The Dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction

Oasis Bradford are able to safely and comfortably facilitate a full medical detox for all manner of prescription drug addictions and over the counter medicines, including opiate based painkillers, benzodiazepines and anxiety medications and sleeping pills.

Prescription drug addiction and addiction to over the counter medicines is fast becoming an epidemic in the UK. It is thought that the number of prescription drug and over the counter medicine addicts could be just as prevalent as illegal drug addicts in today’s society, perhaps even more. The Internet also plays a substantial role in the increase in numbers of prescription drug addicts, as many controlled prescription only drugs can be purchased over the Internet without a prescription. The most commonly prescribed drugs that individuals become addicted to or abuse are:

Painkillers containing opiates or synthetic opiates e.g. Morphine, Co-codamol, Zapain , Tramadol and Dihydrocodeine

Neuropathic painkillers and anti-epilepsy medications e.g. Gabapentin and Pregabalin

Benzodiazepines (used as an anti-anxiety medication and muscle relaxant) e.g. Diazepam, Nitrazepam, Lorazepam, Chlordiazepoxide and Temazepam

Sleeping Tablets e.g. Zopiclone, Zolpidem, Nitrazepam, Temazepam

Stimulants (used for the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD) e.g. Ritalin and Adderall

There are 5 main reasons why individuals become addicted to prescription drugs and over the counter medicines:

  1. They are prescribed medication for a genuine complaint and do not realise they are addicted until they try to stop the medication and suffer withdrawal symptoms. They may decide that it is easier to continue with the prescription rather than suffer the withdrawal effects
  2. They intentionally abuse a medication for the purpose of getting high and for its euphoric effects, or use it to help withdrawal from illicit drugs and may develop an secondary addiction as a result
  3. They like the way that the prescription medication makes them feel, and so increase the amount and start to manipulate doctors or buy off the internet to get more.
  4. They develop a physical dependency from taking the medication for longer than recommended
  5. They get prescription pills off the internet, friends or family or off street dealers, purely for the intention of getting high or to feed a habit

Some prescribed medicines hold a particularly high risk of developing an addiction or physical dependence, these include Opiate based painkillers (such as Codeine ), benzodiazepines, methadone and sleeping tablets should not be used for more than 7 to 10 days. Tolerance to opiates can develop in as little as 3 days of use, which is why all chemist over the counter medicines containing Codeine now carry an addiction warning on the pack. These prescription drugs quickly lead to an individual developing a tolerance and dependency. This means that to discontinue the drug would result in an intense craving for more as the body goes into withdrawal. In order to gain the initial effects of the drug they will need to increase the dosage. As addiction is a progressive illness; the individual who is addicted will go to more and more extreme lengths in order to satisfy their craving for more.

When Your Doctor Is Your Dealer

For many, admitting they are addicted to prescription drugs is difficult. After all, if a qualified doctor prescribes them, it must be ok to take them. As a society, we are conditioned to trust the medical institution with our lives, and we do so for good reason. They have the knowledge and power to cure us of our physical ailments and treat conditions that would otherwise end in great pain, disability and even death. Most prescription drug addicts will attribute their addiction to their Doctor and justify their dependence to the fact they are given repeat prescriptions. This is only a fraction of the truth; if you know in your heart you know longer require the medication for an original medical complaint that has now healed, then why continue to use it?

Are You Addicted to Prescription Medication?

Ask yourself honestly why you feel the need to continue taking a prescription drug; only you will know the truth. If you are still unsure if you have an addiction ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are your motives for taking the drug centred on your fear of withdrawal or wanting to change the way you feel?
  • Do you find yourself lying to your doctor in order to get more, or a repeat prescription?
  • Do you manipulate your doctor or try other doctors to get your prescription?
  • Do you feel fearful and anxious of running out?
  • If your doctor refuses to prescribe further, do your resort to obtaining the drug through other means such as buying off the street or internet?
  • Do you hide the amount you take from family and friends, knowing that they would challenge you if they knew the truth?
  • Do you take more of your medication than the prescribed dose to gain a greater effect?
  • Do you purchase the drug without a legal prescription?
  • Do you often wish you could stop, or attempt to stop, but find you cannot?
  • Do you feel guilty or ashamed around your prescription drug taking?
  • Do you continue to take the drug despite consequences to you mental and physical health?
  • Has taking the drug negatively impacted on your social life, finances, career or relationships?
  • Do you take prescribed drugs that do not belong to you?
  • Do you mix prescribed drugs with illicit drugs or alcohol for greater effect?
  • Do you pad out prescriptions by buying additional medication online or off the streets?

If you answer yes to any one of these questions, it is very possible you have a prescription drug addiction and need professional treatment and medical help to stop. Call us now to find out more about our residential medical detox and rehabilitation programme for prescription drug addiction.

The Statistics on Prescription Drug Abuse and Related Deaths

Prescription drug addiction and abuse causes numerous deaths each year, FACT!

Below is a chart depicting the steady rise in the number of prescription drug related deaths over the years. This image was researched and released by the National Institution on Drug Abuse, and the statistics speak for themselves

Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications should always be taken as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Many individuals do not adhere to these instructions; thinking that they know better, they are unaware of the dangers. Those that abuse prescription medications will take more than the prescribed dose, or mix the medication with other drugs or alcohol to increase the effects. This is known as prescription drug abuse and can also lead onto a dependency to the drug. Prescription drug abuse can lead to long-term health implications and put the user at high risk of overdosing – leading to death.

Public Health England are well aware of the increase of prescription drug abuse and addiction. It has been identified that of those who have died from drug misuse, that opiates were most commonly cited as an implication on their death certificate. Middle aged males have been identified as being most at risk from overdose from opiates, and this includes prescription medications containing opioids and synthetic opioids and over the counter medicines containing codeine. Public health England have called for more stringent protocols to be carried out by doctors prescribing potentially addictive medications; to ensure that they are not being abused by the patient and to document any concerns that they may have and monitor their usage more carefully.

Prescription Drug Dependency

Dependency to prescription drugs occurs when an individual has built a tolerance to the dosage prescribed. If they take any less, they go into withdrawal and need the same amount just to prevent withdrawal symptoms from developing. They no longer gain the medicinal effects or the psychological effects of the drug; the only way of achieving this is to increase the amount they are taking. Their body and brain have adapted to becoming accustomed to have a certain amount of the drug in their system in order to function. The dependency increases as the tolerance to each higher dose develops, making detoxing more and more uncomfortable and difficult. Patients, who become physically dependent on their medication and rely on higher and higher doses in order to gain the same benefits, have developed a physical addiction to the drug. They will either need to wean themselves off of the drug with their doctor’s supervision, or undergo a full medical detox as an inpatient in a detox clinic. Going “cold turkey” can be extremely unpleasant and also very dangerous to the individual, both psychologically and physically. If you want to stop a prescription drug that you have developed a dependency to; it is vital that you seek professional advice and assistance first

Prescription drug dependency carries both short term and long term risks to the user. Short term, withdrawal effects can be life threatening from some medications. In the long term, there is the risk of permanent damage to their physical and mental health.

Causes of Prescription Drug Addiction

There is no one reason why one individual develops an addiction to prescription drugs and another does not. Those who have mental health issues, previous abuse of alcohol or drugs or addiction in their family are at a higher risk. Sometimes an individual becomes dependent but does not abuse the medication. This can happen if they need to take an addictive medication for a longer period of time. Until they try to stop and consequently experience withdrawal symptoms, they may not even have realised that they have developed a dependency. For some there may have been a trauma or event that happened that precipitated them abusing prescribed medication. But whatever the reason, it will only have been a trigger for a deeper-rooted cause. Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease; abuse of drugs can trigger this deadly mental health condition. Sometimes there does not need to be a trigger and the individual will seek ways of escaping themselves and reality as they see it.

For permanent recovery from addiction the individual will:

  1. Need to be completely abstinent from drugs; achieved through weaning off the medication or through a full medical inpatient detox
  2. Undergo a sufficient change in their thinking and perception to avoid returning to drugs
  3. Receive professional treatment for the issues unpinning their addiction and any co-occurring illnesses and addictions present
  4. Learn to live life on life’s terms and deal with their own emotions by using different and healthier coping mechanisms
  5. Build a positive network of supportive and likeminded individuals who have the same goal in common, remaining abstinent

Our Treatment Programme for Prescription Drug Addiction

At Oasis Bradford we offer a full in-house medical detox and rehabilitation programme to those suffering from an addiction to prescribed drugs. Our medical detoxes are overseen by medical practitioners and therapists 24/7, ensuring each patient is kept safe throughout the entire detoxification process.

Prescription drug detoxes can take anything from 1 week up to 6 and beyond, depending on what you are taking, the amount you are taking and how long you have been taking it for. Our fully qualified doctor will conduct a full medical assessment on your arrival to our clinic. You will then be prescribed a detox regime to help you come off of the drugs at a comfortable and safe rate. Whilst you are detoxing you will receive counselling support and full therapy services to treat the root cause of your addiction. We also provide around the clock nursing care for extra reassurance and to attend to any problems that may arise urgently. Those that undergo only a short detox are advised to stay for a full rehab programme. Our primary care programmes run from 4 up to 12 weeks. Whilst with us you will benefit from high levels of support, comfortable and beautifully decorated accommodation with ensuite facilities, full catering and laundry services, an in house spa bath in a private room, relaxing holistic therapies such as massage and auricular acupuncture, regular medical reviews and a personalised therapeutic treatment plan incorporating the best in proven addiction treatments, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Trauma Therapy
  • 12 step Therapy
  • Mindfulness Fitness Programme
  • Holistic Therapies such as Art and Meditation

With our highly skilled and experienced clinical team, we have complete confidence that we can help you or your loved one to become free from prescription drug addiction on a permanent basis.

Please call us direct of chat to us LIVE online now to find out more!

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Call Now 0203 733 5467
Call Now 0203 733 5467

Call Now 0203 733 5467

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  • Oasis Bradford
  • 21A Bolling Road
  • Bradford
  • West Yorkshire
  • BD4 7BG
  • UK

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