Is Your Loved One Abusing Prescription Drugs? Getting Help with Addiction Treatment
Prescription drugs are abused by over 2.4 million Americans — including drugs that carry a high risk for addiction such as opioid painkillers, sleep aids, and muscle relaxers. If your loved one is taking prescription drugs, it can be difficult to determine whether they’re abusing their medication until it’s too late. But knowing common signs of prescription drug abuse and getting help with addiction treatment is the best thing you can do to save the life of your loved one.
If your loved one is abusing prescription drugs, understand that drug rehab centers can safely help your loved one get clean. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-681-7369Who Answers? to speak with a caring addiction counselor about your drug rehab options.
Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
Due to the way some prescription drugs affect you physically and mentally, sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether your loved one truly has a problem with addiction. Plus, certain drugs produce different effects than others. For instance, sedatives offer drowsy effects, while stimulants offer more hyperactive effects.
Common signs of opioid abuse (oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone):
- Loss of coordination
- Slowed breathing
Common signs of sedative abuse (diazepam, clonazepam, zolpidem):
- Slurred speech
- Slowed breathing
- Poor concentration
Common signs of stimulant abuse (methamphetamine, amphetamine):
- High body temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Irregular heartbeat
Other common signs of prescription drug abuse include:
- Using higher doses of drugs than prescribed
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Visiting multiple doctors for multiple prescriptions, or doctor shopping
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Mood swings
- Extreme euphoria
If your loved one is exhibiting any of the above signs of prescription drug abuse, it’s time to seek help in the form of addiction treatment. Our caring drug abuse counselors are on standby 24/7 to answer all your questions about available addiction treatments.
Withdrawing from Prescription Drugs
Detoxification allows your loved one to withdraw from drugs in a safe medical environment surrounded by caring medical staff who will attend to their every health need. Detoxification from prescription drugs is usually conducted one of two ways: medical detox or tapering.
Medical detox is when you quit using prescription drugs abruptly, but are provided with other prescription drugs that reduce or eliminate certain withdrawal symptoms. For instance, those addicted to stimulants may be prescribed a non-addictive sleep aid that treats insomnia. Medical detox often involves 24/7 medical supervision in the event your loved one needs specialized treatment on behalf of one or more severe withdrawal symptoms.
Tapering is a more commonly used detox method for prescription drugs, since tapering presents fewer medical risks than quitting cold turkey. Tapering is when your doctor reduces your dosage of the drug gradually over time until you’re no longer physically dependent on the medication. This process can take several weeks or months, but is highly effective at reducing withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and relapse.
Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction
Following detox, your loved one’s addiction treatment will consist mainly of counseling and aftercare. Counseling treats psychological root causes of addiction, while aftercare is comprised of programs devoted to keeping recovering addicts sober for life after rehab.
Counseling is often conducted individually, in groups, or with family members, depending on your loved one’s unique situation. For instance, if your loved one started abusing drugs due to problems at home, family counseling can help all your relatives improve communication with one another. Alternately, if your loved one starting abusing drugs due to facing stress at work, individual and group counseling can teach them new ways to manage stress without turning to drugs.
Aftercare programs usually consist of ongoing counseling, education, and 12-step support groups, and are designed to help you stay sober long after treatment ends. Learn tips and tricks on ways to navigate the world without giving into temptation, and bond with other recovering addicts in support groups who understand and share your same struggles.
If you suspect your loved one is abusing prescription drugs, getting help with addiction treatment is the best thing you can do for your loved one and family. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-681-7369Who Answers? to speak with a drug abuse counselor about your options for nearby rehab centers that can help.