Most people acquire prescription drugs legally from their doctor for legitimate reasons, take them as prescribed, and stop taking them when the prescription is out. Too frequently, however, people come to enjoy the psychoactive effects of certain drugs and begin to misuse them. The misuse of prescription drugs involves taking them in any way other than how they were explicitly prescribed. The most commonly abused prescription medications are sedatives, stimulants, anti-anxiety medications, and painkillers. If you or a loved one has fallen into the grips of prescription drugs, help is available from Westwind Recovery®’s prescription drug addiction treatment program.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse?
Many people falsely believe that all medications prescribed by doctors are safe and without risk. When opioid painkillers were first introduced to the market, they were widely and freely prescribed, often in increasing doses, because prescribers were unaware of the high risk of dependency and addiction. The pharmaceutical companies selling the drugs assured doctors and patients that the drugs were safe and effective. Too late, the actual impacts were discovered, and today we continue to battle the opioid epidemic.
The symptoms of prescription drug dependency and addiction vary according to the type of drug, frequency of use, amount of use, how it is ingested, length of habit, and other drug or alcohol use. However, there are some symptoms common to all, such as:
- Drug-seeking behaviors, including doctor shopping
- Taking higher doses than prescribed or lying about the amount taken
- Crushing, breaking, snorting, or injecting pills
- Irritability, hostility, or mood swings
- Significant changes in appearance or sleeping and eating habits
- Appearing intoxicated, lethargic, or overly energetic
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when medications are unavailable
Individuals addicted to prescription drugs will often go to extreme lengths to both hide and support their habit. They may stash medications around the house, lie, steal, and engage in dubious and dangerous acts to acquire drugs.
The Effects of Prescription Drug Addiction
Many people who suffer from prescription drug addiction remain in denial and try to convince themselves and others that they cannot be addicted to medicine from a doctor. Addiction to these medications causes significant changes to the brain, especially with prolonged use. Other effects can be far-reaching and impact all areas of functioning. Common long-term effects include:
- Consequences of risk-taking behaviors
- Worsening of physical and mental illnesses
- Inability to fulfill daily responsibilities
- Job, housing, and financial insecurity
- Legal problems
- Deterioration of interpersonal relationships
- Social isolation
Individuals who suffer from prescription drug addiction frequently also have co-occurring mental health disorders, including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and other addictions. A successful prescription drug addiction treatment program will simultaneously treat dual diagnoses.
Seek Treatment at Westwind Recovery®
Withdrawal from prescription drugs is unpleasant and can be dangerous. The fear of withdrawal symptoms is one of the most commonly reported reasons for not seeking treatment. We understand these fears at Westwind Recovery® and offer compassionate, safe, and effective prescription drug detox. Our medically supervised drug detox begins with a thorough assessment of your physical, mental health, and substance use history. From this information, we develop your individualized treatment plan.
Following successful detox, you can transition to the level of ongoing care that best suits your needs. Westwind Recovery® offers multiple levels of care, including:
- Inpatient drug rehab center
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Outpatient recovery program (OP)
- Sober living homes
- Concierge services
Westwind Recovery®’s addiction treatment programs differ from other programs because of our affordability, top-rated level of care, and dedication to helping each person who comes through our doors discover a life of recovery. From our sober living homes to private one-to-one treatment, we treat all clients with the utmost respect and care. To learn more about your treatment options, reach out to us online or call 855.340.8832.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.