It’s not just illegal drugs that bound people up in an emotional and physical prison, but prescription drug abuse has taken America by storm. Everything from anti-anxiety to pain pills have hit homes, school, and the streets in abundance. The effects are much the same as anyone on illegal drugs like heroin, crack, etc. Some lose their jobs, relationships, their children, their dignity, and their mind. It is a big deal and it is time to get honest about the topic and encourage those who are addicted to reach out for help. You can get free from substance abuse. It’s time.
Addiction in just about any form can be detrimental to mental and physical health. Take street drugs for example. Those who are addicted to drugs such as heroin, cocaine, crack, etc. suffer the consequences of broken relationships, strained finances, emotional mayhem, and problems with physical health. Many addicts are aware of this, yet they continue to use drugs because they cannot tolerate the withdrawal symptoms or simply like the effects of the drugs.
It’s not just illegal drugs that are addictive and ruining lives, but prescription drugs are also causing many to become active addicts. In fact, many believe that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs, so they justify their addiction saying “It’s not that bad. Doctors prescribe them.” The plain truth is that prescription pills are not necessarily safer and in fact, they can lead to mental, emotional, and plenty of physical problems. In addition, they can cause overdose and death.
Even those that are prescribed a legitimate prescription drug, such as an opiate pain killer like Oxycodone, can become addicted without realizing it. What starts out as a simple pain reliever can become their worst nightmare. Other prescription drugs that have been known to be abused include:
- Benzodiazepines- central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan.
- Stimulants, including Ritalin, Adderall, Weight loss stimulants
- Opiates- pain pills such as Oxycodone, OxyContin, and Hydrocodone
Signs of prescription drug addiction
In our society, many people contend on a daily basis with pain and anxiety. This is why pain killers and anti-anxiety medications are commonly prescribed. The problem is that these medications are also highly addictive, as even after the pain or anxiety has subsided, the person may simply continue to use the drugs for the pleasurable feelings that come with them.
There are plenty of signs of prescription drug abuse and some of the signs will vary depending on the drug, but overall you can experience:
- Dilated pupils
- Withdrawing from people or activities once enjoyed
- Doctor shopping
- Slack in personal hygiene
- Miss days of work or school
- Sleep disruptions
Why the increase is prescription drug abuse?
Prescription drug abuse is well on the rise, with opioid addiction increasing over 400% in just ten years by the end of 2008. One reason for the increase in prescription drug abuse is that many drugs are easily available. In fact, you can find some online pharmacies and order some drugs online. Doctors readily prescribe drugs to patients and are writing more prescriptions than ever. Teens and adults are passing pills around like candy. It’s simply becoming common place to “pop a pill” for the simple pleasure it provides.
It’s time to get honest
You might think it’s the homeless or close to homeless people who are the addicts, but realistically, prescription drug addicts are a mix of just about every social class, status, ethnicity, and age. You’ve got the 16 year old stealing pain pills from his grandfather’s medicine cabinet, the 30 year old mother of two doctor shopping to get more pills, and the 70 year old struggling with aches and pains popping pills daily and cannot stop. It’s time to really get honest about how addictive prescription drugs are and speak out.
If you’re struggling with addiction or if you know someone else who is, it’s time to take steps into getting free from such an addiction. Admit that you have a problem. Reach out for help via a counselor or rehab. Know that you are not alone and you do not have to live your life bound to a drug. Millions of people have overcome their addiction over the years and so can you.
It’s time. Declare today that you will no longer be a prisoner to pills, alcohol, or any drug. Now, make some calls and get yourself some help.