toll free: 844.955.3042
local tel: 561.464.6505
fax: 561.450.6637

RECO Intensive
140 NE 4th Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483

How To Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

When it comes to America’s health, the need to combat prescription drug abuse could not be a more prescient priority. According to recent statistics made available by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, drug overdose deaths have reached an all-time high, with the majority of such deaths related to opioid abuse.

Tragically, a study based on this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicated that the rates of drug overdose deaths has risen even in young people, with the drug overdose rate rising a full ninety-four percent in young adults between the ages of 14 and 18.

Though the majority of substance abuse deaths involve synthetic opioids like fentanyl as opposed to prescription drugs, it isn’t hard to draw a line between the two problems. This is because many people who go on to abuse more powerful and deadly opioid drugs became hooked after starting with prescription opioids. In fact, over eighty percent of heroin addicts are thought to have started with opioid medications.

Thus, the path from prescription drug misuse and abuse to full-blown opioid addiction is a top public health concern. Though opioid painkillers are a necessary and life-enhancing pain management option for many people who struggle with chronic pain, the intense “high” fostered by opioid analgesics spurs users to keep taking them despite negative consequences. These prescription drugs can also quickly foster an intense physical dependence that can make recovery intensely difficult.

Other medications that are often subject to drug misuse and abuse include medications used to treat anxiety like benzodiazepines. This is particularly worrisome when users begin to abuse multiple medications, because many illicit and prescription drug overdoses involve a combination of substances that combine synergistically to achieve their deadly effects.

Both opioid pain relievers and anti-anxiety medications can lead to dangerous side effects like slowed breathing, while stimulants cocaine combined with such drugs can stress the body and raise the risk of serious consequences further by causing high blood pressure.

Though it tends to be less common, it’s also worth nothing that other drugs of abuse include over-the-counter medications, which can also cause drug overdose and addiction if consumed in large enough quantities.

Understanding Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Though the need to address prescription drug abuse is imperative, many of the signs that an individual may have a prescription drug abuse problem may be subtle enough to fly under the radar of people who are not familiar with this form of drug abuse.

One common strategy of people who abuse prescription painkillers and other drugs prescribed by doctors is called doctor shopping. People who engage in doctor shopping take advantage of medical professionals by going to doctor to doctor in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same drug.

They may mislead their healthcare providers by faking symptoms of chronic pain until they have enough prescription painkillers to satisfy their need for drug use. Luckily, increased awareness of the dangers posed by opioid medications has led to a variety of reforms that make drug misuse and abuse more difficult, including prescription drug monitoring programs.

Thus, as the federal government became more aware of this practice, they have begun to implicate a prescription drug monitoring program in many American states. A prescription drug monitoring program works by requiring doctors to keep strict electronic health records of any controlled substance that they distribute to their patients.

This will ensure that prescription drugs are not obtained in excess, making it far more likely that a person’s prescription for a controlled substance has been obtained for legitimate reasons as opposed to drug abuse. If you want to learn more about your state’s policies, the National Conference of State Legislatures keeps a database of different states’ policies for monitoring prescription medications, called the Injury Prevention Legislation Database.

Other hopeful developments on the horizon include that the National Institute of Drug Abuse also notes that some prescription drug manufacturers are now experimenting with abuse deterrent formulations of their prescription drugs. These abuse deterrent formulations make it harder for people to get high on prescription medications, and have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of prescription drug misuse and the street value of prescription drugs.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration has also made an effort to make prescription drug misuse more difficult by moving some opioid prescription drugs into more restrictive categories of controlled substances, making them more difficult to prescribe. Some medical professionals have also begun to reduce their distribution of powerful opioid prescription drugs, instead treating their chronic pain patients with more balanced and holistic pain management techniques.

But despite these positive developments, prescription drug abuse remains a serious threat to America’s health today. Along with simply making prescription drugs more difficult to obtain, there is a significant need for increased substance abuse services to help those struggling with prescription drug abuse to recover, and for the government to help allay medical costs for those seeking to reclaim control of their prescription drug abuse.

Instead of chastised for their drug abuse, people suffering from physical dependence on prescription drugs need to be guided towards treatment facilities that have a sophisticated understanding of prescription drug misuse as a symptom of mental illness rather than a moral failing.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse also recommends that efforts be made to develop prescription drugs that are equally effective as those that tend to spur prescription drug abuse without being as addictive or as dangerous.

Get Help For Addiction To Prescription Drugs At Reco Intensive

If you or a loved one are currently struggling with prescription drug abuse or any other form of drug use or behavioral addiction, we hope you’ll consider seeking help at Reco Intensive. One of the leading treatment centers in South Florida, we are accredited by a variety of reputable organizations such as the National Institute Of Health (part of the US Department of Health and Human Services) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In our comprehensive intensive outpatient program, you or your loved one will learn to replace prescription drug abuse with healthier coping mechanisms and to become more aware of your own emotions and the triggers or your prescription drug use.

Our therapists will also help you to discover and work through any underlying mental health problems or experiences of trauma that may have been influencing your prescription drug misuse, and to rebuild a satisfying and healthy life free of prescription medication.

To learn more about how Reco Intensive can help you to break free from prescription drug abuse, feel free to call us anytime at 844.955.3042 or to contact us online anytime here. Prescription drugs in no way should get in the way of your new, bright future.

Recent Articles

Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.