Can You Get Addicted to Prescription Drugs

Back in 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that in the US, around 16.7 million people of 12+ years of age had abused prescription drugs, with around 2.1 million of them showing signs of drug abuse disorders. Clearly, the statistics demonstrate how widespread the problem of prescription drug abuse can get. Even in India, as per a study by the United Nations, the problem is steadily growing.
Typically, such drugs fall into three broad categories i.e opioids, depressants, and stimulants. The following are different drugs that are typically abused by people who get used to being under them after they begin consuming them due to them being prescribed by doctors:

  • Opioids

Opioids are often prescribed for pain relief when it comes to dealing with mild to moderate pain levels. They may also be prescribed for treating coughing and diarrhea. The following are some of the drugs that fall in this category:

  1. Oxycodone
  2. Codeine
  3. Fentanyl
  4. Meperidine
  5. Morphine
  6. Methadone
  7. Hydrocodone

Opioids are often used as recreational drugs because of the euphoric effect that they generate. Following are symptoms of possible opioid overuse:

  1. Irrational euphoria
  2. Drowsiness
  3. Headache/Seizures
  4. Confusion
  5. Dizziness
  6. Nausea
  7. Vomiting
  8. Changes in behavior or personality

Also, withdrawal symptoms for opioids include:

  1. Drug cravings
  2. Irritability
  3. Difficulty in sleeping
  4. Excessive sweating
  5. Chills
  • Central Nervous System Depressants

CNS Depressants are used as part of therapy against insomnia, seizures, anxiety, panic attacks. The following are typical NCS depressants that are prescribed by many doctors in India:

  1. Alprazolam
  2. Clonazepam
  3. Diazepam
  4. Mephobarbital
  5. Pentobarbital sodium
  6. Benzodiazepine

CNS Depressants, which are also called tranquilizers, are misused because of the action that they primarily perform i.e. have a calming effect on the person. Symptoms of CNS Depressant misuse include:

  1. Memory problems
  2. Loss of coordination
  3. Incoherent/slurred speech
  4. Confusion
  5. Lethargy and drowsiness
  6. Headache
  7. Changes in vision
  8. Nausea
  9. Vomiting 

The withdrawal symptoms of tranquilizers include:

  1. Drug cravings
  2. Panic attacks
  3. Anxiety
  4. Excessive sweating
  5. Muscle Pain
  6. Sleeping difficulty
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants

CNS Stimulants are used for treating blood pressure, increasing heart rate and breathing rate, and in therapy for depression, ADHD, and narcolepsy. The following are commonly prescribed stimulants:

  1. Amphetamine
  2. Methylphenidate
  3. Phentermine
  4. Diethylpropion
  5. Modafinil
  6. Phendimetrazine

CNS Stimulants act primarily by increasing brain activity which boosts one’s energy and alertness levels. As such, they could be used by sportspersons or students to improve their performance. However, such drug abuse could be seen through symptoms such as the following:

  1. Irrational euphoria
  2. Aggressiveness/Bad Temper/Hostile Behaviour
  3. Restlessness
  4. Reduction in appetite
  5. Weight loss
  6. Paranoia
  7. Rapid Heart Rate
  8. Hallucinations
  9. Changes in behavior or personality

Typical withdrawal symptoms of CNS Stimulants include:

  1. Extreme levels of fatigue
  2. Depression/Anxiety
  3. Drug cravings

Thus, we see that a normal person may become addicted to prescription drugs for the various effects that they are known to have, such as pain relief, sedation, or mood enhancement. What complicates the problem is, such medicines might be prescribed by therapists to treat certain pre-existing conditions, and the addiction might occur as a result of undergoing therapy. The solution to one problem leads to causing another. Moreover, because such drugs are available at pharmacy stores legally, the addict does not have to go to extreme lengths to procure them. And therefore, treatment of prescription drug addiction is highly challenging and may require the addict to undergo extended rehabilitation.

If you have a problem with prescription drug addiction, we would love to welcome you to Alpha Healing Center, which is one of the best rehab centers in Mumbai, Gujarat- India. You can spend between 90-180 days at the center, where we take you through multiple steps to reduce drug abuse problems that you’re grappling with. Apart from one-on-one and group counseling sessions, we put you through various therapies such as art therapy, drama therapy, physical fitness activities, yoga, and meditation. Thus, we not only focus on de-addiction treatment but also strive to get you to improve the quality of your life in a holistic manner.