Tag Archives: Prescription Drug Abuse

Tag Archives: Prescription Drug Abuse


Signs of prescription drug abuseAddiction 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.

Opioids are an addictive prescription drugAs the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states, there are several drugs that fall into the class of synthetic opioids, such as: heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and others. Some opioids are prescribed for injuries or other health-related concerns but are monitored by a physician. Others, like heroin, are illegal – but still, many find their way into opioid addiction. The opioid epidemic has taken so many lives due to overdose and it’s safe to say that even those not addicted are still impacted. Friends, family members, children and more all experience the pain that opioid addiction brings about. What makes them so addictive?

Opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors on cells that are located in the brain. Harvard University emphasizes that when opioids lock onto a cell, they affect the way we think, feel and control our bodies. The messages that our cells send one another become altered, which is also how our signals of pain often become muted when opioids are taken. We naturally have opioid receptors in our brain and these are involved in monitoring our stress responses, mood, learning, memory and more. As humans, we’ve created opioids that closely resemble the “code” that our natural opioid receptors have, so they work similarly in blocking pain. The problem is that since they’re substances, they do create addictive effects.

Alongside feeling free from pain, many people experience a sense of euphoria. What may start as one simple attempt to treat back pain could become a dependency if a person becomes too attached to the effects that opioids can provide.

According to the New York Times in 2017, over 2 million Americans are estimated to have a problem with opioids. Many of these drugs either started as prescription medication and were not taken as the doctor recommended or were sought out and retrieved from a friend or family member. If you are struggling with opioid addiction, it’s time to seek the help you need – today. Addiction does not define you and recovery is possible.

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.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Young people abusing prescription drugsAccording to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 11.4% of young people ages 12 to 25 are using prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons each year. While we’d much rather like to believe younger people are not battling this, they are – and these types of drugs have been more accessible than ever before. Whether through buying and selling, online transactions, obtaining them from friends/family members or simply coming to abuse them after being treated for an injury, medical condition or something else, it’s safe to say that our young people need support. One of the best ways to provide support, however, is to gain more information – particularly around the motivations surrounding prescription drug abuse. What are their biggest reasons for abusing prescriptions drugs? Let’s find out.

A 2015 study published in the journal Drugs sought to explore these very motivations of prescription drug abuse by conducting interviews with 70 young people. The following were the most commonly reported reasons:

  1. Experimentation – during a time where young people are experiencing much freedom, it was well noted that experimentation was a major motivation factor. Whether to bond with friends, “see what works”, or to use as a normalized part of high school or college, many participants shared similar views regarding experimentation.
  2. “Work Hard…” – for young people who identified themselves as “over-achievers”, some prescriptions drugs, like Adderall, reported misusing drugs as a way to cope with high expectations.
  3. “Play Hard, Relax Hard” – in addition to nightlife contexts, many young people expressed their desire to add more entertainment to “mundane” activities, like watching TV, by misusing prescription drugs.

It’s clear that our population of youth and young adults is struggling. They need more support, more resources and more effort placed in providing them with the tools they need to overcome day-to-day challenges. If we can encourage them to seek help earlier on, we may save more lives.

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.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.


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