Prescription Drug Addiction in India
According to the UN Office of Medications and Crime’s 2021 World Drug Report, prescription drugs and their constituents, or “precursors,” are increasingly being diverted for recreational use. This is true in India, the world’s largest producer of generic drugs.
As per the report, India was among the top ten countries that reported the greatest opioid seizures in the world in 2019; India’s opium haul was the fourth largest in the world, and its morphine and heroin hauls were the seventh and eighth largest, respectively.
Growing Prescription Drug Addiction and Dependence
According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s 2019 report, 2.1% of India’s population aged 10 to 75 years was involved in illicit opioid use and dependence that year. This is more than four times the Asian norm and more than double the global prevalence rate of drug abuse.
Other drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, and amphetamine-type stimulants, have a much lower prevalence rate in India than in Asia and globally.
The use of prescription based drug addiction is an emerging problem globally. The most extensively prescribed drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium and Xanax are abused and its reaction can be shocking. In turn, this generates the need for individuals who pursue prescription drug addiction treatment.
Prescription Drugs That Are Commonly Abused in India
Opioids, CNS depressants, and stimulants are the three types of medications that are commonly abused in India.
Opioids are a class of pharmaceuticals originating from the opium poppy plant that is commonly used as pain relievers. Prescription opioids are popularly used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. These prescription medications can make people feel exceedingly calm and “high,” which is why they are often overused and abused.
Opioids are highly addictive, and a fatal overdose is possible. Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, Morphine, Codeine, and Fentanyl are some of the most commonly abused prescription opioids.
Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants
Central nervous system (CNS) Depressants include tranquillizers, sedatives, and hypnotics. These medications are used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, acute stress reactions, and sleep disorders by slowing brain activity. Tranquillizers, as their name implies, promote tranquillity, or “the condition of being peaceful,” and are used to treat anxiety and muscular spasms.
Sedatives and hypnotics are used to treat sleep disturbances by inducing sleep. Diazepam, Alprazolam, Zolpidem, and Phenobarbital are some of the most commonly abused CNS depressants.
The most common uses of prescription stimulants are to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep). These medications aid in the improvement of alertness, focus, and energy. Dextroamphetamine, dextroamphetamine, amphetamine, and methylphenidate are the most commonly prescribed stimulants.
They’re also known as speed or “uppers” in street slang because they offer you an intense thrill (euphoria).
Symptoms and Risks of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription medicines are abused in a variety of ways. Some people take more than the recommended doses, others smash the pills, dissolve them in water, and inject the liquid into a vein, while yet another group will opt to inhale the powder.
Abusing prescription medications can result in decreased breathing, which can lead to hypoxia (a condition arising when too little oxygen reaches the brain). Short-and long-term psychological and neurological repercussions of hypoxia include unconsciousness, lifelong brain damage, and even death. Prescription stimulant abuse can result in high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and convulsions.
Slowed breathing rate, sleepiness, disorientation, poor coordination, and memory issues are the most common physical signs of opioid and CNS depressant abuse. On the other hand, abusing stimulants is likely to cause anxiety, paranoia, sleeplessness, and elevated blood pressure.
Other non-physical symptoms of people misusing or abusing prescription drugs include withdrawal from friends and family, borrowing prescription drugs from others, stealing prescription meds, visiting multiple doctors for prescription notes, and ordering prescription drugs from illegal internet pharmacies.
Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse, especially over a lengthy period, can have a variety of long-term health consequences such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and a rise in aggressiveness.
Drug abuse has different long-term impacts depending on the type of drug and the duration of use. Experts, on the other hand, have connected prolonged drug abuse to cardiovascular disease (CVD.)
Cocaine and methamphetamine are stimulants that can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels. Long-term abuse of these medications can also result in coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and heart attack.
Detoxification refers to a collection of procedures for dealing with acute intoxication and withdrawal. It refers to the removal of toxins from the body of a patient who is addicted to drug abuse. Medical detoxification aims to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce the physical harm caused by drug misuse.
Medically assisted detox is the initial stage of inpatient therapy. During detoxification, doctors and addiction treatment specialists keep an eye on the patients’ withdrawal signs. Drug cravings are common during this phase and they can be difficult to conquer, often leading to relapse. It’s therefore important to seek medical detoxification instead of attempting DIY detox.
Withdrawal symptoms can be lethal in some cases, especially for synthetic opiates, benzodiazepines, and heroin.
Seeking Professional Addiction Treatment Facility
At times, it can be a bit challenging to find the right professional addiction treatment program. When seeking therapy for drug abuse or addiction, consider the following factors:
- Think about whether inpatient or outpatient therapies are the best fit for you
- Locate the best treatment facility for your recovery needs
- Seek out programs that employ evidence-based treatment methods
Years of research have shown that drug addiction disorders are frequently associated with co-occurring mental illnesses that should be properly addressed during addiction treatment. At Alpha Healing Center, we start by assessing the patient’s condition before prescribing the most appropriate treatment approach for their unique needs.
We take a comprehensive approach to therapy that combines detoxification, inpatient or residential rehabilitation, counseling, and medication-aided treatment to help our patients achieve lifelong sobriety.
Based on the severity of the addiction, the two inpatient and outpatient treatments are recommended. An outpatient treatment is usually recommended for clients who are in the earlier stages of addiction and are able to maintain a routine living.
Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Patients struggling with a prescription drug addiction can benefit from cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) which is a therapy program that assists them in figuring out what’s causing their addiction.
CBT is useful for a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety disorders, addiction, eating disorders, and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Treatment for Opioid Dependence
Buprenorphine is an opiate withdrawal treatment that can shorten the detox process and effectively manage withdrawal symptoms. Like methadone, it can be used for long-term sobriety maintenance. Buprenorphine and Naloxone are other effective medications used to treat and prevent prescription drug addiction.
Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Rehabilitation
While both inpatient and outpatient rehab focus on rehabilitation, each has its own set of characteristics and benefits.
Inpatient rehabs are residential treatment programs for those suffering from severe drug addiction disorders. On the other hand, outpatient rehabs programs are best for those suffering from mild addiction. The latter allows recovering prescription drug addicts to continue working or attending school while attending therapy sessions during their off-time.
The Advantages of Inpatient Treatment
For mild addiction, a 28-day stay in an inpatient or residential therapy facility is recommended. The length of your stay is often determined by your diagnosis, needs, circumstances, and insurance coverage. Below are the benefits of joining an inpatient/residential rehab facility for prescription drug addiction treatment:
24/7 Professional Support – You will not have to fight addiction by yourself. At AHC, patients receive 24/7 medical attention and care from qualified personnel and therapists.
Peer support—You will feel challenged and supported by other patients at the facility who are also working to overcome addiction.
A high degree of care – Those who have previously unsuccessfully attempted to overcome addiction might benefit from a more intensive treatment program.
Recovery-Friendly Environment – In a residential setting, more time is spent on recovery each day. Patients actively participate in group and individual therapy sessions, among other therapeutic activities such as sports.
While in residential therapy, you are not distracted by daily environmental triggers.
Inpatient or Residential Rehabilitation To Treat Prescription Drug Addiction
Inpatient rehabilitation programs, often known as residential therapy, require patients to check themselves into a supervised rehab facility where they can focus on conquering their addictions. At Alpha Healing Center, our patients receive medical and emotional assistance from a qualified staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Residents get a chance to focus entirely on becoming healthy and attaining sobriety during inpatient treatment since they are removed from the distractions of their everyday lives. Inpatient rehabilitation is guided by psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists who interact with patients individually and in group settings.
Being a world-class de-addiction facility, we are dedicated to offering our patients effective premium-quality recovery services in a luxurious, safe, and serene environment. Our inpatient programs offer several treatment approaches including medication-aided treatment, meditation, yoga, talk therapies, and 12-step recovery models.
100%! We take every precaution necessary to ensure that the only people who will know about your prescription drug addiction treatment at our rehab center (outside our own staff of course) are the people you choose to tell.
The time period for opioid treatment is dependent on numerous reasons including the severity of the addiction, usage time period, whether they have been detoxed previously and their adaptability to the treatment program at rehab center. In regular cases, we recommend a minimum of 90 days stay at the center with an added option of an extended stay of 180 days if essential.
The answer to this depends on your own insurance policy.