What Is Prescription Drug Addiction?

There is prescription drug addiction and prescription drug abuse. Most commonly, abusing prescription drugs does lead to addiction. However, many people have found that their regular use of prescription drugs has caused them to become chemically dependent on their medications. This is one of the reason addiction to benzodiazepines, prescribed to manage anxiety, and opioids, prescribed to manage pain, is so common. Taking the drugs according to prescription, patients find they don’t work anymore, because of the tolerance they quickly develop. Complaining to their doctors, the doctors simply increase the dosage, worsening, not fixing, the problem. Some might abuse the medication eventually and take more than prescribed, most end up chemically addicted due to their doctor repeatedly increasing the dosage.
Commonly abused prescription drugs include:

  • Opioids
  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Stimulants

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that approximately 48 million people in America 12 years old and older have abused prescription drugs in their lifetime. Meaning, they have used prescription drugs beyond their purpose, their prescription, or for non-medical reasons like getting high. 48 million people is about 20% of the entire U.S. population. People are not aware of how catastrophic the small decision to abuse prescription drugs may be. Often, the choice is innocent. Someone badly suffering from anxiety, believes that the only thing which will calm them down will be taking an extra pill. Someone struggling with severe pain might feel like they cannot tolerate another minute of their suffering, so they decide to take another opioid painkiller a few hours before their dosing time. These small actions have big effects on brain and body chemistry.
Not everyone who abuses prescription drugs will become addicted to prescription drugs. Factors like genetics, metabolism, the presence of mental health disorders, and many other influencing circumstances can play a part in whether or not someone becomes addicted.

If you believe you or a man in your life is struggling with prescription drug addiction or prescription drug abuse, call Oceanfront Recovery now for help. We offer residential detox in addition to a full spectrum of residential care options. For information on how we’re changing lives, call us today: 877.279.1777