Prescription drug addiction: recognizing the red flags for early intervention
Prescription drug addiction is growing at a fast rate all over the world. Millions of people worldwide rely on prescription medications for various health conditions. These drugs are life-saving and help people manage their illness and live healthy lives. However, individuals are also misusing prescription drugs to obtain temporary relief in stressful situations. Prescription medicine abuse has become a grave public health problem. Recognizing the early signs of addiction in individuals helps them curb and control withdrawal symptoms and their devastating consequences.
Medical science has evolved rapidly in recent years with the latest technology, the medicinal field, and treatment approaches. It has given rise to new prescription medications that instantly relieve painful symptoms. Unfortunately, this has given rise to the easy availability of prescription medications, making them easy to abuse. Painkillers and mood stimulants are some of the most commonly used prescription drugs.
The significant reason behind this increasing prescription medicine addiction is a lack of awareness. People and healthcare professionals lack awareness of potential causes that can lead to drug abuse. Many people do not fully understand the downsides of these drugs and take them in higher doses without thinking of the consequences. Healthcare professionals also over-prescribe medications or do not monitor their use.
Use of prescription drugs
Opioids are the most commonly abused prescription medication. They are often used to reduce mild to severe surgery-related pain. Opioids such as codeine and morphine relieve pain when used under a doctor’s prescription but can lead to opioid addiction in people if left unchecked. Early signs of addiction include increased tolerance, craving for drugs, and experiencing withdrawal.
Opioids are also used to treat anxiety and sleeping disorders. Benzodiazepines, like
diazepam and alprazolam, are two commonly used opioids for this. They are highly effective when used correctly but can lead to addiction without prescription. Early symptoms of addiction include drowsiness, hazy memory, and inability to function correctly.
Stimulants are commonly prescribed to treat ADHD or narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder. Methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine are stimulants that are used to treat these ailments. They improve an individual’s focus, energy, confidence, and alertness. However, when used recreationally, it can lead to addiction. The early symptoms of stimulant opioid addiction include feeling agitated without drugs, increased energy, and anxiety.
Importance of early intervention
Early drug intervention is essential in treating addiction to prescription medication. It also increases the chances of long-term recovery. Family and healthcare professionals must actively observe the early signs of addiction. This can include following an individual’s physical, emotional, and mental changes.
Some common signs and symptoms of addiction behavior to look out for:
- Frequently requesting prescription medication or losing the prescription.
- Obtaining prescriptions for drugs from multiple healthcare professionals.
- Lack of interest in group or social activities.
- Ignoring responsibilities such as school, education, or jobs.
- Significant changes in sleeping and eating patterns.
- Engaging in risky behavior or life-threatening activities.
- Sudden mood changes. It can include feeling extremely euphoric or highly depressed.
- Letting go of physical and mental health.
Early addiction intervention helps in addressing addiction in its initial stage. It can help individuals and their families avoid severe consequences, leading to health issues, financial troubles, and even death. Identifying early signs of addiction can help providers make a detailed treatment plan and address the problem effectively.
After identifying the addiction behavior, it is crucial to seek help from trained addiction professionals at addiction treatment centers. Several treatment options include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, addiction, and group or individual counseling. Medical-assisted treatment is also a helpful approach to treating addiction.
Widespread prescription drug addiction can only be reduced with increased awareness and addiction intervention. Healthcare professionals should be trained to manage the prescription of the drugs and monitor patients regularly. They should be able to identify the early signs of addiction. Awareness campaigns can help individuals and their families understand addiction-related risks and the importance of following the prescription before taking drugs.
It is essential to understand the risks of prescription drug addiction. It requires the immediate attention of individuals, their families, healthcare providers, and law-making bodies. Recognizing the early signs of drug abuse can help provide drug intervention to struggling individuals. Early interventions and treatment can help save a person’s life and avoid the devastating consequences of addiction. Anyone can suffer from drug addiction. However, finding the right help at the right time is essential. Learn more about the importance of early intervention.