Author: Justin Mckibben
With drug abuse being a major issue facing the nation, education is extremely important. Any hope of winning the fight against rising overdose rates and the spread of drug-related illness and death starts with making sure we have as much information as possible to make a difference. On that note, explaining prescription drug abuse is critical because prescription drug abuse is a key contributor to the state of the country today.
If we want to help people avoid prescription drug abuse, or recognize the signs and know there is help, it is important to explain the reality and the risks.
What is prescription drug abuse?
Simply put- prescription drug abuse is one of two things.
- When someone takes a medication that is not their prescription
- If someone takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor or for a different reason
When you take prescription drugs properly they are usually safe. It requires a trained health care clinician, such as a doctor or nurse, to determine if the benefits of taking the medication outweigh any risks for side effects. But when abused and taken in different amounts or for different purposes than as prescribed, they affect the brain and body in ways very similar to illicit drugs.
These drugs have a close relation to morphine, or the street drug heroin. Opioids are typically for pain management. Opioid addiction has become one of the biggest problems facing the country today. Drugs such as:
These drugs are also known as “downers”. You can divide the category can be up into:
Drugs such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol are meant to reduce symptoms of mental illness.
- Benzodiazepines (Benzos)
Prescription drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Librium.
Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal are included in a class of depressants intended as sedatives or sleeping pills.
These kinds of prescription drugs are also called “uppers” or “smart drugs” because of the increase alertness, attention and energy. They also increase heart rate and respiration. Many of these medications are used to combat conditions such as ADHD, including:
Prescription drug abuse has become a big health issue because of the various health hazards. This risk is particularly true of abusing prescription pain medications.
Who abuses prescription drugs?
When asking who are most likely to abuse prescription drugs, the answer may vary depending on the substance. Some people end up participating in prescription drug abuse due to an injury or legitimate health reason, but the “high” they can experience may lead to more frequent use and ultimately a physical dependence.
Recent studies have indicated that prescription drug abuse impacts young adults most; specifically age 18 to 25. In regards to teens, after marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most common substances of abuse by Americans age 14 and older.
Prescription drug abuse is present across all demographics, relevant to every social and economic class. Many believe this rise has largely contributed to the heroin addiction epidemic and the overdose outbreak in the past few years.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
The Palm Partners Treatment Program has a design for prescription drug abuse intended to address people of all walks of life who are suffering. Personalized recovery programs are meant to work with each individual’s circumstances and symptoms to create a blueprint for the future.
Some of the signs of addiction range in severity and can affect each people differently, especially depending on the specific prescription drug. Increased tolerance is a clear cut sign of progressive physical dependence. Some indicators of prescription drug addiction may be:
- Excessive sweating
- Swelling in the arms and legs
- Chronic constipation
- Respiratory distress
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
Treatment for prescription drug addiction includes a detox period to help combat the uncomfortable symptoms of prescription drug addiction, as well as withdrawal.
For all those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse, or even abusing other drugs or medications, there is a massive community of recovery all over the country to help you get the care you need. Treatment for prescription drug abuse can be the first and most important step, so be sure to step up.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), now that prescription pills are the most prescribed drug in America, prescription painkiller overdose is now the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Also among highly-prescribed prescription pills are the anti-anxiety drugs (benzos) like Xanax and Klonopin. In fact, prescription pills kill more pill addicts than heroin and cocaine combined. And that is why the best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL exist.
Best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL: What is Addiction?
Having an addiction also means that you continue to use despite wanting to stop and despite negative social, financial, and legal consequences. People who are addicted to pills usually experience such problems as loss of a job, marriage, and other relationships. Also, people who are pill addicted often have financial and legal troubles such as fines and even jail time as a result of their addiction, both directly and indirectly. The best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL can help.
Addiction involves a few different aspects: tolerance, meaning that you need to have more and more in order to achieve the same feeling that you used to get from smaller amounts, or lower doses; physical dependence, meaning that when you try to stop, you experience physical symptoms, known as withdrawal syndrome; and psychological dependence, which means that when you try to stop you experience extreme depression, anxiety, and a mental obsession to keep using, also a part of the withdrawal syndrome.
Best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL: Withdrawal Syndrome
It is often said, and supported by research, that the main obstacle to quitting drugs is the fear of the withdrawal symptoms. Not only can withdrawal be extremely uncomfortable, it can be potentially life-threatening. The best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL include medical detox programs that specialize in treating substance abuse and physical dependence so that you can begin to live your life without the crutch of drugs.
Best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL Step One: Detox
The first step in the process of best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL is called a medical detox. During this stage, you will be assessed in order to find out what pills you are using, for how long, and how much is currently in your system. This is done by way of a urine drug screen. Because best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL is provided in a medical setting and because drug addiction is recognized as a chronic medical condition, the results of your drug screen and information disclosed during your assessment are strictly confidential just like any other medical information is. All of this is done in order to make a treatment plan that will best serve you.
During detox, you will be giving certain medications in order to wean you off of the pills that you have been taking in both a safe and comfortable manner. Withdrawal syndrome is a very real and very serious condition that involves uncomfortable and even frightening symptoms that could lead to coma and death if not treated properly.
Best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL Step Two: Rehab
The rehab stage of best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL can last up to 30 days, sometimes longer, and offers safe haven while you heal and recover from your drug use. During rehab, you will have all your needs provided for including nice, comfortable housing and well-balanced meals while you are given key, life-saving information about substance abuse and addiction. You will attend both individual and group therapy sessions where you will begin to heal your mind while healing your body and you will learn tools and coping methods in order to live a healthy lifestyle once you complete your best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL.
If you or a loved one is seeking out the best treatment centers for pill addicts in West Palm Beach, FL please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock to address your concerns and answer your questions. You are not alone.
America’s 78 million aging baby boomers are heading into retirement and, along with more than their fair share of considerable wealth, access to health care, and higher levels of education, they are also heading into their golden years with an increasing rate of drug and alcohol abuse as well as mental illness. It’s an epidemic that has yet to be recognized, according to a recent Institute of Medicine report.
Baby Boomers: America’s Hidden Addicts
Looming Public Mental Health Crisis
Alcohol remains the top drug of abuse among the aging baby boomer generation; however, non-medical, recreational use of prescription drugs is a rapidly growing problem. Some studies estimate that up to 10% of the elderly are misusing prescription drugs that are known to have serious abuse potential, which most often include anti-anxiety drugs, known as benzodiazepines (benzos) such as Klonopin and Xanax, sleeping pills like the narcotic Ambien, and opiate painkillers like Oxycodone. When it comes to gender, women far outnumber their male counterparts regarding the non-medical use of prescription drugs: 44% of women versus 23% of men.
In order to understand the magnitude of this looming mental health crisis, it’s important to look at past populations and rates of substance abuse and mental illness and then extrapolate those numbers to the boom in the elderly population with aging baby boomers. In 2010 estimates were that six to eight million older Americans — about 14% to 20% of the overall elderly population — had one or more substance abuse or psychological disorders. Between 2010 and 2030, the number of adults aged 65 and older is projected to increase from 40 million to 73 million, and the numbers of those needing treatment stands to overwhelm the country’s mental health care system.
Why Baby Boomers Use
Rather than younger generations who generally use to “get high,” beginning after age 60, the reasons that the elderly turn to alcohol and other drugs appear fundamentally different. Typically, people who begin using as teenagers or young adults tend to do so because they are seeking that euphoric feeling or because they have significant rates of psychiatric disorders and antisocial traits. On the other hand, the baby boomers turn to alcohol and drugs to alleviate the physical and psychological pain from the onset of medical and psychiatric illness, the loss of loved ones, and increasing social isolation.
This is cause for concern because these are powerful psychoactive drugs, meaning that they have a profound effect on brain function, especially in an elderly person, who doesn’t metabolize substances as quickly or as efficiently as a younger person does and who may have ailing health. Alcohol and other drugs being used by baby boomers impair cognitive functioning, cause depression, increase the risk of falling and interact dangerously with other medications, which the aging tend to be taking a lot of. Moreover, drug and alcohol abuse in older people occurs alongside other medical and psychiatric illnesses. It’s counterproductive to treat either problem by itself; both substance abuse and mental illness much be treated simultaneously for best outcomes.
Stigma and Denial
Ageism exists and it’s perhaps the most obvious when it comes to the topic of alcoholism and drug addiction among baby boomers.
It’s difficult and even uncomfortable for many, especially for the adult children of baby boomers to come to terms with the possibility that their elderly parents might be abusing or addicted to alcohol, prescription medications, or even illicit drugs. It might even seem highly improbable. After all, the common addiction stereotype is that the typical alcohol and drug addict is a young person.
When it comes to health care providers, when they do consider the possibility of alcohol or drug abuse, doctors may fail to realize that even small amounts of alcohol or drugs can be problematic, considering metabolism rate, other medications, as well as well as increased brain sensitivity to them. Also with advanced age come cognitive impairments, which make self-reporting and self-monitoring on the part of the patient unreliable.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, regardless of their age, help is available. Please call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock, day or night. You are not alone.
image credit: wifflegif.com
If you’re ‘one of us’ – a recovering alcoholic/addict – then you know this fun little game: Guess the DOC. Often times, there are ‘tells’ – traits, characteristics, or signs that can be a dead give-away as to what someone’s main drug of abuse was while they were in active addiction. Here is a fun little blog about what your drug of choice says about you.
image credit: wifflegif.com
Usually, people who are strictly alcoholic tend to fall into one of two categories: the party animal or the socially awkward. Those who fall into the first category might have started out as the typical college drinker, tailgating on weekends and attending all the Greek parties on campus. Their occasions (read: excuses) to drink then started blurring together where they were drinking more often than not. For those with social anxiety, alcohol is also a favorite: they find it to be the ultimate social lubricant – allowing them to lower their inhibitions and feel comfortable around others and at social gatherings.
image credit: wifflegif.com
Potheads often are hyper people, by nature. It is quite common for people who prefer marijuana to also have certain medical diagnoses such as ADD and ADHD. These folks tend to smoke a lot of pot as a way to self-medicate and chill out because they are either high-strung or find that their thoughts are firing at rapid fire speed. Pot smokers like that it slows down their thoughts and allows them to relax.
DOC: Benzos (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ambien, Ativan)
image credit: wifflegif.com
People who struggle with anxiety, PTSD and/or who have experienced some sort of traumatic event tend to abuse benzos – anxiolytic (anti-anxiety meds) – because they are designed to reduce anxious feelings. The problem with these meds is that they are highly addictive and, in fact, often cause someone’s anxiety disorder to become worse. Therapy and coping mechanisms are a much better way of handling past trauma and anxiety.
DOC: Opiates (heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Roxys, Fentanyl, methadone)
image credit: wifflegif.com
Being a former heroin addict, I can say that I liked opiates because they energized me and made it easy to escape reality (for a time). So, I’d say, people who are avoiding painful memories and/or dealing with depression tend to go for the opiate class of drugs. In other words, people like opiates as a way to numb themselves.
- image credit: wifflegif.com
Another type of person that gets caught up in heroin and other opiate drugs is the person who was prescribed painkillers for a legitimate reason, such as major surgery. The addicts in this category began taking painkillers as prescribed but then found themselves wanting to achieve the initial ‘high’ they felt, rather than merely taking the edge off of their pain. They would have begun to take their prescription more often and at higher doses. Sometimes, they turn to heroin when they can no longer get pills.
DOC:Amphetamines (cocaine, crack, Adderall, Ritalin)and Methamphetamine (crystal meth)
image credit: wifflegif.com
These addicts are either seeking a way to increase their energy and productivity level – such as college students pulling all-nighters – or are ‘the quiet type’ looking for a way to be the life of the party. Of course, as with any other class of drugs, any of these may have a different effect on the user depending on their particular body and brain chemistry. But, people who abuse amphetamines and/or methamphetamine generally like the speedy effect they get from taking this kind of drug.
Don’t see your particular DOC on this list? No worries, stay tuned for another installment of What Your Drug of Choice Says About You.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will happen.
The cause of panic disorder is not known however it is believed that genes may play a role. Panic disorder is twice as common in women as it is in men. Symptoms of a panic disorder usually begin before the age of 25 but can begin to occur in the mid 30’s. Panic disorder can occur in children even though it is most likely not diagnosed until they are older.
Panic disorder is categorized by panic attacks that begin suddenly. Panic attacks that are associated with a panic disorder usually peak within 10-20 minutes. Some symptoms can go on for as long as an hour or even longer. A panic attack is even sometimes confused for a heart attack.
Panic attacks include anxiety. This anxiety could be about any kind of situation where escape is difficult such as being in a crowd or traveling in a car or bus. A person with a panic disorder often lives in absolute and total fear of another attack. The person with the panic disorder may be afraid to be alone or far from medical aid.
People with a real panic disorder usually have at least 4 of the following symptoms during a panic attack:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Feelings of detachment
- Fear of losing control or impending doom
- Feelings of unreality
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Feeling of choking
- Fear of dying
- Dizziness or faintness
- Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face
- Trembling or shaking
- Sweating, chills, or hot flashes
Panic disorders have the ability to change a person’s behavior at home, school, or work. People with a panic disorder often panic about the effects of their panic attacks. People with a panic disorder may also have:
- Drug Addiction
Many people with panic disorder will go to the emergency room because they think they are having a heart attack. The doctor or health care provider will then perform a physical exam including a psychiatric evaluation. Blood tests will be done. Other mental health or medical disorders must be ruled out before panic disorder can be fully diagnosed. These kind of disorders are quite frequently related to substance abuse. Sometimes the person may just be on a substance and not even having a panic attack.
The treatment for panic disorder is fairly simple. Panic disorder treatment goals are to help you function in your day to day life. A mixture of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy works best for those with a panic disorder. Antidepressant medications are most often the medication prescribed for anyone with a panic disorder. These usually include:
- Anti-seizure medicines are used in really severe cases and benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, or Ativan can be used for a short amount of time
There are some things that can help with panic disorder in order to reduce the number of panic attacks you may have. For instance:
- Eating at regular times
- Exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing or avoiding caffeine, cold medicines, and stimulants
Panic disorders last for a long time and can be really hard to treat and cannot be cured. Some people with panic disorder may not ever be cured with treatment. Most people with panic disorder do get better though with a combination of medicines and behavioral therapy.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for their Panic Disorder please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.