Prescription drugs treat a number of diseases and ailments. Conditions like depression and anxiety are managed through prescription antidepressants and benzodiazepines, while the pain associated with chronic illness and diseases like cancer are managed with prescription painkillers (opioids).
Unfortunately, over 50 million people have misused prescription medications in the United States. Many people falsely believe that because these drugs are available through a pharmacy, they are somehow safer than illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin. However, this is not the case.
Prescription medication use is dangerous and can have serious consequences. Addiction to prescription medications happens over time, can be very intense, and is hard to stop. Prescription drug addiction treatment in Massachusetts is available at Swift River. Call us today at 888.451.5895 for more information about our substance abuse treatment programs.
Prescription Drugs Of Use
The three most commonly used categories of prescription drugs are opioids, central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, and CNS depressants.
While opioids do fall into the CNS depressant category, opioids have a significantly different effect on the brain, opioid receptors, and addiction.
Opioids are commonly called “painkillers.” These drugs act on specific areas of the brain and essentially trick the mind into believing the pain is gone.
The problem with opioids is that while they cloud the brain and reduce pain, they also cause a surge of dopamine, resulting in euphoria, increased happy feelings, and intense relaxation.
These sensations and dopamine surges are both extremely addictive. Over time, people will take more and more opioids to feel those same sensations, which is very dangerous and can result in dependence, addiction, or even death. Those who become dependent on these drugs should seek opioid addiction treatment immediately.
Prescription opioids of use include:
Prescription medications that belong to this class stimulate or boost activity in the brain. This results from the added release and blocking the reuptake of chemicals in the brain responsible for focus, attention, and reward.
These drugs tend to make people jittery unless they are trying to manage the symptoms of an attention disorder. Individuals with ADHD take CNS stimulants to be more focused and attentive. Individuals prescribed CNS stimulants usually do not abuse their medications; however, they may be convinced to sell or give them to people who do want to abuse them.
Common prescription stimulants include:
Prescription medications that slow down, or depress brain function, are called CNS depressants. Most of these drugs accomplish this by manipulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain.
Altering GABA levels makes it difficult for the cells in the brain to communicate, which slows the system as a whole. This is beneficial for people with different anxiety disorders. Disrupting GABA in the brain can also increase dopamine levels, which can cause euphoria and sedation. People can find these effects addictive, which leads to the use of these medications.
It is not uncommon for people abusing CNS depressants to mix with other drugs or alcohol. Combining these drugs can cause breathing to slow and, in some cases, become fatal.
CNS depressants are not always easy to stop taking. If dependence has occurred, stopping a CNS depressant can make a person very sick as withdrawal symptoms kick in. People abusing CNS depressants may need help to stop abusing the medication.
Some commonly prescribed CNS depressants include:
Prescription Drug Use Treatment in Massachusetts at Swift River
At Swift River, we offer prescription drug addiction rehab. Individuals addicted to prescription medications often benefit from specialized, professional care that includes detoxification and inpatient rehabilitation, followed by outpatient treatment and aftercare.
A medical detox program can help ease the discomfort associated with withdrawal, primarily through the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). In addition to eliminating the substance from the body, a holistic approach to comfort and wellbeing is usually included.
Rehab facilities usually combine various services that include behavioral therapies, support groups, individualized sessions, and community resources tied together with a treatment care plan. This individualized treatment plan is usually highly structured, especially for inpatient rehab. The goal is to give the individual the tools and knowledge to cope with triggers and change negative thoughts and behaviors.
Many programs also offer thorough aftercare planning to help decrease the chances of relapse. Providing support and planning, such as a 12-step program or alumni group, can make all the difference when a person is in the early stages of recovery and reenters their community.
The treatment environment matters as well. With over 250 acres of rolling countryside in the Berkshire Mountains, there is plenty to explore on the Swift River grounds. Doing so allows for the renewal of the human spirit through adventure.
Let Swift River Help You or a Loved One Now
At Swift River, the professional staff is ready and able to assist you as you take your first steps toward recovery. The multi-faceted services offered through our rehabilitation program will be beside you through the journey into sobriety.
Finding a rehab program that meets the unique needs of prescription drug addiction is not always easy. Contact us today at 888.451.5895 to hear about our services and how we can help you stop abusing prescription medications.