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What Prescription Drug Addiction Is and How to Get Drug Treatment for It


Drug addiction is an illness that unfortunately affects many people, including those who have never touched illegal substances. It can be difficult for some people to comprehend how one could possibly be affected by a drug addiction if he or she has only ever taken medication that was prescribed to treat a legitimate health condition; however, this is exactly what can happen. As some prescription drugs can be highly addictive, it is possible for those who use them to develop a physical or psychological dependency to the substances, leaving them wondering how to get drug treatment for a condition they never imagined could ever affect them.

How Are Prescription Medications Abused?

There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to prescription medication. Many individuals believe that these drugs are completely safe and that they carry no risk to health when in fact the opposite is often true. Some medications, for example, are intended for temporary use only because they are so harmful when taken in large doses or over a longer period.

So how does a prescription drug addiction develop? The first thing to know is that an addiction to prescription drugs can occur even in those who take them exactly as prescribed, particularly if the medication is taken for a longer period.

In general, though, this type of addiction is usually the result of prescription drug abuse. But what constitutes an abuse of prescription medication? This is something many people get confused about. For example, did you know that taking a higher dose of medication than that specified on your prescription is classed as abuse? Or that giving your prescription medication to another person is also abuse; even if that person seems to have a similar health issue to the one you are being treated for?

It is important to remember that prescription medication is only administered by those with medical qualifications. This is because there is so much to consider when doing so. Doctors have to look at a person’s age, medical history, and physical and mental condition before prescribing any medication. This is to prevent potential interactions. This is the reason it is extremely dangerous to take any medication that was not prescribed for you.

How Does Prescription Drug Addiction Develop?

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you love, how a prescription drug addiction develops could be a problem you are worried about. After all, how can a medication that is prescribed by a doctor be anything but safe?

Certain prescription medications stimulate specific areas of the brain, including the dopamine receptors. Dopamine is the brain’s feel-good chemical and when dopamine receptors are stimulated, the brain releases this chemical, resulting in feelings of pleasure.

Some of these medications also stimulate the brain’s reward centre, causing the user to want to recreate these feelings of pleasure repeatedly. The brain quickly adapts to these drugs though, and when it does, it begins to decrease the amount of dopamine it releases. This then may make you feel as though you are not getting the same pleasure or relief from your medication as before. This is known as an increased tolerance to the drugs.

When this happens, you might believe that taking a higher dose is the answer; or that taking your medication at more regular intervals is the best way to get the relief you want. The trouble with this is that taking higher doses of the medication can be dangerous as it could result in harmful consequences. It may also lead to a physical dependence swiftly followed by a crippling addiction.

What Is a Prescription Drug Addiction Like?

There are those who do not realise they have developed an addiction to their prescription medication until after trying to stop taking it. It is only then that they realise they are unable to function without it. Then there are others who do not notice or know they have a problem until a family member points it out.

There are many ways in which a prescription drug addiction can present itself. You may, for example, have a physical or psychological addiction to your medication that makes you feel as if you cannot do without it. On the other hand, you may now be taking your medication to change the way you feel. You might have reached the stage where you are taking your medication in different ways to that which it was prescribed in order to enhance the effects.

Addiction is different for each person, but one thing that everyone with an addiction has in common is a need for help. So if you are affected by an addiction to prescription medication, you may be wondering how to get drug treatment so that you can get your life back on track.

Can You Get Help for Prescription Drug Addiction?

A prescription drug addiction is like any other addiction in that it can be treated. Moreover, there are plenty of options in terms of treatment programmes and providers. Programmes to treat addiction are typically inpatient or outpatient based and are provided by the likes of the NHS, private clinics, and charity organisations.

If you are struggling with a prescription drug addiction or are wondering how to get drug treatment for someone you love, you can contact us here at Addiction.org.uk. We are a referral service working with many different organisations throughout the UK; it is our job to assess your current situation or that of your loved one before making a recommendation in terms of the best treatment programme.

How We Can Help?

Our team of fully trained professionals have experience in helping people find the most suitable rehab programme for their needs. When you call us, we will ask questions about your situation as this will allow us to get a clearer understanding of what you are dealing with and what your needs are.

Our advisors know which questions to ask in order to get to the heart of your problem. We will then be able to determine how severe your illness is so that we can provide you with information regarding your treatment options.

What Type of Rehab Programmes Are Available?

If you are physically addicted to your medication, it may be the case that you need a detox first. Many medications can cause severe withdrawal symptoms when suddenly stopped, so you may, therefore, benefit from completing a detox programme in a dedicated facility where you will be supervised and monitored at all times. It is generally accepted that special detox facilities provide a safe and secure environment in which to withdraw from mood-altering substances such as alcohol or drugs.

You will also require a rehab programme once your detox has been completed. Rehab can take place in either a residential clinic or on a day care basis, where you would attend regular counselling sessions but return home after each session.

Ultimately, the choice is yours between an inpatient and outpatient facility, but you should be aware that most inpatient programmes are provided by private clinics, so there would be a cost involved. You do have the option of free programmes here in the UK, and these tend to be outpatient based and provided by the NHS and charities. Nevertheless, they do usually come with a waiting list as they tend to be heavily over-subscribed.

For more information on how to get drug treatment, please contact us here at Addiction.org.uk. Our helpline is staffed 24-hours a day and when you call, we will provide a full, no-obligation assessment of your situation. We will also answer any queries you may regarding treatment and how to access it. Please call to find out how we can help you.

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