If a drug is prescribed by your doctor, it might seem to preclude addiction. However, that is not the case. In fact, between 21 and 29% of people prescribed opioids for pain relief go on to misuse them. 8-12% develop an Opioid Use Disorder.
Addiction is a chronic brain disease in which a person continues to use a substance despite negative consequences in their life. Chronic alcohol or drug use hijacks the brain’s reward system, making a person repetitively seek the substance.
A person with an addiction will usually build tolerance, such that they need to take more of the drugs or alcohol to feel the same effect. Just because those substances may have been prescribed by a doctor does not mean they cannot be abused.
Opioids are prescribed to about 168 million people per year, while Benzodiazepines (commonly referred to as “benzos”) are prescribed to about 66 million. Both of these classes of drugs are highly addictive and can be misused. Use of these drugs may also lead people to other drugs; for instance, 80% of people who use heroin began by using prescription opioids.
If you have been taking either of these types of drugs regularly, it is important to taper off with the help of a medical professional; never stop taking them cold turkey. If you think you are addicted to a drug that was prescribed to you, it is important to medically detox. Prescription medications can have dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
At a medical detox facility, you will have 24/7 medical care, as well as regular mental health support. This will help you manage any psychological discomfort along with potential physical discomfort. After detox, you may choose to get further treatment to address the underlying reasons you used.
If you are struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, there is hope. Amatus Recovery Centers across the country offer high-quality treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. Our staff will help free you from substances, and set you up for success in long-term recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.