Prescription Drug Detox

Prescription drugs are a major problem and societal epidemic. There are many people in this country who struggle with pain, depression, anxiety and other issues. They come to trusted doctors looking for relief and healing, and are prescribed highly addictive pills that do more harm than good. Though these drugs may (or may not) help in the short term, they cause bigger problems in the long run.

There are three basic classifications of prescription drugs that become abused. They are Opioids, Stimulants and Sedatives (CNS Depressants).

Opioids

Opioids are synthetic drugs made from the Opium Poppy plant that are used to relieve pain. They are generally prescribed by doctors to patients who have come to them for assistance in reducing pain symptoms that have become too overwhelming or unmanageable throw other methods. Examples of these types of narcotic drugs are Methadone, Oxycodone (OxyContin), Percocet (Oxycodone with acetaminophen), Percodan (Oxycodone with aspirin), Meperidine(Demerol), Fentanyl (Duragesic), Hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Vicodin), Hydrocodone (Zohydro ER, Hysingla ER), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

Stimulants

These types of prescription drugs are used to address conditions of ADHD by improving attention and focus. They are intended to enhance cognition and elicit a “high feeling” when ingested. Because these drugs stimulate dopamine, the neurochemical responsible for euphoric pleasure in the brain, they are severely abused and very easy to become addicted. Examples of these drugs are Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Desoxyn, Dexedrine, Suprenza, among others).

Sedatives/CNS Depressants

These drugs are prescribed to address anxiety and sleeping disorders. By increasing a specific neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) that slows down activity within the central nervous system, the user is made calm. These drugs bring about a sedated drowsy effect that many users find helpful to relax. Examples of these types of drugs are Xanax, Ambien, Valium, Mebaral and Nembutal.

Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction is not easy to identify in the beginning. There are no obvious signs that might alert someone that they, or a loved one has a problem. Users can go about their days normally and appear to be well adjusted with daily activities at work, home and other social arenas. However the longer someone continues to use, the more the signs will begin to manifest.

Here are general signs that someone might be abusing prescription drugs:

  • Ingesting more than the medically prescribed dosage
  • Notable tolerance to prescribed dosage leading to higher consumption to achieve desired effect
  • A desire to continue using medication even after original symptoms have subsided
  • Taking other people’s prescription medication or suspicious behavior to obtain medication
  • Exaggeration of, or creation of imaginary symptoms to get medication
  • Isolation and withdrawal from social groups (friends, family and professional circles)
  • Mood swings and other irregular behavior
  • Lack of desire to experiment with non-medication treatment options
  • Financial issues that may be the result of excessive purchase and use

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Opioids

  • Drowsiness and Lethargy
  • Lack of desire to exercise
  • Shallow or poor breathing
  • Random sleeping habits
  • Decreased Libido
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Nausea and headaches
  • Poor hygiene
  • Bad Decisions / Habits
  • Ignoring Responsibilities
  • Difficulty with personal and professional Relationships
  • Weight Loss

Stimulants

  • Jumpy or over-energetic
  • Fast and excessive speech
  • High blood pressure
  • Constant alertness
  • High body temperature
  • Delusions and paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Erratic heart beat
  • Random sleep patterns

Sedatives

  • Drowsiness
  • Poor memory
  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Off balance or lack of steadiness
  • Poor coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressive behavior

Detox Symptoms

Prescription drugs are extremely dangerous to detox from and it is important that a qualified medical physician be on hand to properly supervise this process. The symptoms of withdrawal can vary and possibly become fatal. There are medications that can be used to help alleviate these symptoms of prescription drug detox. These medications are prescribed with care and professional contemplation. Supervised and managed by our medical staff.

Here are some of the symptoms one might experience while going through the detox process:

Effects of Prescription Detox

Opioids

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Muscle cramps and discomfort
  • Chills and Sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting

Stimulants

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Muscle Pain and Discomfort
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Mood Swings
  • Loss of Appetite

Sedatives

  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Irregular Heart Rate
  • Increased Body Temperature
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Risks of Prescription Drug Addiction

Catching addiction early is crucial. Because addiction signs can be subtle, it is often the case that users will end up overdosing before they or their loved ones have even realized they have a problem.

With prolonged usage, the user will develop a tolerance causing them to increase dosages. These increases will not improve the efficacy of the drug, but will guarantee physical dependence on the drug. Once this dependence is established and the drug is not available the withdrawal symptoms discussed earlier will begin with cravings and other uncomfortable conditions. The psychological dependency is quite powerful and makes it almost impossible to stop using, even if someone wants to.

Stimulant Risks

As a user increases the quantity and frequency of their amphetamine habit, they fall into a cycle of medicating and then crashing. Coming down from these drugs will often result in long episodes of depression, fatigue, anxiety and ultimately a craving for more. If a user makes the mistake of ingesting an extremely high dose of amphetamines, they are at serious risk of overdose which may lead to seizure, coma or even death.