How do you know whether your use of prescriptions has crossed the line to abuse? Is a loved one struggling with a prescription drug problem? There are several signs of prescription drug abuse that help you make the determination. Moreover, if you realize that there’s a problem, a solution isn’t far behind.
What are Typical Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?
You went to the doctor for a condition. The professional prescribed a medication. Examples might include benzos for anxiety, opioids for pain, or stimulants for weight loss. Now, the situation’s no longer as bad as it used to be.
Still, you return to the doctor for more prescriptions. When s/he asks if you’re still suffering from the condition, you lie and say yes. Maybe it’s the way that the drug makes you feel that you don’t want to give up. You may have realized that increasing the dose lets you get high.
The medication is now a drug that you abuse. Down the line, you realize that you need more of the drug than your doctor will prescribe. You now visit multiple doctors and complain of the same symptoms. Experts in the medical field call this drug-seeking behavior.
What’s Behind a Prescription Drug Addiction?
Therapists working for drug addiction rehab programs recognize that there’s more at play than just the substance abuse. Frequently, there’s an undiagnosed mental health condition. For example, you use opioids for pain relief. You keep taking them because they numb you enough to turn off intrusive thoughts and feelings.
To get to the “why” of substance abuse, experts in the field will work with you via various modalities. Examples include:
- Dual diagnosis assessment and treatment of co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that helps you think through areas of dysfunction that you want to change
- Dialectical behavior treatment, which encourages emotional regulation
- Family therapy that promotes the involvement of those closest to you for support and healing
- Nutritional counseling and life skills training that assist with making healthier choices after treatment ends
How Therapists Deliver Treatments to You
It’s a common misconception that everyone entering Pennsylvania addiction recovery services centers has to do so on an inpatient basis. In fact, many people undergoing stimulant, benzo, or opioid addiction treatment have additional options open to them. For example, partial hospitalization lets you live at home. Concurrently, you’re spending a lot of time during the week at the rehab facility.
You meet with therapists and undergo group sessions. Family therapy also takes place during this time. For substance abuse conditions that are less severe, an intensive outpatient setting may be a good alternative. It’s part-time drug rehab that fits in with your work or school schedule.
If you believe that you or a loved one’s showing signs of prescription drug abuse, don’t wait to get help. Call 866-488-8684 today to connect with the therapists at Steps to Recovery.