Home » Headline, Opiate Addiction

Addressing Prescription Drug Addiction

16 June 2011 No Comment

There is a clear rise in the amount of prescription drug addiction cases reported yearly. Getting addicted to prescription drugs are really nothing new but with the introduction of more modified molecules of old favorites, the choices have increased tremendously. The opiate analgesics are the worst offenders simply because they are opiates and are close to the street-obtained opiates.

For example, oxycodone which is an opiate analgesic is formulated as Percocet, Percodan, OxyContin and Combunox. These are just the popular brands; lots more are available especially from online pharmacies.  These drugs may be regulated but they are not too difficult to obtain. People placed on oxycodone can abuse it to get better pain relief or get high. Oxycodone is available in liquid, tablet and capsule forms and its addict also take chew, crush, inhale, snort and inject it for faster action. The drug molecule blocks pain receptors in the brain and along the spinal cord. It also produces stimulatory effects similar to opiates like morphine. And like morphine, the body develops a tolerance to it drivies those who abuse it to take higher doses and become opiate addicts.

A prescription drug is abused when it is taken when it is not prescribed or when taken in higher than therapeutic doses by those for whom it is prescribed. Most prescription drugs abused are pain relievers, stimulants, tranquilizers and sedatives. They are strong psychotropic compounds used to manage deep pain and treat mental illness.

Taking prescription opiates can in unapproved, high doses can lead to drowsiness, constipation, depressed respiration, cardiac events, coma and death. Most people addicted to prescription drugs rarely take one of such drugs only. Because the body has developed a tolerance to one, it is common for addicts to spike one drug with another in the hope of achieving a synergistic psychotropic effect. This is a dangerous practice which often precedes to fatalities.

When two drugs are combined, they can block or potentiate each other’s effect. This can be the amplification of an indicated response or a side effect. Worse, and as often the case, the two drugs combined produce cross-amplification leading to a complex of symptoms which accelerate each other.

Opiate addiction is really no different from prescription drug addiction. Both causes the disruption of normal body functions and both are difficult to reverse. Prescription drug addicts should not be taken off those drugs totally and immediately. Instead, the doses of the prescription drug should be tapered off until there are no withdrawal symptoms. Similarly, detoxing a prescription drug addict can require replacement with another drug such as methadone.

Replacement drugs are not the only component of prescription drug detox. Drug rehab centers often provide other forms of therapies to help addicts understand their addiction, address the root causes and overcome their habitual recourse to prescription drugs. Adjunct therapies to methadone will includes counseling sessions, individual, group and family therapies and meeting with self-help groups.

Full detox from prescription drug is achievable by following with methadone replacement and adjunct care from qualified professionals, friends and family. However, the path to improving the patient’s quality of life and kicking prescription drug addiction begins with recognizing the addictive and deciding to overcome it.

Leave your response!