Prescription Drugs

Currently, around 15 million people abuse prescription opioids and opiates, central nervous system depressants or sedative-hypnotics, and stimulants, and 100 people die every day from a drug overdose.

Prescription drugs are often described as America’s secret addiction, but the problem is no longer hidden. Each year in the United States, people are spending close to $300 billion on prescription drugs, over 3.5 million prescriptions are filled, and around 36,500 people die of a drug overdose, which comes out to around 100 people every single day.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 9 million people abused prescription drugs in 1999. The latest statistics reveal that closer to 15 million people now abuse pharmaceuticals regularly.

While pharmaceutically-manufactured drugs are legal with a valid prescription, the risks of use and abuse are equal to all other mind-altering substances, like alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. When taken for non-medical purposes, or in any way other than prescribed (the definition of abuse), prescription drugs are causing great problems.

Prescription drugs, like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Xanax, pose a tremendous likelihood for addiction because of each drug’s chemical composition, the vast availability, and the seemingly positive effects.

The growing problem of prescription drug painkiller addiction started with legitimate needs for pain management. People suffering from chronic pain, or who just endured surgery or a severe accident, genuinely needed a painkiller, like Vicodin. Instead of adhering to a doctor’s medical plan though, these people start taking a higher dose than actually needed, or keep reporting pain to receive additional prescription refills. 

Research shows that over 45% of doctors have a hard time talking to their patients about the dangers of prescription drugs and the potential for addiction. This figure shines some light on how so many people have been able to “doctor shop,” or juggle multiple doctors for duplications of the same prescription. The progression from use for a medical need to abuse and onto addiction happens quickly, and is facilitated by a series of doctors’ prescriptions.

Just like any other addiction to alcohol or drugs like heroin or cocaine, abuse of and addiction to prescription drugs can cause physical and mental problems that must be addressed or will continue to get worse. What may have started out as a legitimate prescription to treat a physical or mental ailment can become a problem greater than the original pain.

There are three main categories of mind-altering prescription drugs: opioids, central nervous depressants, and stimulants.

Opioids are man-made, fully-synthetic versions of opiate narcotics, created to mimic the effects of those pain-relieving substances. This class of drugs includes prescription pills like Vicodin, OxyContin, Norco, and Percocet, that create the same effects as heroin, codeine, morphine, and methadone: blocking pain receptors in the brain.

When opioids and opiates are stopped, the withdrawal, or the body and brain’s reaction to functioning without the drug, is extremely painful. In an attempt to stop the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, a person who has developed a dependence on an opioid, will take any drug in the narcotic, painkilling class. Consequently, opioid and opiate addiction is terribly difficult to treat.

Central nervous system (CNS) depressants, also called sedative-hypnotics, are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Librium), barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Phenobarbital), and sleep medications (Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta), created to slow down various aspects of brain activity, have been widely distributed and abused.

Like other drugs, the brain adapts to the presence of these chemicals. When the use of a CNS depressant stops, anxiety and/or sleeplessness feels intense, and like opioids and opiates, it is difficult for a user who has developed dependence on the drug, to not return to use when withdrawal symptoms occur.

Much like their street counterparts (cocaine and methamphetamines), prescription stimulants, like Ritalin, Adderall, or Dexedrine, are psychologically addicting, are subject to physical and psychological dependence, and create a loss of control over use and everyday functioning.

If you or a loved one is abusing any prescription drug, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731 to find out about treatment options to start a life without harmful substances.

Prescription Drug Side Effects

While the high or euphoria of use can convince someone that prescription drug abuse is okay, the resulting side effects show the true impact of pharmaceuticals taken without proper physician’s guidance.

The side effects of prescription drugs vary. Each combination of chemicals creates a set of desirable effects that keep a person using, which then leads to the inevitable negative life consequences and side effects of abusing a mind-altering substance. For most prescription drugs, complications impair health, and sadly often lead to death.

Prescription opioids, like OxyContin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, and Demerol, are prescribed for pain management. By blocking the transmission of pain to the brain, opioids and opiates create problems in communication between the body and the brain.

Side effects of opioid and opiate abuse and addiction:

  1. insensitivity to all pain
  2. lowered blood pressure
  3. lowered pulse
  4. repressed respiration
  5. confusion
  6. slurred speech
  7. impaired coordination
  8. nausea
  9. constipation
  10. physical dependence
  11. psychological dependence
  12. liver failure
  13. loss of employment
  14. strained relationships
  15. financial despair
  16. emotional dysregulation

While these drugs are effective in treating the symptoms of anxiety and sleep disorders, CNS depressants come with a dangerous set of side effects.

Side effects of CNS depressants:

  1. brain hyperactivity
  2. lowered inhibitions (similar to alcohol intoxication)
  3. memory loss
  4. physical depression
  5. sedation
  6. muscular relaxation
  7. loss of employment
  8. strained relationships
  9. an inability to make good life choices
  10. anxiety

Stimulants, like Adderall and Ritalin, completely disrupt brain chemistry. While in the user’s system, the drugs create an increase in alertness, activity, and confidence, but after use stops, there are a set of side effects that cause great physical, emotional, and psychological complications.

Side effects of prescription stimulants:

  1. anxiety
  2. restlessness
  3. agitation
  4. aggressiveness
  5. fatigue or complete exhaustion
  6. severe depression
  7. increased hunger
  8. depletion of dopamine
  9. muscle spasms
  10. constriction of blood vessels
  11. sleep disturbances
  12. paranoia
  13. hallucinations
  14. poor judgment
  15. impaired memory
  16. sexual dysfunction

If you, or someone you love, are facing the side effects of prescription drug abuse, the time for treatment is now. By calling Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731, you can find out about treatment options that are best for your unique set of needs.

Information on Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs can help with true medical need, but the side effects need to be understood when any drug is prescribed for extended use.

The information about prescription drugs that is most accessible and readily available is from the pharmaceutical company that made the drug. A list of illnesses and other ailments that the drug treats are listed, but rarely are the side effects as clearly communicated to potential consumers.

When putting any chemical, or set of chemicals, into the human body, the ability to only have a positive result is impossible. Even if one organ or one illness is appropriately treated, there is always another organ, or area of the system, that is negatively impacted. All of this information on a specific drug needs to be shared with the person at the time of the initial prescription. Everyone should be given the opportunity to make a fully-informed decision about what to put into his or her own body.

Another aspect of many prescription drugs, the high likelihood of developing dependence and addiction, is not openly disclosed. Doctors and psychiatrists need to be aware of the true side effects, with a duty to educate clients, patients, and prescription drug recipients, not to write a prescription blindly.

For further information on prescription drugs, contact Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731.

Prescription Drugs Online

Without knowing the chemical composition of a prescription drug, the danger of ordering any medications online is extremely high.

The dangers of prescription drugs, the lack of accurate information about their side effects, and the ability to progress quickly from use to abuse, and onto addiction, are all drastically increased by the availability of many mind-altering prescription drugs online.

Often with only a current prescription or a completed questionnaire required, prescription drugs can be ordered from anywhere in the world, by virtually anyone with access to a credit card. Without personal interaction with a doctor, an individual who has developed a physical or psychological need for a drug can continue ordering damaging prescription drugs and never face a barrier to addiction.

As you are reading, you may have already realized that you or a loved one has a problem with prescription drugs that is perpetuated by an ability to order these substances online.

Are you, or your loved one, experiencing a loss of control?

Has buying and using any mind-altering substance become an obsession?

Have use and abuse of a certain prescription drug continued, even after negative life consequences as a direct result of use have occurred?

Denying a problem with harmful substances will not reduce the risk of continued use and inevitable addiction to prescription drugs.

To intervene and stop the progression of addiction, call Recovery Now TV today at 800-281-4731. Change is possible when use stops and recovery can begin. Call now!

Information on OxyContin

Changes to the highly-dangerous formulation of OxyContin has decreased the ability to abuse the drug, and has subsequently reduced OxyContin addiction rates.

In 2001, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of OxyContin, reported $1.5 billion in sales of this opioid. Sales were down to $1 billion in 2005, not because demand for the painkiller went down, but because of the introduction of generic versions that offered the same effects at a lower cost.

OxyContin is one of the most dangerous drugs available. Derived from codeine, this opioid (also sold as Percodan) takes effect within 30 minutes of use. When consumed in pill form, as directed by a doctor, the long-lasting formula works as a time-released way to ensure that pain is managed without a high or a feeling of euphoria. When OxyContin pills are crushed, and either snorted or injected, however, the time-release formulation is destroyed, and the drug can be abused for its high.

OxyContin is then extremely addictive. The effects are similar to heroin, Vicodin, and other prescription opioids, and the physical, psychological, and life effects are just as detrimental. When OxyContin use has become regular and then use stops, the presence of withdrawal symptoms indicate that dependence has developed, and the progression to addiction is happening.

In an attempt to reduce OxyContin addiction, Purdue Pharmaceuticals created a pill form of the drug that cannot be abused. The chemicals turn to gel when crushed, so that the ability to snort or inject the drug is eliminated.

To stop the cycle of OxyContin addiction in your life, or in the life of someone you love, contact Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731. Treatment is available, and change is possible!

Information on Xanax

I was unhappy and wanted the easy way out. I will go back to the same psychiatrist and get a prescription of Xanax. It starts out at 25 milligrams, and I ended up doing between 800 and 1,000 milligrams a day.

Xanax, or alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine that falls into the CNS depressant, or sedative-hypnotic, prescription drug category. The drug was designed to slow down brain activity to induce a calming effect that counteracts anxiety and panic attacks.

In an effort to reduce anxiety or to cure sleep disturbances, Xanax is often prescribed and taken to accurately treat a condition, but much like other mind-altering substances in pharmaceutical form, Xanax is widely abused.

The experience of this 43-year-old recovering benzodiazepine addict shows the quick progression to abuse and addiction of drugs like Xanax:

I was unhappy and wanted the easy way out. I will go back to the same psychiatrist and get a prescription of Xanax. It starts out at 25 milligrams, and I ended up doing between 800 and 1,000 milligrams a day.

Since the effects of Xanax are similar to alcohol, a person abuses this pharmaceutical for the same reason people drink to the point of intoxication: to numb out, to escape, and to experience an altered perception. Xanax and alcohol are often used together, which greatly increases the physical damage done, and increases the risk of injury and addiction. The presence of withdrawal symptoms when drug use stops, indicates a physical dependence on Xanax.

If you, or someone you care about, is using Xanax in any way other than as directed by a physician, call Recovery Now TV today at 800-281-4731 to find out how to help.

Identifying a Problem with Prescription Drugs

This section includes a list of signs and symptoms of abuse of and addiction to prescription drugs in the opioid & opiate, CNS depressant, and stimulant classes.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, at Columbia University, reports that teens who use and abuse any type of prescription drug are:

  1. 12 to 20 times more likely to also use and abuse illicit street drugs, like cocaine, MDMA (Ecstasy), heroin, or methamphetamine than teens who have never abused a prescription drug,
  2. five times more likely to also use and abuse marijuana than teens who have never abused a prescription drug, and
  3. twice as likely to also use and abuse alcohol than teens who have never abused a prescription drug.

It is, therefore, vitally important to understand how to spot the signs and symptoms of abuse and addiction in yourself or in someone you love.

When a person is abusing Vicodin, OxyContin, or any other prescription opioid, the following signs can serve as an indication that help is needed:

  1. slurred speech
  2. runny nose
  3. watery eyes
  4. drowsiness or nodding off
  5. confusion
  6. constipation
  7. constricted pupils
  8. muscle or bone pain
  9. insomnia
  10. vomiting
  11. chills

When prescription drugs like benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium) or sleep agents (Lunesta and Ambien) are being abused, look for these signs as indicators of abuse or addiction:

  1. poor memory
  2. slurred speech
  3. impaired coordination
  4. dilated pupils
  5. depression
  6. irritability
  7. paranoia
  8. headaches
  9. dizziness
  10. loss of interest in activities
  11. suicidal thoughts

When drugs like Ritalin and Adderall are being abused, look for these signs and symptoms, and if spotted, seek help:

  1. anxiety
  2. delusions
  3. chest pain
  4. heart palpitations
  5. disruptions in sleep patterns
  6. changes in eating habits
  7. mood swings
  8. unexplained weight loss
  9. agitation and irritability

If you can identify these symptoms in yourself, or in someone you love, contact the team at Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731 to find the right treatment!

Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse & Addiction

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.
- Carl G. Jung

When prescription drugs are being abused, addiction is inevitable without intervention and proper treatment. The signs and symptoms of abuse and addiction can be used as a way to identify a problem, and then from there, determining the best approach to treatment is vitally important in setting up a person’s future in recovery.

Since denial is such a real part of drug addiction, the initial choice to enter treatment can be difficult. Daniel Amen, M.D., who founded the Amen Clinic for Behavioral Medicine, states the following about drug treatment:

There’s so much these [brain] scans and looking at the brain can offer the field of addiction. We can show children, teenagers, and adults that drugs have an impact on their brains. It’s much more powerful than showing them a picture of fried eggs and bacon. It’s very helpful when confronting denial to actually sit in front of a computer screen with someone who has been using drugs, and they say, ‘Oh, there are really no problems.’ And you can say, ‘Let’s look at yours.’ And what I’ve seen - it’s really turned many people around.

Prescription drug abuse and addiction are affecting the brain and the body in ways that need to be stopped. With proper detoxification and treatment, further impairment stops and existing damage can begin to heal.

By calling Recovery Now TV, you can find the right detox and rehab treatment programs for you, or for someone you love. Call now: 800-281-4731.