Too often, patients assume that the medications prescribed to them by their doctors are inherently safe because they come from a medical professional. While it’s true that many medications, when taken exactly as prescribed and under the constant supervision of a physician, can be lifesavers, it is also true that, when abused, other medications can lead to a gripping addiction that can ultimately end the patient’s life.
Painkiller addiction, addiction to benzodiazepines or sedatives, and addiction to stimulant medications are the most problematic. Outpatient addiction treatment centers can provide the detox assistance and care necessary to help your loved one overcome prescription drug dependence and help them to regain their footing in a life of sobriety. Call 760.548.4032 now for more information.
Opiate Painkiller Detox
Perhaps the most addictive of all prescription medications, opiate painkillers are similar in effect to heroin. The drug attaches to the opiate receptors in the brain and creates a euphoric effect in the user.
Examples of opiate painkillers include:
At the right dose and when chronic pain is an issue, the euphoric feeling is minimal and the chief experience is pain relief. However, over time, the patient will require larger and larger doses in order to continue to experience pain-relieving effects. This indicates a physical dependence and when coupled with a psychological dependence (e.g., cravings for the medication or a feeling that it is impossible to cope without the drug), it can mean an addiction that requires opiate detox and addiction treatment.
Prescription Sedative Detox
Benzodiazepines, or sedatives, are commonly prescribed for the treatment of seizures or anxiety disorders. Examples include:
These medications are less addictive than opiate painkillers and therefore, they are often under lesser regulations than opiate prescription drugs. However, in large doses or when taken in combination with other medications, they can be just as dangerous, often causing accidents or overdoses that are fatal. Alcohol and benzodiazepines in combination can be a particularly deadly combination.
Stimulant drugs are most commonly prescribed to children for the treatment of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or, less often, for weight loss when other measures are not effective.
Some of these medications include:
These medications can cause cardiac arrest and seizures, and they can incite other medical emergencies that are deadly. When combined with other medications, stimulants are even more dangerous.
Types of Prescription Drug Detox
Depending upon the medication that is the primary drug of choice, the specific experiences of your loved one in detox will vary. However, in some cases, it will be recommended that your addicted family member opt to go “cold turkey,” and immediately stop taking their drug of choice as medical professionals stand by to assist with any issues that arise, including medical complications that may be caused by underlying issues or co-occurring disorders. In many cases, non-addictive medications may be effective in helping to mitigate the discomfort experienced by your loved one due to withdrawal symptoms and help them to get through the process more swiftly and effectively.
In addition to pharmacological measures, your loved one may also be able to take part in therapeutic measures on an outpatient basis that include:
- Personal therapy
- Family therapy
- Support groups
- Educational workshops
- Job skills building
- Nutritional counseling
- Holistic therapies like acupuncture
Learn more about the types of outpatient therapies that may be helpful to your loved one when you contact us at 760.548.4032 and speak to an admissions coordinator today.