’s often these symptoms and Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) that prevent people from overcoming prescription drug addiction. The lack of the drug in a person’s system leads to these side effects, so they quickly discover that relapse is a quick way to feel better. This provides temporary relief, but it only worsens the problem.
In addition to making it difficult to stop abusing prescription medications, withdrawal can also be fatal. While benzodiazepine withdrawal is known to have potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms, coming off of any medication can prove dangerous if it causes severe dehydration. This is why it’s so important to reach out for help when trying to beat prescription drug addiction.
At Olympus Recovery, we’re ready to help you overcome this initial hurdle so your treatment process can be a successful one. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Prescription Drug Addiction and Mental Illness
There is plenty of discussion surrounding the epidemic of people abusing prescription drugs to deal with mental health issues. What rarely gets the attention it deserves, though, is the fact that drug use can actually create psychiatric problems. Mood disorders, sexual dysfunction, anxiety disorder, persisting dementia, and sleep disorders are just a few of the common outcomes of prescription drug abuse.
Recent statistics show that 37.9% of individuals with substance abuse disorders also have a mental illness. In fact, those who abuse drugs are twice as likely to develop anxiety and mood disorders as the general public. Unfortunately, over half of the people with co-occurring disorders don’t get treatment for either of them.
Related statistics are just as disheartening:
- Those who only receive mental health care: 34.5%.
- Those who only receive substance abuse treatment: 3.9%.
- Those who receive both: 9.1%.
This means that less than one in 10 people with prescription drug addiction and accompanying mental health concerns receive the treatment they need. Unfortunately, this can lead to worsening conditions over time. At Olympus Recovery, our approach is to treat both issues. Without doing so, therapy is unlikely to be effective for either diagnosis you’re facing.
If you’re under the belief that this won’t happen to you, it’s important to understand that this isn’t a conscious process. Although you may become paranoid while on certain medications, the effects go much deeper than that. Chronic use of any substance can result in chemical changes to the brain that can affect your psychological health in several ways.
Consider the variety of prescription drug addictions that can lead to depression:
- Benzodiazepines (e.g., Xanax, Valium)
- Stimulants (e.g., Provigil, Ritalin)
- Barbituates (e.g., Amytal, Donnatal)
- Opioids (e.g., Percodan, Demerol)
This is just a small sampling of medications that can lead to a single psychiatric disorder. There are various other conditions that could arise concurrently or as a result of prescription drug addiction. In a best-case scenario, such conditions are only short-term. With continued abuse, though, a side effect of drug abuse can become a lifelong problem.
The important thing to remember is that you aren’t alone in this. Countless people face these difficulties daily. The only individuals who can’t get help are the ones who choose not to seek it. If you’re ready to stop fighting addiction on your own, reach out for help and make it a fair fight.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment at Olympus
The statistics related to prescription drug abuse are disheartening, and they show just how many people struggle with this epidemic. Fortunately, this problem doesn’t have to remain a person’s reality. There are a variety of proven treatment strategies shown to combat addiction and any co-occurring disorder a person may be facing.
At Olympus Recovery, we offer the most effective programs which include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- Family therapy
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
Group therapy with topics such as:
- Life after loss
- Building resilience
- Anger management
- Principles of Recovery (12-step introduction and more)
- Life skills
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
Each of these has proven to be life-saving approaches for countless individuals. And at Olympus Recovery, we’re especially proud to offer dialectical behavioral therapy. Not all treatment centers offer DBT, and our focus includes emotional regulation during therapy. This gives us yet another invaluable weapon in fighting prescription drug addiction and mental health issues.
Our evidence-based treatment approach is further improved thanks to our Master’s Level Clinicians, registered interns, and a financial team that’s in-network with HMOs, PPOs, and more. Self-pay is also an option if you need it, but we’ll work diligently to find a way for you to get the treatment you need. Olympus Recovery also offers:
- Housing in shared apartments
- Weekend and evening outings that include meetings
- Van transport from residences to clinical building
- Small program size (30 clients or less)
- First responder programs
Everything we’ve created at Olympus Recovery focuses on helping you get better. You won’t find treatment for in-depth mental health issues such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but other Transformations programs provide therapies focused on these.
Instead, Olympus Recovery specializes in handling substance abuse disorders, alcoholism, and other addictions along with the conditions that may accompany them. Prescription drug addiction can present in many forms. This is why we strive to offer personalized treatments for everyone we meet.
Get Help for Prescription Drug Addiction Now
It’s an unfortunate reality, but prescription drug abuse often starts because people reach out for help. Pain medications following an injury or anxiety prescriptions for those living with panic disorder are a common occurrence. Sadly, this can lead to misuse. When combined with those who self-medicate to deal with mental health issues, the scope of this drug problem becomes all too clear.
At Olympus Recovery, our certified staff of professionals works tirelessly to help each of our clients overcome their personal battles. We focus on building a treatment plan that’s tailored to each individual, and that’s why we have such a wide array of therapeutic offerings. Contact us today to learn how we can help you take control of your life back from prescription drug addiction.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders