Prescription medication is a common treatment option for various health conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more. The effectiveness of some of these drugs can be so profound that they are often praised as wonders of modern medicine.
Despite their efficacy for certain conditions, the use of some of these prescription medications can lead to abuse, and even dependence. Many are not generally intended for long-term use, but due to their effectiveness in treating pain and discomfort, it is not uncommon for people to continue to take said medications beyond their prescribed period. In addition to this, some of these medications often give pleasurable effects to the user and so they may also take these drugs at higher doses than previously prescribed.
Inpatient treatment programs for prescription drug addiction, such as ours at Horizon Rehab Centre offer an effective solution to prescription medication misuse. Not only do we treat the actual physical dependence through our fully licensed medical detox facility but our highly experienced and accredited clinical also help you to address the underlying issues that may have contributed to the development of your substance use.
There are several types of prescription drugs that can lead to addiction, including:
Opioids - These are powerful painkillers that are often prescribed for severe or chronic pain. Examples include OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet.
Stimulants - These drugs are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Examples include Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta.
Benzodiazepines - These drugs are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders. Examples include Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.
Information on Opioid addiction can be found here
Information on prescription stimulant addiction can be found here
Benzodiazepines, also known as "benzos," are a class of prescription drugs commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. They work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which helps to regulate mood and reduce anxiety. While benzos can be effective in the short term, they can also be habit-forming which can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Medication in the Benzo family include:
The risk of developing a dependence on benzos increases with long-term use as well as using at higher doses than recommended.
Given the effectiveness of Benzodiazepines in treating anxiety and insomnia, its little wonder why this class of drug is so widely used. However given some of the other effects that they can have on the user, particularly at higher doses, the abuse potential of ‘Benzos’ cannot be overstated.
Here are some reasons as to WHY people may succumb to abusing ‘Benzos’ in their lifetime
To self-medicate: Some people may abuse benzodiazepines to manage stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.
To get high: Benzodiazepines can produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation, which can be attractive to people who are seeking a way to escape from their problems or to experience these effects recreationally.
To enhance the effects of other drugs: Benzodiazepines are sometimes combined with other drugs, such as alcohol, to enhance their sedative effects.
To treat withdrawal symptoms: Some people who are addicted to other drugs, such as alcohol, may abuse benzodiazepines to manage withdrawal symptoms and severe hangovers.
It is important to note that not all people who use this class of medication will go on the misuse them. It is true that the abuse potential is omnipresent with this class of drug, however, it is largely dependent on the user’s own biopsychosocial history as well as them using their medication only as directed by their physician.
If you are developing a psychological dependence on benzodiazepines, you may notice changes in your thoughts or behaviours. These may include
Being preoccupied with thoughts of when you can take your next dose or where you will get it from
Hiding or lying about your use, or feeling that your life is becoming centred around your use
Increased irritability, even spurts of anger
Emotional detachment and feelings of ‘blankness’
Failing to meet expectations at home or work
Slower thoughts and processes
poor concentration and trouble remembering tasks, people and events
If you feel as though your prescription medication use has a become a problem please speak with one of our clinicians so we can determine if inpatient treatment is the best option for you. Our growing network of clinicians around the world also offer outpatient services and this could also be an option for you if a residential program is not feasible at this time.
It is possible to develop a physical dependence on benzodiazepines without even realizing it. This type of hidden addiction may become apparent when a person tries to cease use and begins to experience withdrawal symptoms. These can include
Disturbances with sleep
Anxiety, even panic attacks,
Delirium Tremens - similar to alcohol withdrawal
In severe cases - Seizures
It is important to note that Benzodiazepines and Alcohol remain the 2 most dangerous classes of drugs from which to detox.
Detoxification from prescription medication - especially from Benzodiazepines - is best done under the care of a trusted team of medical professionals, as there can be serious side effects from withdrawals including seizures.
Horizon Rehab Center is a fully licensed medical rehab facility that has an onsite hospital with the latest medical technology and the most esteemed medical team in Thailand.
Our clients will have access to medical and psychiatric care during their treatment with us, which can be particularly important for individuals with a longer history of prescription medication misuse, as they may require a longer tapering off process to manage their withdrawal symptoms. Our medical professionals can also assess and treat any co-occurring health conditions that may have contributed to the development of a substance use disorder.
Our Inpatient treatment program at Horizon is a minimum 30-day program that allows clients to immerse themselves in the therapeutic process. Research has consistently proven that residential programs are the most effective solution for substance addiction as they offer 24-hour care and support for clients and offer them a structured environment that is solution-focused, away from the usual triggers that may have contributed to them using in the first place.
Horizon’s highly qualified and experienced clinical team offer a variety of therapies and activities, such as individual therapy, group therapy, 12-step facilitation, wellness therapies as well recreational activities. Along with exercise and fitness, these therapeutic tools help individuals start to create a life that is worth ‘staying clean for’ as well to help clients address the underlying issues that may have contributed to their substance use, such as trauma, less than nurturing relationships as well as mental health issues.
In addition to our therapies and support provided during treatment with us, we also help clients develop coping skills and strategies for maintaining long-term recovery, including learning to manage triggers and cravings, building a support network, and finding healthy ways to cope with stress and emotions.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with their prescription drug use, please know that you’re not alone. This growing problem around the world can be helped - one person at a time. If you’ve decided that you want to take back control of your life and move past your medication misuse then get in contact with us today. Our experienced team of addiction specialists will be able to answer any questions you have about our program and help guide you in the right direction.