Macon Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
Holistic Treatments for Prescription Drug Abuse in Georgia
Prescription drug addiction continues to be a growing problem in the United States. Many people are unaware that it is extremely possible to become addicted to medications prescribed in good faith by their doctors, which can have devastating consequences. Other individuals, including minors and young adults, use prescription drugs recreationally. Intentional or inadvertent misuse of prescription drugs can lead to physical dependence, tolerance, and even overdose if not treated properly.
If you or someone you love has become dependent on prescription drugs, the Georgia Recovery Campus can provide the compassionate, no-judgment support needed to help patients safely detox and regain control of their lives. Our Macon prescription drug addiction treatment programs are tailored to each patient’s specific needs and take a dual diagnosis approach when mental health disorders play a role in substance abuse. With a beautiful campus, numerous amenities, and state-of-the-art facilities, you can trust you or your loved one will receive top care designed to comprehensively treat the body, mind, and spirit.
What is Prescription Medication?
Prescription medication refers to pharmaceutical drugs that can only be obtained with a written prescription from a licensed healthcare professional, like a doctor or a nurse practitioner. These medications are regulated because they often require specific dosages, monitoring, or supervision due to their potency, potential side effects, or the need for proper diagnosis before use.
Here are some categories of addictive prescription drugs:
- Opioids: These are pain-relieving medications that can be highly addictive. They work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing the perception of pain. Common opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, and morphine.
- Benzodiazepines: These medications are prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and sleep issues. They act as central nervous system depressants, producing a calming effect. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). Prolonged use can lead to dependence.
- Stimulants: Typically used to treat conditions like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy, stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy. However, they can also be misused for their euphoric effects. Examples include methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall).
- Barbiturates: These are central nervous system depressants that were once commonly prescribed for anxiety or sleep disorders. However, they are now less commonly used due to their high potential for abuse and overdose. Phenobarbital is an example.
- Sleep Medications: Some prescription sleep aids, especially those in the class of non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (such as zolpidem/Ambien), can be habit-forming if used for an extended period.
How Can I Safely Use Prescription Pills?
It can be disconcerting to hear that the pills prescribed by your doctor to treat a health condition may be addictive. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of a dependence forming or other complications. First and foremost, prescription medications should always be taken as directed by a healthcare provider or pharmacist. You should also take the time to understand the potential risks associated with taking prescription drugs and how to safely use them. To avoid the risk of developing an addiction or suffering serious health consequences, you should:
- Always carefully follow prescription instructions to the letter
- Always confirm how a prescription drug interacts with alcohol or other drugs you may be taking
- Always verify whether taking a prescription drug will impair your judgment or your ability to drive
- Always be transparent with your doctor about any history of substance abuse
- Never alter the dosage of a prescription drug without first consulting your doctor (this includes quitting “cold turkey”)
- Never allow anyone else to take drugs prescribed to you
- Never take a prescription drug that has not been prescribed to you
Why Are Some Prescription Drugs So Addictive, and How Can They Be Dangerous?
The level of addiction risk a particular prescription drug poses will depend on the specific properties of the medication as well as an individual’s unique history and circumstances. Even some over-the-counter medications have potent addictive properties and can trigger dependencies.
The addictive potential of some prescription drugs is due to their effects on the brain. Many medications, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, contain chemicals that interact with natural pleasure chemicals in the brain, triggering a euphoric sensation. In cases where someone is taking a prescribed drug, this effect is intentional and is meant to relieve the symptoms associated with a specific health condition. Others may procure the drugs to experience the high despite a lack of medical need. When these drugs are taken regularly or in larger doses than prescribed, the user may become tolerant to their effects and need to take increasingly higher amounts for the same effect. This can lead to physical dependence and addiction.
Once an addiction has taken hold, it can be difficult to escape. No matter your situation, our Macon prescription drug addiction treatment professionals are here to help you on your journey to recovery.
Here are common signs and symptoms associated with prescription drug addiction:
- Increased Tolerance: Over time, individuals may need higher doses of the prescription drug to achieve the same effects they once experienced with a lower dose. Tolerance can be a sign of developing addiction.
- Withdrawal Symptoms: When the drug is not taken or the dosage is reduced, withdrawal symptoms may occur. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include anxiety, insomnia, sweating, nausea, irritability, and cravings for the drug.
- Behavioral Changes: Individuals addicted to prescription drugs might exhibit changes in behavior. They may become secretive about their medication use, start seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors ("doctor shopping"), or engage in illegal activities to obtain the drug.
- Physical Symptoms: Some physical signs of prescription drug addiction can include changes in sleep patterns, weight fluctuations, poor coordination, slurred speech, and frequent illnesses.
- Psychological Symptoms: Mood swings, increased anxiety or depression, paranoia, and changes in personality or overall mood can be indicators of prescription drug addiction.
- Neglecting Responsibilities: Addicted individuals may neglect their responsibilities at work, school, or home due to their preoccupation with obtaining and using the drug.
- Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Despite experiencing negative consequences like relationship problems, financial difficulties, or health issues, a person addicted to prescription drugs may continue using them.
- Social Withdrawal: They may withdraw from social activities or isolate themselves from friends and family.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Prescription Drug Addiction?
The long-term consequences of prescription drug abuse can be both physically and psychologically severe. Physically, prescription drug addiction can lead to organ damage, such as liver and kidney disease, as well as an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. People struggling with prescription drug addiction may also experience increased heart rate and blood pressure, respiratory problems, seizures, and stroke.
Psychologically, individuals with a prescription drug addiction may suffer increased levels of confusion, depression, and anxiety. This can have a profound effect on their quality of life, ability to work, and ability to complete routine tasks. It can also lead to strained relationships with family members or friends due to the changes in behavior caused by substance abuse. Those who suffer from addiction may also struggle with feelings of guilt or shame due to their inability to quit taking drugs despite the negative consequences.
Effective treatment for prescription drug addiction typically involves a multifaceted approach tailored to the individual's needs. Here are some key treatment options:
- Medical Detoxification: Often the first step, especially for substances like opioids or benzodiazepines, involves supervised medical detox. This process allows the body to rid itself of the drug while managing withdrawal symptoms safely.
- Behavioral Therapies: Different types of therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, motivational interviewing, and group therapy, are commonly used to address the psychological aspects of addiction, modify behaviors, and build coping skills to prevent relapse.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Certain medications, when used under medical supervision, can help reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms. For example, methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used for opioid addiction treatment, while medications like acamprosate and disulfiram are used for alcohol addiction.
- Support Groups: Participation in support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery can provide ongoing encouragement, peer support, and a sense of community during recovery.
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Many individuals with prescription drug addiction also have co-occurring mental health disorders. Treating both conditions simultaneously (known as dual diagnosis treatment) is crucial for long-term recovery.
- Education and Counseling: Educating individuals about the nature of addiction, its impact, and coping strategies is an integral part of treatment. Counseling sessions help individuals understand triggers, develop healthier habits, and learn to manage stress without relying on drugs.
- Lifestyle Changes: Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, proper nutrition, stress reduction techniques, and establishing a strong support system, can aid in recovery and prevent relapse.
- Aftercare and Long-Term Support: Continued support through aftercare programs, outpatient therapy, or sober living arrangements can provide ongoing assistance and accountability after the initial treatment phase.
- Family Involvement: Including family members in therapy sessions or support groups can help improve communication, repair relationships, and create a supportive environment for recovery.
Each person's journey through addiction treatment is unique, so a comprehensive and personalized approach is crucial for successful recovery. Effective treatment often involves a combination of these strategies, tailored to address the specific needs and circumstances of the individual seeking help for prescription drug addiction.
Do not underestimate the dangers and addictive properties of prescription drugs. Call (478) 216-1110 or contact us online to explore treatment options today.
The increasing role that the internet has played in healthcare, from the increasing ubiquity of online pharmacies and telehealth services, has made it drastically easier to obtain potentially addictive prescription drugs. The result is that people struggling with substance abuse have more ways than ever to feed their addictions, often without any in-person interactions in which the signs of an addiction could be observed. Consequently, friends and family members should be mindful of loved ones who they know to be taking prescription drugs for any reason. Someone may be dealing with a prescription drug problem if they:
- Develop a tolerance. This will result in the individual seeking doses higher than what was originally prescribed through legitimate or illegitimate means.
- Appear to have no control over when or how much of the drug they take. If you notice a loved one haphazardly taking a prescription drug at inconsistent hours, they may be abusing the medication.
- Become increasingly irritable. Prescription drug abuse can contribute to mood swings and general hostility, leading to increased isolation from friends and family members.
- Express difficulty in getting off the medication. Many people struggling with prescription drug dependencies do not intentionally become addicted to these powerful medications. If a loved one explains they are having trouble stopping and have thus asked for additional dosages, it may be time to discuss other treatment options.
- Suffer withdrawal symptoms. Prescription drugs can create physical dependencies, meaning the body will unavoidably experience withdrawal symptoms when access to the medication is cut off. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, sweating, muscle cramps, restlessness, insomnia, and depression.
Addiction can take hold fast, and the sooner you are able to intervene, the better.
If you think you may have a substance abuse problem, do not hesitate to call (478) 216-1110 or contact us online to learn more about how our Macon prescription drug addiction treatment program can help.
We understand how difficult recovery is. We work one on one with you every step of the way to ensure we are helping you make the necessary changes to obtain the life you deserve.
When you come to our facility, you are not only getting a beautiful campus and quality services, but you are also getting a team who truly cares about your recovery.
Our dedicated, experienced, and compassionate team of experts is here for you every step of the way. We have the tools, resources, and knowledge to help you on your journey.
At Georgia Recovery Campus we treat the entire mind, body, and spirit. When you come to us, we work one on one with you to select the track that would be most beneficial to you and your goals.