The US is flooded with prescription drugs, from stimulants like Ritalin to painkillers like hydrocodone and OxyContin. As a result, prescription drug abuse is very common. In 2022, experts estimated that more than 6% of the US population had used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the prior year.
Abusing or misusing drugs—even prescription drugs—can change how the brain works. Most people start taking prescription drugs following their doctor’s orders. But even when used as prescribed, certain prescription drugs can become habit forming.
Once a person has become addicted to or dependent on a drug, self-control becomes very difficult. They may struggle with intense urges to use the drug, starting a cycle of abuse.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid abuse, stimulant abuse, or depressant abuse—whether it’s taking higher doses than prescribed or buying pills on the street—Del Arroyo Recovery Center can help. We offer personalized treatment for prescription drug addiction at our luxury drug rehab center in Agoura Hills, CA.
Which Prescription Drugs Are Commonly Abused?
Most prescription drugs on the market today are not habit forming. However, drugs in certain classes have a much higher risk of misuse and abuse because of how they act on the brain. These include:
Opioids – This class of drugs includes both naturally derived opiates and synthetic opioids. Examples include Vicodin, hydrocodone, OxyContin, fentanyl, carfentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Opioids are among the most misused prescription drugs.
Stimulants – This class of drugs includes Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, and others.
Depressants – Also known as sedatives, depressants can include drugs from other classes, including benzodiazepines, opioids, and barbiturates.
Barbiturates – These depressant drugs are used for insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, muscle spasms, and seizures. Examples include pentobarbital, phenobarbital, and amobarbital.
All these drugs can produce feelings of relaxation or euphoria. For some people, this can lead to prescription drug abuse.
The more a person uses the drug, the more likely they are to engage in risky behaviors like combining drugs or crushing pills to snort, smoke, or inject the drug. This dramatically increases the risk of dangerous side effects like shallow breathing and drug overdose.
Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
The signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse are not always obvious. Drug abuse can creep in slowly over time, especially when a person uses prescription opioids for chronic pain. Here are some of the physical, behavioral, and psychosocial signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- Continuing to use the drug, even after the pain it was prescribed for has ceased
- Using more of the medication than prescribed
- Using another person’s prescription medications
- Mood and behavior changes, such as hostility, agitation, irritation
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Experiencing prescription drug withdrawal symptoms, such as joint or muscle aches, night sweats, or insomnia
- Acting extremely hyper or appearing sedated
- Needing more pills for the same effect (tolerance)
- Secretive or deceitful behavior, such as lying, stealing, or “doctor shopping”
- Losing interest in things you once enjoyed
- Losing touch with friends, family, and society
- Not being able to stop using, even when asked to do so
- Money problems related to prescription drug use
- Poor decision making or difficulty concentrating
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction at Del Arroyo
Prescription drug abuse often starts off innocently with prescribed pain medications. But a person can become addicted to prescription drugs quickly, especially if they take potentially habit-forming drugs.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, the team at Del Arroyo is ready to help. We offer mental health care for people with co-occurring disorders.
We’re different from other Southern California rehab centers. Our focus is on long-term recovery and relapse prevention. It’s why we prioritize peer support groups and connect our clients to our robust alumni program.
Our licensed therapists use evidence-based therapeutic approaches during individual counseling and group therapy sessions, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Our goal is to empower you with the tools, skills, and resources you need for ongoing recovery from substance abuse. Participants in our residential rehabilitation programs benefit from daily individual therapy sessions, group therapy, and optional family therapy.
Our low staff-to-patient ratio allows us to give you or your loved one the individualized attention you deserve. If you are looking for residential drug and alcohol treatment in Agoura Hills, you’ve come to the right place.
Our luxury rehab center serves clients throughout Southern California, including those in Los Angeles, CA, Woodland Hills, CA, Malibu, CA, Westlake Village, CA, Thousand Oaks, CA, and Calabasas, CA.