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Prescription Drug Detox

About Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drugs serve several functions. They treat diseases, fight infection, and restore mental and physical health, thus allowing millions of people to lead healthy lives. However, some prescription drugs are addictive enough to form a physical and/or physiological dependence in the user. These kinds of drugs are usually controlled substances, the most addictive of which include opiates, stimulants, and depressants. Fortunately, this kind of addiction can be treated through prescription drug detox.

Recognizing When the Line Has Been Crossed

prescription-drug-detoxUsing prescribed medications as instructed does not normally lead to drug dependency, but self-medicating or changing your dosages can inadvertently trigger an addiction. Much like drinking alcohol, using prescription medication is not suspicious or illegal. This means it can be difficult to tell if you’ve crossed the line into addiction or not. If you are unsure whether or not you or a loved one are addicted to your prescription medication(s), some signs of dependence include:

  • going to multiple doctors
  • going to multiple pharmacies
  • requesting extra refills
  • running out of medications before your next scheduled refill
  • regularly taking more than the prescribed dose
  • forging prescriptions
  • using a prescription medication that belongs to family or friends
  • overdosing on prescribed medication
  • purchasing illegal pharmaceuticals online

Why Do I Need Detox?

Prescription drug addiction is sometimes hard to recognize. It is not always a cognitive choice to cross the line between prescribed medicine and fueling an addiction. Substance use disorder is not nearly as black and white as we think and is generally (and rightly) treated as a disorder. However, that should not enable us to continue using, instead, it should motivate us to receive prescription drug detox.

The reason we need detox is that with prescription drugs, it is a very serious illness that is somewhat unique from other cases. With prescription drug detox, you would be able to cut the drug off at its source before it spirals into a more harmful addiction. In many cases, people transition from prescription opiates to heroin simply out of desperation. They have prescribed painkillers, become dependent, then they get cut off and have nowhere to turn. However, it is not too late. You would be able to detox from this harmful substance now, rather than later. This is also important because prescription drug detox affects future surgeries in which you are prescribed the same drug. The less lengthy the addiction, the less likely it is to relapse in those cases.

Furthermore, if we do not receive a medical prescription drug detox; we could put ourselves or others in harm’s way. Depending upon the severity of the addiction, the effects of withdrawal become more and more serious. In fact, should we choose to attempt to go cold turkey without medical supervision, we could potentially be risking fatal consequences. However, here at the Discovery Institute, our prescription drug detox is specially focused to suit your needs. We have medical staff available at all times to care for you and treat you, and even prescribe medication in extreme circumstances. 

You Are Not Alone 

In the following section, we will be looking at a few statistics on substance use disorder in general, as well as specifically prescription drug detox statistics. The main point of this section is to let you know you are not alone and encourage you to seek a medical prescription drug detox.

The counties which experience the most admissions are as follows (from greatest to least): Essex, Camden, Ocean, Monmouth, and Atlantic. The age group which had (by far) the most admissions for prescription drug use was 25-59, followed by 18-24, and finally 60 and over. Of all total drug admission, 64% had a mental illness and were diagnosed as having a co-occurring disorder.

Finally, of those who needed treatment, the percentage of unmet need over all of New Jersey’s counties was roughly 40%. We at the Discovery Institute want you to know that we have the most professional services available, but you need to be the ones to reach out and connect with us. We do not want you to not have your needs met. Below, we will begin to discuss the specific effects of an untreated prescription drug addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling, please consider reaching out. It is never too late.

The Effects of Untreated Prescription Drug Addiction

Abusing prescriptions drugs can cause:

  • blackouts
  • brain damage
  • depression
  • gastroparesis
  • high blood pressure
  • hyperalgesia
  • kidney damage
  • liver damage
  • lung damage
  • malnutrition
  • mood swings
  • muscle pain
  • myoclonus
  • psychosis
  • respiratory upset

The Important of Medical Detox

If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of prescription drug abuse, seeking treatment is unarguably necessary. Addiction can lead to serious repercussions, both psychological and physical. Prescription drug detox can prevent this, but undergoing it alone can lead to serious medical complications and painful withdrawal symptoms. This is why professional and medically-supervised detox programs are essential for recovery.

Prescription Drug Detox at Discovery Institute

The prescription drug detox programs at Discovery Institute put the safety and comfort of our patients first. We offer medically-assisted detox for patients suffering from prescription drug addiction. To begin, each patient in recovery receives a thorough examination upon admission for the purposes of assessing health, identifying any concurrent issues, and collecting a full drug use history. This information is then used to create an all-inclusive treatment plan tailored to the needs of each individual client.

From that point forward, patients are administered medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and supervised so symptoms can be tracked and addressed when they arise. In addition to doctors and nurses, the therapeutic staff is also on call to assist with the emotional healing of the detox process.

For patients who still need prescription drugs for conditions like post-surgery pain or chronic pain management, non-addictive treatments are available so that the prescription drug dependency is reduced during detox. These kinds of treatments can include traditional therapy, holistic treatments, and non-narcotic medications administered by the medical staff.

References:

http://medshadow.org/resource/drug-classifications-schedule-ii-iii-iv-v/

www.dualdiagnosis.org/guide-drug-detox/prescription-drugs/

https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/publications/statistical/Substance%20Abuse%20Overview/2018/statewide.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/publications/statistical/Substance%20Abuse%20Overview/2017/statewide.pdf

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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