The cycle of prescription drug addiction often starts with a person’s need to treat pain due to injury or illness. This could be related to an on-the-job or vehicular accident, or to add comfort to post-surgery recovery.
The intent in using pain medication, as prescribed by a physician, is a standardized mode of treatment – meant for a temporary timeline. However, there’s a reason why every prescription bears a label with directions for its use.
Somewhere along the way, you or someone you care for got lost in good intentions. And now, you could be facing prescription drug addiction and all the unfortunate circumstances that go along with it.
There are options. Knowledge. Compassion. Strength. Medically supervised treatment. Holistic healing through recovery. All of this is found here at TTC Care, nestled in the tranquility of the greater West Palm Beach, Florida area.
Why Opioid Medication Is Easy to Succumb to Misuse
In order to effectively manage pain, medication is administered to dull or hide the pain. Opioids attach to brain receptors, fooling the body and mind into a non-pain state of being. Unfortunately, the body requires more and more use of the drug over time to achieve the same level of effectiveness.
Many people will comply with what the body is asking for and increase their dosage – without the knowledge of their prescribing doctor. As this destructive process continues, brain abnormalities occur, further increasing the need for use as cravings for the drug intensify. Cravings are evident in physical ill-feeling, initially, but then expand into other areas of physical, emotional and spiritual impairment that can spiral normal life into darkness.
Opioid abuse is an epidemic. While the federal government has imposed tighter regulations on painkiller prescriptions, patients can suffer unforeseen consequences. Once a prescribing physician lowers the dosage of medication or stops allowing refills, the withdrawal process begins. Ultimately too much to handle alone, the prescription drug user desperately seeks relief and often finds it in heroin.
Prescription Drug Abuse by Another Name
A common denominator with prescription drug addiction is that no matter the person, reason or preferred substance, what drives the abuse is the overwhelming need to feel better. It isn’t just about physical pain.
There are many other prescription drugs misused, whether legally dispensed or illicit. Anyone can fall victim to using prescription drugs as a source of numbing emotional, mental or physical pain.
Here are the more common prescription drugs with heightened risks of addiction:
- Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
Signs of Prescription Drug Dependency
The nature of addiction itself instills certain behaviors in the user:one of them is the quiet commitment to secrecy. Those addicted to prescription medication will do what they can to keep their problem to themselves, but share it with those who can either provide them the medication or join in their use. As the disease of addiction progresses, the user can get very creative in adjusting day-to-day routines and relationships to cater to the addiction.
Look for these indications of prescription drug dependency:
- Increased tolerance for the prescription medication
- Increase in amount of medication needed to reach the same effect, as when first prescribed
- Negative feedback occurs (when the original health issue that supported the use of the prescription worsens)
- Self-medicating, including taking more of the medication than what is prescribed
- Altering how the medication is intended to be taken, from orally to:
a. Snorting for nose inhalation
b. Crushing for intravenous use
- Purchasing or sharing another’s legal prescription if/when their prescription no longer exists
- Evidence of polypharmacy, supplementing the existing legal prescription with other drugs – legal or illicit
- Doctor shopping, or going to multiple doctors simultaneously to obtain more of the same medication
As prescription drug abuse worsens, the secrecy of its existence can only be kept hidden for so long. Refer to the list of clues noted above. They should also be considered as cries for help. TTC Care is here with answers.
Prescription Drug Addiction Compromises Longevity
There is hypocrisy in prescription drug addiction. The very reason a person begins to take the medication – to remove pain – is the antithesis of what it does when abused – cause more pain. In fact, accidental overdose is real and happens every day.
The long- and short-term health issues that can develop from prescription drug abuse are many, such as mental illness, chronic liver problems, and increased risk of stroke or heart attack. The pain of addiction doesn’t stop there.
Along with the physical manifestations of drug addiction’s harm is the mental anguish to the user and his or her family who are all too often left with picking up the pieces of a broken life – financially and socially – for generations to come.
Prescription Drug Addiction Checklist
The following questions can help you gauge whether prescription drug use has crossed the line between misuse and addiction:
- Is your life unmanageable because of prescription drug use?
- Have friends, family or coworkers mentioned concerns about your behavior due to extreme mood swings or irritability?
- Do you notice a difference in tastes, sight or sensations of touch?
- Have you missed work, school or important events due to misuse?
- Is your day planned around drug use?
- Are you experiencing any of the following when NOT using:
- Changes in blood pressure or heart rate
- Chills and sweating
- Increased depression
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of consciousness on a regular basis
- Loss of memory or focus
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Nasal congestion
- Trembling or uncontrollable shaking
- Changes in sleep patterns?
If these questions raise further concern for yourself or someone else, know that the right prescription drug addiction recovery treatment is just a phone call away.
Prescription Drug Addiction Stops the Moment You Start Here
Every moment wasted on contemplation keeps the prescription drug addiction alive. With the associated risks of overdose or suicide, seeking help never happens a moment too soon.
The highly-accredited, compassionate medical practitioners and licensed therapists at TTC Care work together to create a custom treatment plan for every patient. Prescription drug addiction affects the well-being of each person differently. The path toward recovery should be just as individualized.
Our health and healing specialists focus their expertise on the patient and how their practice contributes to treating the whole person, not just the disease. Treatment starts with a personal assessment on how to best move forward toward recovery.
Some of our physical, emotional and spiritual healing methodologies include:
- Medically supervised detox
- Individual therapy
- 12-step program
- Faith-based program
- Group therapy
If a patient’s drug addiction has been assessed and mental health issues are noted, dual diagnosis may be present, which is common with long-term drug abuse. TTC Care professionals understand the intricate dimensions of this scenario and can extend addiction treatment to include a more comprehensive plan to effectively treat both disorders. For more information, please refer to our dual diagnosis page.
Heal Today, Hope Rebuilds Tomorrow
Allow us the opportunity to help you renew, restore and rebuild a sober, healthy life through our residential treatment program. We also offer partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and aftercare services to help ensure success throughout recovery and experience a drug-free life.
If prescription drug addiction has caused legal matters that need to be dealt with during your inpatient stay at our facility, know that through our Court Liaison Program, you can continue to focus on recovery with added peace of mind. Our administrators will handle the necessary communications with probation officers, as well as the coordination of court appearances and other importantmeetings.
TTC Care also works with various insurance providers and private insurers to make treatment and recovery more accessible than ever.
TTC Care Is Your Resource for a Substance-Free Life
All conversations are 100% free and confidential.
The Court Liaison Program is a service of The Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches and should never be considered formal legal representation. Hiring a private attorney for personal representation is a serious decision and is always recommended within our Court Liaison Program.