Prescription Drug Abuse in New Britain CT (860) 357-6096

When a person is given a prescription for a medication by a physician, they never anticipate that they will find themselves in a position where they become dependent on that medication or begin abusing their prescription drugs. However, this does happen more often than anyone would think and certain groups and demographics are more prone to developing prescription drug abuse problems than others. Get to know a little more about what prescription drug abuse is, how it affects specific demographics and groups of people in society, and some of the possible treatment options available to those who suffer from prescription drug abuse and addiction.

We can provide support in your search for the treatment facility and rehabilitation program that best suits your needs. Call Drug Treatment Centers New Britain today at 860-357-6096.

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

The definition of prescription drug abuse is relatively straightforward. It is the use of a prescription medication for any reason or in any amount that differs from that which is prescribed by a physician. This means that even taking a higher dosage than what your doctor recommends can be defined as abuse of a prescription medication.

Drug abuse also occurs on a continuous (regular) and prolonged period of time, which far exceeds the original intent of the medication. This is most commonly seen in prescription pain relief medications that fall under the category of opiates (also known as opioids or narcotics). Patients are prescribed medications for an injury they have sustained or even for a chronic pain condition, and the patient becomes reliant or dependent upon the medication for the effects it has on the body and nervous system.

In the case of prescription pain killers, the opioids simultaneously relieve the pain a patient is feeling and cause the person to feel an intense wave of euphoria, well-being, and calm. This euphoric, calming effect is precisely what makes the medication so addictive and the prevalence of abuse so high. Other types of prescription drugs have different effects on the body. Some have an equally euphoric effect (sedatives such as Xanax and Valium) while others give you an intense burst of energy and increased attention and focus (stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin).

What Demographic Groups Are Most Susceptible To Prescription Drug Problems?

While anyone may find themselves in a situation in which they begin abusing prescription drugs and/or become addicted to those medications, there are certain demographic groups in society that are more likely (for one reason or another) to develop such problematic relationships with prescription medications.

Veterans and Prescription Drugs

Military veterans, particularly those who come home after sustaining injuries in the line of duty, have a higher tendency than many other segments of the population to develop a prescription drug abuse problem. In fact, when members of the United States military suffer injuries, they are three times more likely to be prescribed narcotic pain killers than civilians. This may be due to the severity of injuries and the associated pain, or may be a misconception among doctors that soldiers are less inclined to develop drug dependencies.

Whatever the reasoning behind it may be, because U.S. military members and veterans are more often prescribed these prescription pain killers, they are more statistically more likely to develop prescription pain medication abuse problems. Treatment options for such chemical dependencies can include a change in pain medications to non-opioid varieties, and group and individual therapies to help keep these tendencies under control.

Type a Personalities

When it comes to the abuse of prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin, a different demographic has a higher tendency to develop an issue. Adderall and Ritalin are drugs that are often prescribed to control ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and help patients who take them to focus better and maintain proper attention and calm, particularly when sedentary activities such as studying and work are involved.

However, many students in particular who are high achievers and/or academic perfectionists have a tendency to abuse prescription stimulants for use as study aids when they need to sit down for cram sessions or are in intensive academic programs that require constant studying and focus. The effects of such abuse can be increased energy and focus, but when taken to excess, prescription stimulants can cause cardiovascular problems including a rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations. Overuse of stimulants can even cause seizures and strokes. Treatment protocols for stimulant abuse include tapering off the drug dosage to minimize withdrawal symptoms, cognitive therapy and/or behavioral therapy, and support groups.

Prescription drug abuse can be a problem for anyone who is prescribed a type of medication that has addictive properties. However, there are certain groups and demographics that tend to be more susceptible for one reason or another. Whether you or your loved ones fall into any of these categories or not, if you notice yourself or those you love showing signs of a drug dependency problem, seek help and treatment immediately.

We can provide support in your search for the treatment facility and rehabilitation program that best suits your needs. Call Drug Treatment Centers New Britain today at 860-357-6096.

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