Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor, such as for the feelings you get from the drug. Prescription drug abuse or problematic use includes everything from taking a friend's prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high.
Early identification of prescription drug abuse and early intervention may prevent the problem from turning into an addiction.
Types of Prescription Medication Addiction
Because of their mind-altering properties, the most commonly abused prescription drugs are:
- Opioids, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin), used to treat pain
- Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), and hypnotics, such as zolpidem (Ambien), used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders
- Stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin), used to treat ADHD and certain sleep disorders
Symptoms of Prescription Medication Addiction
Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse depend on the particular drug.
- Low blood pressure
- Decreased breathing rate
- Poor coordination
Sedatives and anti-anxiety medications:
- Unsteady walking
- Poor judgment
- Involuntary and rapid movement of the eyeball
- Weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Impulsive behaviour
Who is at risk?
As with many other conditions and diseases, vulnerability to addiction differs from person to person. Your genes, mental health, family and social environment can all play a role in addiction. Risk factors that increase your vulnerability include:
- Family history of addiction
- Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences in childhood
- Mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety
Risk factors for prescription drug abuse include:
- Past or present addictions to other substances, including alcohol
- Younger age, specifically the teens or early 20s
- Certain pre-existing psychiatric conditions
- Exposure to peer pressure or a social environment where there's drug use
- Easier access to prescription drugs, such as working in a health care setting
- Lack of knowledge about prescription drugs
Many patients require individual sessions with an addiction specialist. Dr de Silva would conduct a comprehensive assessment and explain her conclusions to you .She would discuss the treatment options taking into consideration your views and what she considers the optimum treatment for you. Treatment would generally include medication, or individual therapy or both. Dr de Silva can also make a referral to a psychologist or psychotherapist to look the psychological aspects of the addiction as well as trying to address the underlying causes. You would be reviewed regularly by Dr de Silva to monitor your progress.
If you require more intense treatment and to be away from the familiar environment, which may be contributing to the addiction, Dr de Silva can arrange for admission to treatment centre where you would stay for the duration of their treatment. Treatment at one of the centres would usually include medication management, individual psychological sessions as well as group psychological work. There is often specific focus on understanding the nature of addiction and relapse prevention. If an admission to a treatment centre is recommended Dr de Silva would be able to help identify the most appropriate treatment centre for you.
Contact us now to see how Dr de Silva and her team can help with your addiction or call us for free confidential advice on 0207 1298 114