Prescription drug addiction

Prescription drug addiction is silently infiltrating households and workplaces globally. Unlike illicit substances, prescription drugs often bear the seal of approval from medical professionals, making their dangers even more insidious.

As the world grapples with the devastating consequences of this hidden crisis, it becomes imperative to shed light on the intricate web of prescription drug addiction and the pervasive hold on it has on people.


Prescription drug addiction - array of pills

Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drugs, when used as intended under medical supervision, can greatly improve a person’s quality of life. However, misuse or prolonged use of certain prescription medications can lead to addiction.

Commonly abused prescription drugs include:

Benzo button

Benzo addiction

Used for short-term management of conditions such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle spasms and alcohol withdrawal, considering their sedative and muscle relaxant properties.

Benzo addiction →

Opioid button

Opioid addiction

Used to manage pain when other treatment options have been ineffective or inappropriate, but close monitoring is essential due to the potential for addiction. Click below to learn more.

Opioid addiction →

Sleeping pills button

Sleeping pills addiction

Helps individuals with insomnia or sleep disturbances to achieve better sleep quality and duration. Click below to learn more.

Sleeping pills addiction →


How do you get addicted to prescription drugs?

Prescription drug addiction can develop thanks to a number of causes, often starting with a genuine medical need.

Here are some examples of how people get addicted to prescription drugs:

  • Medication misuse: Taking the prescribed medication in higher doses, more frequently, or for longer durations than prescribed can increase the risk of addiction. Some individuals may mistakenly believe that exceeding the recommended dosage will provide greater relief or enhance the medication’s effects.
  • Prolonged use: Certain prescription drugs, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, can lead to dependence when used over an extended period. Your body may adapt to the presence of the drug, requiring higher doses to achieve the same desired effect.
  • Self-medication: People turn to prescription drugs as a means of self-medicating for underlying physical or mental health issues. They may seek relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and depression, not realising the potential risks of developing an addiction.
  • Experimentation: Some individuals misuse prescription drugs by sharing prescriptions or illegally obtaining them for experimental purposes due to the euphoric or calming effects they can produce.
  • Vulnerability to addiction: Individuals with a history of substance abuse, addiction, or a family history of addiction may be more susceptible to developing a prescription drug addiction. Genetic factors, environmental influences, and personal vulnerabilities can also increase the risk of addiction.

It is essential to emphasise that not everyone who uses prescription drugs will develop an addiction. However, awareness of the potential risks, responsible use, and proper medical supervision can help mitigate the chances of falling into the trap.

Am I addicted to prescription drugs?

Recognising the signs is crucial for early intervention and support. It is important to note that these signs can vary depending on the type of medication and your circumstances.

Here are some common signs that may indicate a person is struggling with prescription drug addiction:

  • Increased tolerance: Developing a tolerance to the prescribed medication, requiring higher doses to achieve your desired effect, can lead to dangerous use patterns.
  • Changes in behaviour: If you start to experience mood swings, increased irritability or become defensive or easily agitated when questioned about your medication use, it could indicate an underlying struggle with prescription drug addiction.
  • Preoccupation with medication: You are consumed by thoughts of obtaining and using the drug affecting your relationships and daily life.
  • Doctor shopping: Visiting or having thought about visiting multiple doctors, clinics, or emergency rooms in an attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same or similar medications
  • Neglecting responsibilities: You may disregard your personal, professional, and social obligations. You may also withdraw from social activities and neglect your hygiene or appearance. These signs of neglect indicate the impact of prescription drug addiction on your ability to fulfil your responsibilities.
  • Financial and legal issues: Addiction often leads to financial strain as you prioritise acquiring prescription drugs over other necessary expenses. To sustain your habit, you may borrow money, sell personal possessions, or even engage in illegal activities.
  • Physical and health changes: You may notice alterations in your sleep patterns, experiencing insomnia or excessive drowsiness. Fluctuations in weight, dilated or constricted pupils, poor coordination, and unexplained physical ailments can also be signs of your addiction.

If you exhibit more than one of these signs of prescription drug addiction, it’s important to take action and seek professional help. Reach out to our addiction specialists at Oasis Bradford for the first step in your recovery, and remember, seeking help is a brave and necessary step towards overcoming prescription drug addiction.


Prescription drug addition - weight scales


Five Fast Facts about Prescription Drug Addiction

Unlike illicit drugs, the misuse of prescription drugs is more evenly spread across the population.

In 2017-2018, the prescription rate for benzodiazepines, z-drugs, gabapentinoids, opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, and antidepressants in England was significant, with one in four adults being prescribed these medications.

In 2014-2015, a notable 5.4% of adults aged 16 to 59 year misused prescription-only painkillers that were not prescribed to them.

Prescription drug abuse is higher amongst younger people, with 7.2% of 16 to 24- year-olds misusing a prescription-only painkiller in the same time period, compared to 4.9% of 25 to 59-year-olds.

People with long-standing illnesses or disabilities are more likely to misuse prescription drugs with 8.5% compared to 4.8%without.

What is the next step to overcome prescription drugs?

Oasis Bradford is a specialised treatment rehab facility designed to help you recover from prescription drug addiction. In a prescription drug rehab setting, you will receive comprehensive care and support to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of your addiction.

The rehab programme typically involves three main stages combining various approaches to allow you to understand the root causes of your addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms. The goal of prescription drug rehab is to empower you to break free from the cycle of addiction, regain control over your life, and build a foundation for long-term recovery.

The main stages of prescription drug rehab include:

Detox involves slowly reducing the dosage of the drug over time, allowing your body to adjust gradually and minimising the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and a crucial step in beginning your recovery process.

Examples of withdrawal symptoms you may experience are:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting

Oasis Bradford’s caring health professionals can provide appropriate support, manage severe withdrawal symptoms, and ensure your safety throughout the process.


Prescription drug addiction - man with insomnia


Rehab treatments…

Following detox, you will engage in various evidence-based therapies, including didactical behavioural therapy (DBT) and holistic therapy, such as meditation and yoga, allowing you to address the underlying causes of your prescription drug addiction and develop effective coping strategies.

Moreover, at Oasis Bradford, we encourage a sense of community and foster an environment where you and your peers can share similar experiences, gain encouragement, and form connections with others on the same path as you.

A rehab programme teaches relapse prevention skills, education on prescription drug abuse, and ongoing support to help them sustain long-term recovery beyond rehab.


Aftercare is vital to your recovery journey, facilitating a smooth transition back into everyday life. At Oasis Bradford, our aftercare programme encompasses various components, including access to our vibrant alumni community, staggered check-up calls, and valuable resources to help you stay on track.

By engaging in aftercare, you gain a supportive and understanding environment to connect with others, share experiences, and nurture the relationships formed during rehab. Our alumni community fosters a sense of belonging and encourages sustained recovery and personal growth.

To ensure your continued success, we offer complimentary aftercare for one year after completing your treatment. We firmly believe in the significance of continuous support and guidance during the critical transition period after rehab. At Oasis Bradford, we are committed to providing the necessary tools and assistance to thrive in your journey of lasting recovery.

Contacting Oasis Bradford

If you or a loved one is grappling with prescription drug addiction, we urge you to reach out and contact us today. At Oasis Bradford, we understand the challenges and complexities of addiction and are here to provide the support and assistance you need. Together, we can navigate the path to a healthier, drug-free life.

Frequently asked questions

What Is the most addictive prescription drug?
The addictive potential of certain prescription drugs, such as opioids (painkillers) and benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications), is widely recognised. It is worth noting that prescription drug addiction is also influenced by a range of factors, including individual health, genetics, and environmental circumstances.