Prescription Drugs: Just as Dangerous as “Hard” Drugs
Most prescription drug users lull themselves into a false sense of security by convincing themselves that their drug use isn’t as severe as the use of street drugs. But prescription drugs are the leading cause of drug addiction, overdose, and death. Statistics consistently indicate that these drugs are even more dangerous than street drugs. Indeed, it is their potentially dangerous nature that necessitates a doctor’s prescription to get these drugs in the first place. If they were perfectly safe for all uses and all people, they’d be readily available at every store.
If you’re an addict, it does not matter which drugs you use. Ultimately, the costs you pay will be the same. Prescription drugs are potentially lethal, and you deserve better than to endlessly struggle with an escalating prescription drug dependency.
The Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse
The effects of prescription drugs are partially dependent on the drugs you use. No matter which drugs you rely on, though, you can expect to experience all or some of the following side effects:
- Increased conflict in your relationships.
- Deteriorating mental and physical health.
- Increased interest in drugs, and decreased willingness to spend time with your family, friends, hobbies, or job.
- Depending on prescription drugs to feel like yourself.
- Increased risk of legal problems related to and arising from your use of prescription drugs.
- Sudden death
- Seizures and comas
If you use depressants, such as opioid painkillers or sleeping pills, you’re vulnerable to:
- Depression and lethargy
- Slowed respiration
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Cardiac arrest
Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin render you vulnerable to:
- Aggressive and even violent behavior
- Increased anxiety
- Paranoia and delusions
- Dangerously high blood pressure and heart rate
- Heart attack
- Difficulty sleeping
Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is a disease, not something you can will away. For this reason, you’ll need medical care to mitigate the effects of withdrawal and the long-term side effects of prescription drug abuse. You’ll also need support, in the form of therapy or support groups, to manage cravings and address the underlying reasons for your prescription drug abuse.
If you became addicted after receiving a valid medical prescription, or you self-medicate with prescription drugs, treatment should also address your underlying symptoms. For instance, an Adderall user who needs help getting motivated without the drug may need therapy, help making lifestyle changes, and even a less addictive ADHD drug. A person in chronic pain who abuses opiates will need assistance addressing the cause of the pain, as well as help making lifestyle changes—such as exercising or meditating—that can reduce the pain.
The prospect of getting off of prescription drugs may feel daunting at first. We know you didn’t ask for this, and we know you’d give anything to make the problem magically go away. There’s no magic in recovery, but the right treatment program really can help you get sober and happy faster than you ever thought possible. Please seek help today.