Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Chronic Abuse of Prescription Drugs Skyrocketing

Addiction is a disease that has been spreading throughout the population at an exponential rate.  The number of individuals falling into addiction has been growing at an unacceptable pace.  While many are struggling with illicit substances such as cocaine or heroin, legal substances such as prescription medications are just as much of a concern. Chronic abuse of prescription drugs has reached epidemic proportions today.

Prescription painkillers tend to be one of the larger issues when it comes to addiction.  Since these are used for many medical purposes, some individuals fall into addiction after being prescribed them for chronic pain or post-surgery.  Prescription opiates have become one of the most abused drugs in our country.  In fact, according to a testimony to Congress from Nora D. Volkow, M.D. on the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website, “It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million individuals in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.”  The numbers of individuals with chronic abuse of prescription drugs continue to increase as the years go on.

Chronic Abuse of Prescription Drugs Other than Painkillers

Even though prescription painkillers tend to be a majority of the problem when it comes to addiction, there are other types of prescription medications that can be an issue as well.  According to the 2013 NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health), “there were 6.5 million nonmedical users of prescription-type drugs (2.5 percent), including 4.5 million nonmedical users of prescription pain relievers (1.7 percent).” So as stated previously, painkillers are the majority of the issue when it comes to chronic abuse of prescription drugs, but about 2.5 million individuals according to the above statistics are using other types of prescription medications for nonmedical purposes. These medicines could include those meant to treat anxiety, depression, or other co-occurring disorders.  Many of these can become just as addictive as prescription opiates are.

Over-Prescribing is a Large Part of the Problem

A large proportion of the issue when it comes to prescription medications is the leniency with which many doctors prescribe these drugs.  Some doctors tend to prescribe them much too quickly, or at the slightest hint of any symptoms.  What could help to curb this leniency is a much more thorough and comprehensive assessment of each patient’s symptoms in regard to these medications.  Another issue arises in the individuals being prescribed the medication for too long.  The longer they are on the substance, the more likelihood of developing a severe dependency to them.  Often, not enough effort is put into taking the individual off of the medication, but rather is continued to be prescribed when no longer needed.

Due to the massive number of individuals who are struggling with addictions to prescription medications of different types, there should be a significant push toward the prevention as well as treatment of these addictions.  When it comes to prescribing these drugs, more forewarning needs to be made regarding their addictive potential. Knowing of the addictive potential may help to curb some individuals who are ending up with addictions to these medications after receiving them for medical purposes.  For the people who have already developed addictions to them, it is critical for them to receive the treatment needed.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

It can be difficult to find the proper treatment center for an individual struggling with an addiction.  Since every person who is dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol has their particular underlying issues they are struggling with, it is critical that they receive personalized treatment.  Here at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we ensure every person that comes into our facility receives a tailored treatment program so that these particular difficulties are addressed.  Give Best Drug Rehabilitation a call today so we can help get you or your loved one onto the road to sobriety.

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