If you are concerned that someone you know may be abusing prescription drugs, here are a few important questions to consider.
What prescription drugs are most frequently abused?
While any prescription drug can be abused, the most common types include opioids, depressants, and stimulants. Opioids are used for pain management, depressants are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, and stimulants are typically used to treat attention disorders such as ADHD.
How quickly can a person become addicted to prescription drugs?
This depends on a lot of factors, such as the type of drug, the person’s age and gender, the family’s history of substance abuse, and the level of abuse of the drug. Opioids are much more addictive than other types of drugs, so a dependency can form much more quickly. However, any type of prescription drug that is misused over a length of time runs the risk of creating an addiction.
What are the physical signs of prescription drug abuse?
The physical signs of prescription drug abuse will very depending on the type of drug that is being abused. Opioid abuse can result in constipation, nausea, feelings of euphoria, slowed breathing, drowsiness, confusion, and poor coordination. Depressant abuse can result in unsteady walking, slurred speech, problems with memory, drowsiness, and poor concentration. Stimulant abuse can result in reduced appetite, agitation, increased body temperature, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, anxiety, and paranoia. Other signs to look for include someone who is stealing prescription medication, taking higher doses than prescribed, seems hostile when confronted about their drug use, or is seeing more than one doctor for prescription drugs.
What are effective treatment options for prescription drug addiction?
There are many effective types of drug addiction treatment centers available. Depending on the level of abuse and type of drug, these include rehabilitation, behavioral therapies, support groups, and medication.
What is the detoxification, or “detox” period?
The detox period is when the addict allows their body to rid itself of the drug they have been abusing. In addition to not taking that drug, this often includes drinking large amounts of water to flush out the system, exercising to burn off any of the drug that the body has stored, and eating certain foods that aid the liver in detoxifying the body. Detox centers in Florida are plenty as the Sunshine state attracts a heavy influx of drugs due to the warm weather and party scenes due to tourism.
What is the difference between detoxification and withdrawal?
The detoxification period refers to removing the drug from the person’s system, while withdrawal is actually the physical symptoms that result from the detox. These can be very sever and unpleasant, occasionally requiring medication to ease the symptoms. They can include diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pain, restlessness, depression, and feelings of dysphoria. Depending on how sever the addition was, the withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks.
Where can detailed educational materials be obtained about prescription drug abuse?
The best places to find information about a specific type of prescription drug abuse include medical or government-based internet sites, pamphlets at local doctor’s offices and hospitals, or speaking directly with a professional at a local rehab facility.
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