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Prescription Drug To Help With Addiction

Can Prescriptions Be Renewed Over A Long Period Of Time

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Surprisingly, not that long ago, prescriptions that were initially administered by GPs were able to be repeated. A medication review was not necessarily carried out, sometimes for months at a time. This led to some people renewing their prescriptions for years. This clearly led to a dependency on the medication as the body had been used to taking it over a long period of time and for many years. This problematic and potentially dangerous area of practise has now been addressed and there is a code of conduct for GPs which ensures due diligence.

Rehab Treatment For Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction is one of the biggest health crises facing the United States and should be taken seriously. People addicted to prescription drugs are at high risk of self-destructive behavior, poor health, overdose and death.

A variety of treatment options are available for those who want to end the cycle of substance abuse. Rehab centers provide medical detox and drug addiction counseling and aftercare services. Group and individual therapy can address the psychological dependence that accompanies the disease. If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drug addiction, seek help. It could be the difference between a sober and healthy life and an early tragic death.

Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

What Is The Negative Impact Of Prescription Drug Addiction

As with any other type of addiction, a prescription drug addiction can negatively affect the life of the individual as well as the lives of those around them. As the person becomes ever-more dependent on the drugs he or she is taking, their behaviour will begin to change. It is likely that he/she will start to neglect other responsibilities in their lives.

The individual will probably lie to their loved ones to hide their drug abuse, and if their prescription is stopped by their doctor, they may be tempted to source their pills elsewhere. This can be dangerous as many of the pills sold online are fake. Some people with prescription drug addiction may also be tempted to take alternative street drugs such as heroin if they are unable to get their hands on the medication they have come to rely on.

Prescription drug addiction can lead to poor physical and mental health, the breakdown of relationships, and financial struggles. Nevertheless, with the right help and support, it is an illness that can be overcome.

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Prescription Drug Abuse In Seniors

Older people are particularly susceptible to prescription drug abuse, with most starting abuse by accident. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 50% of people between the ages of 57 to 85 take more than 5 medications or supplements daily, meaning they are more likely to make a mistake with one set of medication and may end up abusing it. As the body gets older its ability to absorb and metabolize medication weakens As the drug stays in their system longer, seniors may become unknowingly addicted to a prescribed drug even if taking it in regular amounts.

Learn more about addiction and seniors here.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Addiction

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Withdrawal symptoms occur when a person abruptly stops the use of a drug. Withdrawal symptoms for prescription drugs vary depending on the drug and dosage, as well as how long and how much was used. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Some common withdrawal symptoms include:

A general feeling of discomfort or illness

Mood swings

Time spent recovering from prescription drug addiction

Doctor shopping

-Increased risk-taking behavior

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Side Effects Of Clonidine

Although Clonidine helps many people through the Opioid detoxification process, it can sometimes lead to unwanted effects. Its important to notify your doctor if symptoms last longer than they should or become severe.

Some of the side effects you may experience from taking Clonidine include:

  • Vomiting
  • . Clonidine: Drug Uses, Dosage,& Side Effects. Retrieved on 28th July 2016 from
  • Medline Plus. . Clonidine. Retrieved on 28th July 2016 from
  • WebMD. . Clonidine Hcl Oral. Retrieved on 28th July 2016 from

Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: December 7, 2018

David Hampton

  • David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors , David works closely with area treatment centers, recovery orientated nonprofit organizations, as well as being a keynote speaker for various recovery-focused events.

Alcohol Use Disorder Medications

Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat alcohol use disorder. They do not provide a cure for the disorder, but are most effective in people who participate in a MAT program. Learn more about the impact of alcohol misuse.

Learn more about MAT for alcohol use disorders and view Medication for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Brief Guide 2015.

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How Is Naloxone Administered

Currently, there are 2 types of Narcan available. Emergency medical technicians, first responders, and hospital staff have the medication on-hand, but recently, it has been approved by several states to be released through various pharmacies as well.

  • The nasal spray is a single-use, single-dose only device. It requires no assembly and is easily administered to an individual as they lay on their back.
  • The single-use auto-injector that can be held with one hand. Its verbal instructions describe step-by-step how to administer the medication.

A medical professional, family member, or caregiver can assist with supplying medication from either device. Since its possible for symptoms to return after 1 dose, emergency medical assistance should be contacted right away.

Naloxone is an Opioid antagonist or blocker that temporarily reverses the effects of Opioids for 20 to 30 minutesthe person who overdosed must still go to the emergency department for medical treatment.

– Dr. Michael Weaver, professor and medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction at the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science CenterHouston

The amount of medicine needed will vary based on the individuals specific dosage and medical problem. Close family members or friends should be alert to overdose warning signs and know the devices location in case of an emergency.

Can I Just Stop Taking Mood

Prescription Drug Abuse, Addiction, and Detoxing

To be taking a prescribed or non-prescribed drug on a daily basis will ultimately mean that our body is reliant on the drug, and it would be dangerous to just stop taking it. The length of time that it takes for us to be addicted to that medication will be different for everyone. Also, as already mentioned, the drug will have stopped having any beneficial effect on ourselves as our body would have created a tolerance to it and in some cases, we will already have started to self-medicate with higher doses to try and get a similar effect to that we first experienced.

Like anyone with an addiction our lives suddenly become focused on do I have enough tablets?, where can I get some more?, and what am I going to take if I run out?. Our moods will change and spiral down and those close to us will notice the change. We will tend to become moody and intolerant with the people who are trying to help us

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What Happens In Rehabilitation

If you want to know how to beat prescription drug addiction for good, you will be aware that you probably need a detox, followed by a programme of rehabilitation. You might then be wondering what happens in rehab?

Whether you choose an inpatient or outpatient facility, the aim will be the same to help you overcome the issues that caused your addiction in the first place. Quitting the chemical substance is the first part of the process but detox only addresses they physical addiction. To fully overcome your addiction, you must also tackle the emotional element of the illness.

With a programme of rehabilitation, you will work with counsellors, doctors, and therapists to get to the root cause of your illness. This may involve delving deep into your past to uncover memories that you had buried long ago, and it can end up being an emotional process.

Staff at rehab clinics use a variety of psychotherapeutic treatments to help you deal with the issues that led you to this point. You will almost certainly be given a specific programme of treatment that has been created with your needs and circumstances in mind.

It is likely that this treatment plan will include elements of both individual counselling and group therapy. You may also notice that other therapies will also be included these are known as holistic therapies and are used to treat the mind, body, and spirit, rather than just the illness itself.

Other Consequences And Dangers

Misusing prescription drugs can lead to serious health consequences, including prescription drug addiction, drug overdose and even death.1 Misusing them may also impair judgement and make individuals more likely to take risks, such as having unprotected sex, which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases.13 Taking sedatives or opioids can impair thinking, judgement, and reaction time, which can lead to vehicle crashes.14 When taken at higher doses or in a different manner than intendedlike a pill thats crushed and snorted rather than swallowed, for exampleprescription drugs can introduce or amplify uncomfortable to dangerous side effects.15 Additionally, abusing prescription drugs can lead to a SUD.1

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How Is Massachusetts Affected By Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction has become an epidemic in the state of Massachusetts, with many people struggling to cope with prescription drug abuse. Nationwide, Massachusetts is among the states with the smallest increases in all drug overdose deaths.

Prescription drugs have been known to be abused because the signs of prescription drug addiction are not as obvious as those from illicit drug abuse. There are signs that a person is abusing prescription medications, and it is harder for them to stop using.

There are two reasons that contribute to prescription drug addiction becoming more widespread: direct factors and indirect factors. Direct factors include reasons such as much access someone has to prescription drugs.

In 2019, 22.1% of U.S. adults with chronic pain used a prescription opioid in the past three months. Prescription opioid use among adults with chronic pain varied by age group, sex, educational attainment, employment status, poverty status, and health insurance coverage.

Among people aged 12 or older in 2020:

  • 5.8% reported misusing any prescription psychotherapeutic drug in the past 12 months.
  • 1.8% reported misusing prescription stimulants in the past 12 months.
  • 2.2% reported misusing prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in the past 12 months.
  • 1.7% reported misusing benzodiazepines in the past 12 months.
  • 3.3% reported misusing prescription pain relievers in the past 12 months.

Seeking Drug Addiction Help

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If you have a loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to watch them. You may be wondering how to help them with their substance abuse issues. They might be ready to quit and wondering where to get help for substance abuse. There are a number of ways to help a drug addict. Here, we will talk about the signs of drug and alcohol use disorders, what you can expect when your loved one is dealing with a substance use disorder, how to handle the difficulties of trying to help them and how having a loved one with a drug or alcohol addiction affects you.

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What Medications Are Available To Help With Substance Use Disorder

Medication may be part of your treatment plan. Your care team figures out the best medications for you. Medication-assisted treatments are available for:

  • Opioids: Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are FDA-approved for the treatment of opiate use disorder.
  • Alcohol: Three FDA-approved drugs include naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram .
  • Tobacco: A nicotine patch, spray, gum or lozenge can help. Or your doctor might prescribe bupropion or varenicline .

Im Too Afraid To Call

Despite the many benefits of calling a hotline, people may allow fear, suspicion, or hesitancy to stop them. You might be worried that calling a hotline will result in unwanted consequences like:

  • Law enforcement learning about your use.
  • Being forced to stop your medications.
  • Losing your job.
  • Losing the trust of your loved one .

But fear only serves to separate you from the treatment you need. Just as it takes courage to commit to a treatment program, it takes courage to begin the process with a call to a helpline. You can rest assured, however, that it is only a phone call and you dont have to commit to anything right away.When youre thinking of calling a prescription drug hotline, remember:

  • The call is private and confidential. No one will learn about it unless you want them to.
  • A call is only a consultation. It does not imply that you consent to treatment.
  • You can disclose only the information that you are comfortable revealing.
  • You can call multiple times if you feel uncomfortable or your situation changes.
  • The person at the other end cares and will speak with you as long as you need in order to figure out the best path forward towards your recovery.

Addiction can make you feel alone, but calling a helpline can remind you that youre not. There are people who care that want to see you get the help you need.

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How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder

When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do and not do that can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8

  • Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
  • Be patient.
  • Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works and how it can help them get off drugs.
  • Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.


  • Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
  • Dont yell or act angry.
  • Enable the person.

Types Of Medicines That May Lead To Dependence Or Addiction

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The main types of medicines that may lead to dependence or addiction are some pain relief medicines and sleeping pills. These medicines are usually meant to be used for a short while, e.g. 2 to 4 weeks or less.

You may become dependent or addicted to them if you continue to use them regularly for some time. The length of time required for a person to develop a dependence or addiction varies between types of medicine and between individuals.

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Misusing Any Of The Following Classes Of Drugs Is Cause For Concern

  • Stimulants or uppers which speed up brain activity. They treat ADHD and sleep disorders. Stimulants include Adderall.
  • Benzos are often prescribed for anxiety. They include brands such as Xanax.
  • Barbiturates and hypnotics are similar to benzos and opioids. They are so-called downers because they slow down brain activity and they can make you feel less aware of stresses around you. . Nembutal is used in general anesthesia and to treat seizures. Hypnotics include sleeping pills such as Ambien.

It Can Be Easier For People To Hide Or Lie About Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drugs are different to illicit drugs in that they are legal and more accessible. It is easier for prescription medication abuse to hide in plain sight compared to illicit drug abuse. Therefore, people who are suffering from prescription drug addiction may try to dismiss your concerns about their abuse. For example, they may explain away any mood swings or missing prescriptions as normal behaviour. However, if you see a troubling pattern in their behaviour, you can always offer your support in finding treatment.

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What Drugs Lead To Addiction

Drugs that are commonly misused include:

While these drugs are very different from each other, they all strongly activate the addiction center of the brain. That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not.

What Are Treatments For Drug Addiction

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Several therapies exist for treating substance use disorder. Even for a severe case, treatment can help. Often, youll receive a combination of these therapies:

  • Detoxification: You stop taking drugs, allowing the drugs to leave the body. You may need healthcare supervision to detox safely.
  • Medication-assisted therapies: During detox, medicine can help control cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioral therapies:Cognitive behavioral therapy or other psychotherapy can help deal with addictions cause. Therapy also helps build self-esteem and teaches healthy coping mechanisms.

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