Is There Rehab For Prescription Pill Addiction?
Over 15 million Americans are addicted to prescription drugs – more than the number of heroin, inhalant and hallucinogen users combined. Many medications are routinely prescribed for a variety of physical and emotional ills, but those medications can become addictive. Rehab for prescription pill addiction provides not only general substance abuse treatment services, but also addresses the unique circumstances of many people who abuse medications prescribed by doctors.
How Do Medications Become Addictive?
Although people take prescription medications for a wide range of physical and emotional problems, these drugs have powerful effects on the brain and body. Taking them longer than intended, or in higher doses, can lead to dependence and severe addiction, with the same outcomes as addictions to any commonly used “street” drugs.
Many medications prescribed for legitimate medical conditions can become addictive, and these drugs can also be used recreationally by people who don’t have health problems at all. In any case, the prescription drugs that are most commonly abused typically fall into three large groups:
- Opiates – strong painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, with effects similar to heroin
- Central nervous system depressants – medications like Xanax and Ambien, for problems like anxiety and insomnia
- Stimulants – medications like Adderall and Ritalin, for symptoms of disorders like ADHD and narcolepsy
Because these medications are generally prescribed to treat ongoing physical and emotional conditions, rehab programs that treat addictions to these drugs also need to help users deal with the conditions that led to using the medications.
What Happens in Rehab for Prescription Medications?
General inpatient and outpatient substance abuse programs also work with people who abuse prescription medications, and some rehabs focus solely on that kind of addiction – or even addiction to a particular kind of medication such as opiates.
Some kinds of residential and outpatient programs are designed for people with addictions as well as specific conditions, such as a “dual diagnosis” of a mental health condition along with substance abuse.
Medical Supervision for Detox and Withdrawal
A prescription pill rehab can include medically supervised detox and withdrawal. Like any other kind of addiction, abuse of prescription medications causes physical and psychological dependence, though the symptoms vary depending on the substance. During detox and withdrawal, clients can get medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and intervention is always available in case of complications. When a user is taking the addictive medication to treat a particular problem, alternative medications might be prescribed to control the symptoms.
Counseling and Therapy Provide Support
Rehab programs for prescription medications use standard substance abuse treatment approaches such as counseling and group therapy sessions. In therapy, users learn about their addiction and work on developing new strategies for managing the triggers to addiction. Group meetings allow users to share experiences and support each other while working toward recovery. People who complete a stay in a residential treatment program might also continue recovery in an outpatient program, while for others, outpatient treatment might be the place to start.
Treatment for prescription pill addictions is in many ways similar to getting treatment for other kinds of addictions. But prescription rehab goes a step further. Because most people struggling with addictions to prescription medications began to take these drugs as legitimate treatment for a diagnosed condition, that condition has to be addressed as well. For example, someone taking opiates for chronic pain needs a non-addictive way to manage that pain, and a person taking a medication like Ambien for insomnia may still need to find ways to fall asleep.
With the help of medical professionals and therapists from a wide range of disciplines, rehabs for prescription pill abuse can help users find ways to break the cycle of addiction and start the journey toward long term recovery.
Are you worried that you might be addicted to your prescription? We have the help you’re looking for. Call us at 800-681-7369Who Answers? for the answers you need right now.