With an estimated 18 million people misusing prescription drugs, it’s important to ask about the potential long-term consequences. Prescription drug addiction is on the rise. The more information that is available about this kind of drug use, the better informed the public can be. And, the more they know, the more likely people will be to reach out for help from places like San Antonio Recovery Center. Discover the long-term effects of prescription drug abuse and how you can recover from addiction today.
What Is the Scope of Prescription Drug Abuse?
The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioids, benzodiazepines, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants. For example, these drugs top the list:
- Oxycodone – Opioid used for pain relief
- Hydrocodone – Opioid used for pain relief
- Oxymorphone- Opioid used for pain relief
- Ambien – Sleep aid that inhibits the central nervous system
- Ativan – Benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety
- Librium- Benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety
- Adderall – Amphetamine stimulants used for ADHD
- Ritalin- Amphetamine stimulants used for ADHD
This is just a small sample of drugs that can lead to an addiction. But addiction is only one potential side effect of this kind of abuse.
The Risk of Addiction
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease, so it ranks up there as one of the most consequential effects of prescription drug use. Using certain prescription medications changes the way the reward system in the brain functions. This system encourages you to do things that feel good, like exercising or having sex.
If you abuse drugs, the brain releases chemicals like dopamine, so you feel good and want to do them again. Unfortunately, many medications affect the release of dopamine or how it works. The brain starts to think the only way to give you that sense of euphoria is through drugs, and it becomes dependant on them to work properly.
Prescription drug addiction can also serve as a gateway to street drugs like heroin. Someone who can no longer get oxycodone, for example, might buy street heroin to avoid withdrawal.
The Health Consquences
Long-term drug use can increase your risk of developing life-threatening illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Studies show that stimulant drugs like amphetamines can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
Prescription drug use may also put you at risk for transmitted infections like hepatitis B and C or HIV.
The Mental Health Consequences
Prescription drug addiction can lead to depression. Stimulants drugs can also cause anxiety issues.
Often mental health problems and drug or alcohol use go hand in hand. You may have an underlying mental health issue like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and the use of drugs can exacerbate the symptoms. In some cases, prescription drug use may mask the symptoms, keeping you from getting the help you need.
Contact San Antonio Recovery Center Today
San Antonio Recovery Center treats all kinds of addictions, including ones associated with prescription drug use. In our addiction treatment center, we offer:
- Affordable treatment programs
- Therapy for all kinds of addictions, including heroin and alcohol
- 90-day treatment
- Accurate diagnosis
- Advanced treatment modalities
- A supportive and therapeutic environment
- Family involvement
- Residential treatment
We know that the best approach to prescription drug addiction treatment is to provide individual care plans designed to fit each person. Recovery from addiction requires a full spectrum of care that focuses on physical, mental, and spiritual health. It’s not enough to focus just on mental health or physical addiction; the right care plan takes a holistic approach.
If you or someone you love has a prescription drug addiction, we want to help you find recovery. Give San Antonio Recovery Center a call at 866.957.7885 to find out more about our services.