When a patient takes medication without following a doctor’s instructions, it may be the start of prescription drug abuse. Increasing the dosage without consulting a medical practitioner to gain more or quicker efficacy from the drug is a common practise. Then the patient may begin to take the medication for unrelated symptoms. For example, they may take the prescription drug to aid sleep or to lessen stress when the medication is actually for pain relief. Dependency begins as the patient needs the drug to feel normal or to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as sweating and nausea.
Medication abuse can be difficult to track as the addict often has an ostensibly justifiable reason to take the drugs. Taking across the counter, or prescription medicine, is legal and commonplace so it does not appear a risk. However, long term abuse does bring consequences.
Medication Abuse Effects
- The effects of prescription drug addiction are similar to other addictions: lack of focus, mood swings and restlessness, problems at work and in relationships, financial issues, anxiety, depression, and sleeping issues may all be symptoms of the using.
- Abuse of prescription drugs begins to affect the patient’s mood, behaviour and relationships – both at home and at work. Without abstinence the patient’s life will slowly spiral out of control.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse
At Oasis Treatment Centre, we treat medication abuse similarly to other addictions. On arrival the patient will see a doctor and psychiatrist to help them through a detoxification process as safely as possible. They will attend all the therapeutic and holistic activities on the timetable.
They will be allocated a focal counsellor for one-to-ones and attend group therapy where they will be assisted in getting behind the addiction to find the core reasons why they use.
They will be helped to learn about their behaviours, and to discover useful tools to help them live a normal, productive life free from prescription drugs for when they return home.