Addiction can slip right into our hands and, before we’ve even realized what’s happened, we may find ourselves in a harsh cycle that is too hard to simply break. Prescription drug abuse is a major concern in the United States today, and the opioid epidemic has highlighted that. Even in 2014, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published some very devastating numbers: between 26.4 million and 36 million people around the world abuse opioids. There have also been links between non-medical opioid use and heroin, which means that there is a consistent need for education and prevention strategies around the world.
If you’re a loved one of someone whom you believe may be abusing prescription drugs, it’s time to know the signs:
- Have they continued using their medication, even long after they’ve been done needing it?
- Do they seem to be using mildly vague symptoms as a reason to get prescribed more medication?
- Are they suddenly acting different?
- If they don’t use their prescription medication, do you witness them experiencing flu-like (withdrawal) symptoms?
- Do they become defensive when others express concern about their drug use?
These are just a few of the major warning signs, but if your gut is telling you that something may be wrong, it’s worth looking into.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research discovered that even with steps in place to further prevent and monitor prescription drug abuse, individuals may find other tactics to obtain prescription drugs – such as through online sources. Family members and friends are encouraged to follow up with their loved one to ensure they seek help if it’s needed. Thankfully, recovery from prescription drug abuse is possible – but it does take some time and effort.
Treatment for prescription drug abuse may include detoxification, individual and group therapy, medication assistance, nutrition therapy, 12-Step programs and much more. Recovery is about treating not only the addiction, but also the mind, body and spirit. If you’ve been struggling with addiction, don’t wait any longer to seek help. The time is now.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.