Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the U.S., particularly in Minnesota where opioid overdose rose over 500 percent from 1999 to 2014. Despite the steady uptick in deaths across the state, Minnesotans can find the help they need for their prescription drug addiction.
Prescription Drug Abuse Warning Signs
The most common contributing factor to abuse is the idea that prescription drugs must be harmless because they are administered by a doctor. Although statistics show prescription drug abuse is most common among young adults, it does not discriminate based on age, gender, social status, or intelligence.
Symptoms of abuse will vary based on the prescription. However, common warning signs include:
- Drowsiness with shallow breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Depression or agitation
- Headaches or dizziness
- Slurred speech
- Poor memory
Addiction to Opioids
Prescription opioids are prescribed for pain relief stemming from a number of procedures in the medical and dental fields. They include such brands as:
What makes opioids particularly dangerous is that they can lead to drug-seeking behavior as a result of the changing dopamine levels in the human brain. In short, the more you take, the more you want. More common than not, patients turn to street drugs to aid the withdrawal symptoms when they can no longer get a prescription.
Addiction to Stimulants
Stimulants have gained popularity across the U.S. for allowing the user to focus and relax. While typically associated with adults and adolescents with ADHD, they have become a means for weight loss, performance enhancement and euphoria when used as a party drug. To speed up the effects, addicts may choose to snort or inject the medication. Brand name stimulants include:
Addiction to Central Nervous System Depressants
Like opioids and stimulants, central nervous system depressants are also considered to be highly addictive in the scope of prescription drug abuse. Addiction to prescription medications such as Valium and Xanax first manifests as a need to take higher quantities to feel the same calming effects from anxiety, stress or panic attacks. However, when the central nervous system is repeatedly impacted by this medication, the patient can experience repressed breathing and a decreased heart rate, leading to unconsciousness or death.
The Anthony Louis Center specializes in drug addiction help regardless of the type and severity of one’s prescription medication or street drug. Contact our office for information on inpatient programs and outpatient rehabilitation services.