When was the last time you were in a hospital? Perhaps you had surgery or you might have been involved in a car accident. In 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 36.1 million people were discharged from a hospital with an average length of stay of nearly five days each. Not only that but 48 million people underwent a procedure of some kind, including outpatient surgeries. Many of these individuals were prescribed some kind of pain medication for use either while in the hospital or after they went home.
Prescription pain medication is highly addictive. Generally, they are opiate-based and work in the brain in a fashion similar to heroin. Painkillers are not the only type of prescription medication that can lead to addiction, however, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Others types of drugs that are available legally, and often misused, include stimulants and central nervous systems depressants.
What to Expect From a Prescription Drug Rehab Program
Because there are various types of prescription drugs, there are different methods of treatment specific to each one. All of them will include certain basic elements, however, that have been established by the experts as effective. According to the NIDA, treatments should be individualized, flexible and of an adequate length of time to address the addiction.
Another common element may be an assessment of whether the addiction is accompanied by a co-occurring disorder that has been masked by the use of the prescription drug. For instance, Xanax is a popular drug of abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is an anti-anxiety medication used to relieve stress. If the individual who has abused this drug is actually suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is necessary to discover this fact and find alternative ways to treat the condition to avoid future relapses of Xanax abuse.
Helping a Recovering Addict Avoid Relapse
When someone you love has become addicted to a prescription medication, regardless of the reasons, it is crucial that family and friends help them avoid relapse. Because addiction is a relapsing brain disease and a chronic condition, there is a chance that the recovering addict will use if given the opportunity. There are several ways that you can help them avoid this problem, according to the Anti-Drug website, Parents:
- Track your medications. Keep a note of how many doses of your medication are on hand at all times.
- Keep track of your family member’s medications. In the event a recovering addict must consume an addictive prescription, offer to administer doses and arrange for refills on their behalf.
- Ask family and friends to protect their medications to avoid temptation, such as locking the medication in a home safe or keeping it close at hand rather than in a medicine chest or bedside table.
- Always follow the directions and dosages on your own medications to set a good example for others.
Prescription drug dependence and addiction can happen to anyone of any age. There are times in our lives where taking these types of medications is unavoidable and tolerance can occur more quickly than we might notice. If you have been prescribed an addictive medication and you have concerns that you may have developed dependence, please contact Futures of Palm Beach and let us help you determine whether there is a problem. If there is, we can help you figure out the best way to address the problem before bigger issues get in the way of your recovery and your family’s peace of mind.