Palm Springs, CA is full of warm sunshine and scenic mountain views. But despite its charming shops and relaxing hot springs, the area still feels the overwhelming effects of prescription drug addiction. It is no secret that the nation is dealing with an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse, and unfortunately, California is no exception. That is why our prescription drug rehab in California is taking extra measures to ensure that we are offering effective treatment options for those in the clutches of pain medication abuse.
What is Prescription Drug Abuse?
Prescription drug abuse typically develops after a doctor gives medication to a patient for a medical reason. This can include pain relief after an accident or a surgical procedure. Overuse of these drugs can lead to dependency and addiction.
Signs You May Need Our Prescription Drug Rehab in California
When you know the signs of prescription drug abuse and addiction, you can take the steps towards rehab before the problem intensifies. Common signs of prescription drug abuse include:
- Inability to stop using: You can’t seem to stop using prescription drugs despite wanting to cut back or stop completely.
- Tolerance: You have to take more and more drugs to achieve a similar effect.
- Loss of control: You can’t control how much you take or what happens when you take it.
- Withdrawal: If you abruptly stop taking prescription drugs, you experience painful symptoms like nausea, headaches, or even seizures.
- Focusing on the drug: Drugs take priority in your life over school, family, and work.
- Continued use with knowledge of consequences: Even though you know that abusing prescription medication is bad for you, you do it anyway. The high they produce becomes more important than your legal or financial troubles.
List of the Most Abused Prescription Drugs
The three classes of the most abused prescription drugs are opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and CNS stimulants. Doctors closely observe these classes and try not to over-prescribe them due to their addictive qualities. Read more about them below.
Opioids and opiates are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs, and they’re responsible for many fatalities. Doctors prescribe opioids for chronic to severe pain, usually after a major accident or injury. These medications derive from the opium poppy. Opioids block pain receptors in the body, causing you to feel extreme euphoria and pleasure. The following is a list of common prescription opioids:
- Codeine – Codeine is one of the more mild opioids, used in cough syrups. It treats mild to moderate pain and can also be combined with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Morphine – Morphine is also used for acute or chronic pain, and women sometimes take it while they’re in labor. This can be highly addictive because of its pleasure-enhancing properties.
- Oxycodone (OxyContin) –This opioid treats moderate to severe pain and is a more potent kind. The prescription drug Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is highly abused in pill form.
- Hydrocodone – Hydrocodone treats conditions similar to those that oxycodone does. The prescription drug Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Side effects of hydrocodone include nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
- Fentanyl – Fentanyl is one of the strongest opioids available, being 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s typically prescribed for cancer or chronic pain. It can be taken through multiple mediums, including orally, a nasal spray, and a transmucosal patch (absorbed through the cheek).
Central nervous system (CNS) depressants are another popularly misused class of prescription drugs. These slow down bodily functions and are extremely helpful in treating people with anxiety and panic disorders. However, patients can get used to their calming effects and abuse them. People who don’t have anxiety disorders also enjoy the effects of these medications.
Benzodiazepines –This class of drugs is used to treat anxiety disorders, stress, and panic attacks. Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” are normally prescribed for a short period due to their tendency for addiction. Prescription benzodiazepines include:
- Alprazolam (Xanax) – Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Although it’s effective for these conditions, it does come with a few side effects such as dry mouth, headaches, fatigue, and depression. It’s one of the most popularly prescribed medications in the U.S., and it’s taken by mouth.
- Diazepam (Valium) – Another widely prescribed benzo, Valium produces a calming effect. It treats muscle spasms, alcohol and benzo withdrawal symptoms, and seizures. Side effects include trouble with coordination and sleepiness. If used for too long, Valium can be habit-forming. It can be taken by mouth or injected.
- Clonazepam (Klonopin) – Klonopin can treat restlessness, seizures, and panic disorder. It can be injected or taken by mouth. Some side effects include confusion, motor impairment, and loss of libido.
- Lorazepam (Ativan) – Ativan can be taken intravenously or by mouth. Used for seizures and anxiety disorders, it can produce side effects like low blood pressure, trouble breathing, and sleepiness.
Barbiturates and Sleep Aids – Although barbiturate use has declined in the past few decades, they are still occasionally used to treat patients with seizures and migraines. People who abuse barbiturates tend to feel intoxicated, drowsy, and disinhibited.
Popular barbiturates include:
Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants speed up certain functions in your body. These will release chemicals in your brain that produce feelings of reward and attention. Doctors will usually prescribe stimulants to patients struggling with attention-deficit disorder/attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD).
Stimulants do have positive effects, helping people better focus and be more attentive in their everyday tasks. However, stimulants can also be highly addictive, and people who don’t need them frequently abuse them. They have become increasingly popular on college campuses in the last 15 years as study aids. Students who feel pressured to do well in school might take stimulants to stay focused and perform better on exams. Misusing stimulants can also have fatal consequences.
Prescription stimulants include:
- Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta)
- Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
Prescription Drug Addiction Statistics
California has faced tragedy as prescription opioid use has wreaked havoc on the state’s residents. In 2018, almost 2,500 Californians lost their lives to opioid-related overdoses. This accounted for 45% of the state’s drug overdose deaths.
This epidemic does not end in California, it affects the entire nation. A 2017 study showed that about 18 million Americans have misused prescription drugs in the last year. The following year around 47,000 US overdose deaths involved opioids—comprising almost 70% of all overdose fatalities. Young adults aged 18 to 25 abuse prescription drugs the most. More than 14% of people in this age group used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the last year.
Dangers of Mixing Prescription Drugs with Alcohol
People who abuse prescription drugs also tend to mix them with other harmful substances like alcohol which is dangerous. This enhances the drug’s potency and can also put you at greater risk of overdose or death. If you already have an addiction to prescription drugs, adding alcohol to the mix can make this even worse.
You should never mix prescription drugs with alcohol. It’s easy to lose coordination, suffer from heart damage, and experience changes in behavior when you do this. You can also develop more serious health problems, including liver damage, internal bleeding, and brain damage.
Levels of Care at Prescription Drug Rehab Centers in California
Treatment at California prescription drug rehab centers starts with a client evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to give staff members a profile of the client’s addiction and circumstances. If necessary, a client will then undergo detox. Upon safely finishing detox, the client will transition to a program that uses a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies. These programs include:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Standard inpatient and outpatient options
- Dual diagnosis treatment for coexisting conditions
Prescription Drug Rehab Aftercare
In the early days of recovery, many individuals are reluctant to trust their instincts. As they navigate everyday life, they also sometimes feel they need extra support to avoid relapsing. Due to this, our prescription drug rehab center will make sure clients leave with access to aftercare resources.
Aftercare programs can encompass several options. In a pinch, the client should always have the option to participate in some kind of outpatient counseling. For the longer term, the individual might want to participate in 12-Step meetings (NA & AA) for moral support. If the individual is not ready to fully integrate back into society, then a sober living arrangement might be necessary.
Contact Our Prescription Drug Rehab Centers in Palm Springs, California
The time to stop struggling and start living the life you deserve is now. Let today be the first in a new and fulfilling chapter. At Phoenix Rising in Palm Springs, CA, we are dedicated to helping you heal from the addiction dragging you down. With comprehensive therapies and extensive programs, our drug rehab center is ready to help. To get started, call or visit our contact form today.