Over 6 million Americans, which is 6% of all Americans, abuse prescription drugs. Many factors have contributed to the rise in prescription drug addiction. One of the most significant factors is the increased availability of these drugs.
The internet has made it easier than ever to access these drugs, and many people don’t need a prescription to obtain them. This is a huge problem, as prescription drugs can be very dangerous when abused. There are ways to get help if you are struggling with addiction to prescription drugs.
Read on for more information about prescription drug addiction and how to get help.
What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
Prescription drug abuse refers to using the medication without a doctor’s prescription, differently than how it was prescribed, or for the experience or feeling it produces.
While most people who abuse prescription drugs don’t become addicted, those who do can develop a serious problem. Prescription drug addiction is a severe medical condition that requires professional treatment.
There are many different types of prescription drugs that are abused, including painkillers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Why Is Addiction to Prescription Drugs On The Rise?
There are several reasons why addiction to prescription drugs is on the rise. One of the most significant factors is the increased availability of these drugs. We mentioned the internet making it easier than ever to access these drugs, so many people don’t need a prescription to obtain them.
Another reason for the rise in prescription drug addiction is the way these drugs are marketed. Drug companies often downplay the risks of addiction and exaggerate the benefits of their products. This can lead people to believe that these drugs are safe to use, even when they’re not.
The overprescribing of these drugs is also a major problem. Many doctors are quick to prescribe painkillers and other drugs without informing their patients of the risks. This can lead to people taking these drugs longer than necessary and becoming addicted.
How Does Prescription Drug Abuse Lead to Addiction?
People who abuse prescription drugs start by taking them for the desired effect. For example, someone might take a painkiller to get relief from pain or take a stimulant to stay awake and focused. However, over time, their body will develop a tolerance to the drug, and they will need to take more of it to achieve the same effect.
This can lead to addiction. People who are addicted to prescription drugs will often feel like they need the drug to function. They may take it even when they don’t feel pain or need to stay awake.
They may also start to neglect their responsibilities, such as work or school, in favor of using the drug. If you think you or someone you know is addicted to prescription drugs, it’s important to seek professional help at San Diego rehab centers. Addiction is a serious condition that can have devastating consequences if left untreated.
Prescription Abuse Statistics
Prescription medications were used by 45.8% of US residents in the last month, whether lawfully or not. When medicines are both readily available and widely utilized, rates of abuse, addiction, and overdose rise proportionately. Here’s a summary of some other prescription abuse statistics.
In any given year, 16.3 million people do not use their take their medication the correct way. About 3.7 million individuals, or 22.6% of them, did not take their medication according to the prescription even in the first instance. Most people who abuse prescription drugs for first-time abusers use painkillers. 43.3%, took sedatives and 32.1% took tranquilizers.
In the United States, 52 million people have taken prescription medications without a doctor’s prescription, accounting for 18.4% of the population aged 12 and up. 5.76% of Americans over the age of 12 are prescription drug abusers. There has been a decrease of 13.8% in prescription abuse from 2015 to now, with 18.9 million people being misusers then.
Fewer than 1 prescription abuser in 10 misuses drugs to get high. 2.0 million misusers of prescription drugs, or 11.9%, are addicted to the drugs they misuse. 12.7 percent of addicts, or 253,100 people, admit they are addicted.
Prescription drugs are the third-most misused illicit substance, following marijuana (19.4 percent of the population) and cocaine (15.9 percent of the population). Out of the five most abused substances, prescription drugs rank fifth after alcohol (65.5% usage) and tobacco products (26.7% usage).
Prescription Drug Abuse and Teenagers
The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem among teenagers. In fact, it’s the second most abused category of drugs behind marijuana. Teenagers often abuse prescription drugs because they think they’re safer than illegal drugs.
However, this is not the case. Prescription drugs are just as dangerous and even deadly when abused.
Signs that a teenager is abusing prescription drugs include:
- Missing pills from the bottle
- Sudden changes in mood or behavior
- Lying about or hiding pill use
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Taking someone else’s medication
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
Prescription Drug Abuse and Adults
Adults are also at risk for prescription drug abuse. Adults aged 65 and older have the highest rates of prescription drug abuse and are filling up rehab centers in San Diego. This is because older adults are more likely to have chronic pain and other conditions that require medication.
Signs that an adult is abusing prescription drugs include:
- Taking the drug more often or in higher doses than prescribed
- Disregarding the risks associated with the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug
- Prioritizing drug use over other activities
- Failing to meet work, school, or family obligations
- Experiencing financial problems due to drug use
- Continuing to use the drug despite negative consequences
Getting Treatment For Prescription Drug Addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, there are drug treatment centers in San Diego that can help. These centers provide a variety of services, including detoxification, counseling, and medication-assisted treatment.
Detoxification is the first step in treatment and involves getting rid of the drug from the body. The detox process is both difficult and uncomfortable, so you must receive assistance from a professional.
Counseling can help people identify and change the behaviors that led to their addiction. It can also provide support and guidance during recovery.
Medication-assisted treatment is a type of treatment that uses medication to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This is an important part of treatment for people addicted to prescription drugs in drug treatment centers San Diego.
Check Into a San Diego Rehab Center
Prescription drug addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people in the United States. If you think you have an addiction to prescription drugs, it’s important to seek professional help. There are many treatment options available, and with the right support, you can recover from addiction and lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
A San Diego drug rehabilitation program can offer you the help you need to overcome your addiction and get your life back on track. Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you recover from your prescription drug addiction.