Why is Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise?

Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around 18 million people misused prescription drugs in 2017. Prescription drugs are legal drugs prescribed by doctors to treat various medical conditions. However, when taken in ways other than prescribed or for non-medical reasons, they can be dangerous and addictive. 

At Next Wind Recovery, our high-quality programming is designed to provide clients with the necessary support to make systematic positive lifestyle changes toward sobriety. We offer medication management for individuals who require medication to maintain their mental and physical health and teach individuals how to maintain that balanced use. 

To learn more about the New Jersey addiction treatment services available at Next Wind Recovery, speak with a treatment specialist today.

How Are Prescription Drugs Abused?

Anyone prescribed medicine by a doctor can abuse prescription drugs. Some people take more than the prescribed dosage, while others take the medication more frequently than recommended. Prescription drug misuse can also occur when people crush the pills, snort them, or dissolve them in water and inject them. Taking too much or altering the method the medication enters the body creates an excess which can lead to toxicity, overdose, and death.

Additionally, prescription medications are also often used for recreational purposes. The euphoric effects, reduced stress, and hyperfocus can all help a person self-medicate and avoid their current situation. Recreational usage is especially hazardous because the medication is often created in a specific dosage for someone else’s body type, weight, and history.

Why is Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise?

One of the reasons prescription drug abuse is on the rise is that prescription drugs are more widely available than ever before. Prescription drugs can be obtained legally through a doctor’s prescription and illegally through online pharmacies, drug dealers, or by stealing them from friends, family members, or medicine cabinets. Prescription drugs are often seen as less risky than illegal drugs contributing to rising prescription drug use. Many believe prescription drugs are safer because doctors prescribe them, but this is not always true.

What Prescription Drugs are Commonly Abused?

Several prescription drugs are commonly prescribed for everyday use and are easily misused and abused due to their addictive nature. 

Opioids are pain relievers that can be highly addictive, even when used as prescribed. They include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), fentanyl, and morphine. These medications are prescribed for everything from a hurt back to cancer treatment.

Another type of drug that is commonly abused is a stimulant. These medications increase alertness, attention, and energy and are often prescribed for individuals with ADHD and narcolepsy. They include drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. 

Lastly, depressants are medications that slow down brain activity and can be used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Valium, Xanax, and Ambien are the brand names of these common “blackout” drugs.

What Treatment is Available for Prescription Drug Abuse?

Rising prescription drug use has created a need for multiple levels of treatment to address the severity of the addiction and the type of drug that was abused. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment and behavioral therapy. Individuals addicted to opioids can use medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Behavioral therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management, can help individuals understand why they turned to prescription drugs and develop coping skills to prevent future relapses.

Choose Next Wind Recovery for Prescription Drug Abuse

Next Wind Recovery is committed to helping individuals overcome addiction and achieve lasting recovery. We provide a safe and supportive environment where clients can focus on their recovery and rebuild their life how they want them. 

Our team of experienced addiction specialists is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and support to help you or your loved one achieve sobriety goals that promote mental, physical, and emotional health. We offer a range of evidence-based treatments, including medication management, behavioral therapy, and holistic therapies such as yoga and meditation. We also provide aftercare services to help our clients maintain their recovery after they leave our program.

At Next Wind Recovery, our evidence-based treatments help individuals overcome addiction and achieve lasting recovery. With medication management programs and behavioral therapy, we support clients in making systematic changes in their lifestyles. Choose our Top-Rated Drug Rehab in New Jersey for prescription drug abuse treatment, and start your journey toward recovery today.

About the Author

Picture of Duane Anderson, CADC Intern

Duane Anderson, CADC Intern

Duane is a Primary Therapist at Next Wind Recovery.

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