When someone misuses prescription drugs, it may cause dependence, addiction, or abuse. These three problems are related, but subtle differences among them exist. All three can cause serious disruptions in a person’s daily life and require professional attention. A recovery center needs to identify the extent of the client’s problem to choose a treatment plan that will work. If you have a substance abuse issue, our Amatus Recovery Centers team of addiction treatment professionals will collaborate with you to create a customized treatment plan for your recovery needs. First, however, it is essential to understand the differences between dependence, abuse, and addiction of prescription drugs.
What Is Drug Dependence?
Drug dependence refers to a physical reliance on a drug. For example, when people start to take prescription drugs, they may not have a dependence on the medication. However, if they take more than prescribed or do not take the drugs with a doctor’s approval, they can increase the chances of becoming dependent.
Physical drug dependence typically shows up most often when the individual tries to quit. Someone who cannot quit on their own or even reduce the drug dosage without feeling withdrawal effects may have a physical dependence. Some people who become dependent on prescription drugs may also build a tolerance, which means they need the drug more often or in greater amounts for the same effect. For example, someone dependent on prescription pain medication may need to double their dose to feel relief from pain.
The physical impacts of dependence often lead to addiction. However, someone can become addicted to a drug without being dependent on it. Similarly, someone can abuse prescription drugs without addiction or dependency.
What Is Drug Abuse?
Drug abuse happens when someone misuses prescription drugs for any other reason than the doctor intended them for. For prescription medications, this includes taking someone else’s drugs, using the drugs to get high, taking more than recommended, and looking for multiple doctors to get more prescriptions or more frequent refills. Drug abuse is often an indication of addiction or dependency.
What Is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction refers to behavioral changes in the individual’s life regarding the use of a drug. Many people may become dependent first, which makes stopping drug use difficult and addiction easier. Addiction, though, can happen through behaviors only and not from a physical reliance on prescription medications. Some possible signs of drug addiction include:
- Use of the drug despite wanting to quit or knowing the harm of continued use
- Giving up social activities or things once enjoyed for drug use
- Isolation from friends or family
- Not having control when using the drugs
- Feeling compelled to use the prescription drugs
- Mentally or physically craving the drug or its effects
What Type of Treatment Can Individuals Get for Misuse of Prescription Drugs?
First, for anyone with a dependency on prescription drugs, detox at Amatus Recovery Centers often marks the first step in treatment. This stage helps to overcome the dependency through a medically supervised in-patient detoxification program. After handling the physical dependency on the drugs, the client moves to the next stages that help them with the mental addiction and abuse. Common levels of care for prescription drug abuse, addiction, or dependency include:
- Residential addiction treatment program
- PHP (partial hospitalization program)
- IOP (intensive outpatient program)
- Outpatient treatment program
These levels of care each take time to become effective. Spending the right amount of time at each level helps reduce relapse chances and ensure recovery is complete at the end of treatment.
Get Help for Dependence, Abuse, or Addiction to Prescription Drugs at Amatus Recovery Centers
Problems with abusing prescription drugs require treatment to prevent the misuse from worsening to dependency or addiction. Reach out for help for yourself or a loved one by phoning Amatus Recovery Centers at 833.631.0525 or using our website’s contact form. We want to help each client a place at one of our locations where addiction ends and their recovery can begin.