While most people reach for over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and discomfort caused by minor ailments, there are those for whom this type of medication provides absolutely no relief whatsoever. These are individuals struggling with severe or chronic pain or those who have conditions such as sleep disorders or anxiety disorders that require strong sedative drugs. In such cases, prescription medication is usually administered or prescribed by doctors.
However, prescription medication is intended for short-term use only as there is often potential for abuse and an elevated risk that addiction will follow. The problem is that most of those who take prescription medication are completely unaware that these drugs have the potential to cause harm and could become addictive. They are under the impression that any and all medication prescribed by a medical professional is completely safe and carries no risk.
The reality though is that prescription medication is regularly abused and often without the abuser being aware. That might sound strange, but most individuals do not know what constitutes an abuse of the medication. In this blog post, we want to discuss what abuse is and try to answer the question of who does prescription drug abuse affect?
What is Prescription Drug Abuse?
If you have been prescribed a medication by your doctor for a genuine medical condition, you might have been under the impression that it was a completely safe drug to take. The idea of it being capable of causing harm or being addictive was probably not something you ever considered.
When you first began taking your medication, it likely provided the relief you desired and made you feel much better. But you may have noticed that in recent times the relief you were getting from the medication has diminished somewhat. This often happens with prescription medication because the brain can adapt to it quite quickly, which is the reason these types of drugs are usually prescribed for short-term use only.
If you increased the amount of prescription medication you were taking to help achieve the desired relief, then this is classed as prescription drug abuse. Taking more of a medication than advised to without first discussing it with your doctor is classed as abuse, although most people are unaware of this.
It is also abused if you take your medication more often than advised to. Whether you are taking higher doses or taking the medication more frequently, it is still classed as prescription drug abuse.
Another form of prescription drug abuse that most individuals are not aware of is taking medication that was prescribed for another person. It is not uncommon for people to provide their leftover pain medication to a friend or family member who is also suffering from pain. This is in fact highly dangerous and can lead to all sorts of disastrous consequences.
Nevertheless, as most people do not even consider medication to be dangerous, they never consider the possibility that it could lead to a deadly interaction if the other person has an underlying medical condition or is taking other medication.
Who is Affected by Prescription Drug Abuse?
The question of who does prescription drug abuse effect is an easy one to answer – anyone! It is simple to assume that those already suffering a substance addiction to illegal drugs or alcohol might be tempted to abuse prescription medication, but most fail to realise that anyone who takes such medication can be guilty of abusing it.
As with all addictions, a prescription drug addiction does not discriminate; it is not reserved for those already struggling with addiction or those from a specific background. The truth is that anyone using prescription medication can abuse it and develop an addiction – whether they know it or not.
What must be mentioned though is that even when prescription medication is taken exactly as described, a tolerance to it can build and hence the risk of addiction can increase. It is possible to become addicted to prescription medication without abusing it, particularly if you take it for long periods.
The Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse
The most significant danger of prescription drug abuse is the risk of it becoming habit-forming and, as described above, an addiction developing. If you are in this situation, you will likely find that your life changes dramatically. As you become more and more dependent on your medication, you will have less and less time for other important things in your life including work, responsibilities at home, and the people you love.
You may start to become preoccupied with your medication to the point where you are constantly thinking about it and when the next dose is due. You might start taking the medication more often and then become agitated when the effects wear off or at the idea of not being able to take it. You might feel panicky at the thoughts of your medication running out and may take desperate steps to ensure this does not happen. This could include visiting more than one doctor to get a double prescription or sourcing the medication online.
Prescription drug abuse can have a profound effect on your mental and physical health also. The longer you abuse the medication, the more likely it is that you will suffer a plethora of health problems.
As prescription drugs can affect various areas of the brain, you may be unable to make good decisions as a result of the chemicals you are taking. You may not notice the changes in your behaviour, but your loved ones certainly will. They will not understand why you continue to take the medication that is causing you to act so differently. They will believe that if something is causing harm, it should be stopped, but they will not realise that you are at the point where you are incapable of stopping.
Perhaps you have already tried to quit or cut back on the medication but were unable to do so? This is usually the point at which most people realise they have a problem.
Do You Need Help for a Prescription Drug Addiction?
If you have been pondering the question of whom does prescription drug abuse affect, because you now believe you might have an issue, it is worth talking to a professional to find out for sure. If you do need help, it is better to reach out sooner rather than later.
Addiction is an illness of the brain that will get worse instead of better. It requires treatment because it will not resolve itself alone. If you are taking more of your medication than you used to, it might be the case that you need professional assistance to get yourself sorted. You may also need treatment if you are taking your medication to change the way you feel or because you believe you cannot function without it.
Furthermore, if you have tried to quit and cut back on your medication without success, you are probably now physically dependent and require professional help to regain control of your life. In all the above scenarios, please know that we can help you.
UKAT has treatment centres around the UK where we help people just like you to overcome a range of addictions, including prescription drug addiction. We understand what it is like to feel as though you have lost control and that you have nowhere to turn. We want you to know that you do have options and that you can reach out without fear of recrimination or judgement.
Our phone lines are staffed by friendly advisors fully trained in spotting the signs of addiction. Many of them know first-hand the position you now find yourself in, having been there themselves at some point in the past. They are living proof that addiction treatment works and that it is possible to turn your life around and move on.
Please call us today to find out more about how we can help you get your life back on the right path. You can call us on our confidential helpline twenty-four hours a day, and you are under no obligation to do anything else but talk. If you are ready to take the next steps on the recovery journey, we will be with you every step of the way.
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08 Jul 2020
My treatment at Liberty House has given me the opportunity to make drastic changes in my life and make a new start. For that I will be eternally grateful.
08 Jul 2020
Friendly and knowledgeable staff who will help you through the early stages of recovery. A very nice atmosphere around the place which is helped by both staff and the house itself and garden. All in all it is a brilliant place in which to gain a good foundation on which to build a recovery from addiction.
07 Jul 2020
Very good and friendly service. All needs met, dispite covid its been ok.
06 Jul 2020
I’m hugely fortunate and very grateful to have landed in Liberty House Rehab Clinic. The staff, bar none have been incredibly supportive and honest with me throughout. Tough love at times, but always delivered in a productive way. I’ve learned so much about addiction and myself thanks to them. This is a deeply empathetic and spiritual unit, to which i owe my life. Thank you Rosie and team xx
06 Jul 2020
This service from Liberty house was a very good idea, I would tell other people who suffer from the any issues with alcohol/Drugs to come to liberty house for the best treatment as they make it possible and are always there for you.
06 Jul 2020
I came to get well, and I leave 28 days sober, with a new mind set of my life with my illness.. thank to all at SL, food, hose keepers, support team and therapist all had a part on my recovery.
05 Jul 2020
I felt low when I arrived but started to feel positive within a short space of time. I’m ready to get to runcorn and get going.
04 Jul 2020
This detox has gone better than any of my others, I have enjoyed my time here and I would definitely recommend this to someone else. The isolation has been difficult not being able to exercise but I just got on with it. Staff have been good and supportive .
04 Jul 2020
This was my first detox, I found it to be comfortable, I did not struggle. I got a wake up call yesterday when I saw somebody who was really I’ll, I now understand the effects that alcohol can do to you.
04 Jul 2020
When I came to Recovery Lighthouse I was in a bad way (to put it politely). I am actually sad to be leaving here tomorrow as it has been such a positive experience for me. The house is very homely and comfortable, the food is amazing but more importantly I have learned so much during my time here. I feel that I have sufficient enough knowledge and tools to help maintain my sobriety when I go onto secondary treatment, knowing that also it is only me who can make it work for myself, and for my family! the staff here are very supportive & friendly…. Love to you all and a massive thank you! Except for Daisy who kicked my sorry butt at Cluedo one night! I’ll forgive but I shall not forget 😀 … Jokes aside ALL of the staff are wonderful! I hope to see each of you in the future with some added sobriety time under my belt… They have just informed me that Chris always gets mentioned on these so here is to you guys lol…. Mehdi, DAISY!!!!, Paula, Marcia, Mark, Debbie, Cameron, Dave, Lewes, Brooke, Linzi, Lee and Nicky – All of you are amazing! Thank you so much for everything during my stay here and best wishes for the future! …
03 Jul 2020
I’d like other alcoholics and users to be aware of the benefits and high level of counsellor and staff’s all round care.
03 Jul 2020
The care and support I have received has been excellent. I have started a journey of recovery from my addiction which I can continue when I return home.
03 Jul 2020
Thank you to the recovery lighthouse for the past 28 days. All the staff are really lovely but they will really push you to open up and get the most out of you and tackle your addiction. It is obvious they genuinely care about your well being and making sure you understand the importance of sobriety as a recovering addict. It can be tough at times but if you put the work in it is worth it and you will leave feeling you have the tools to implement them in real life! Food is really good too, thanks Chris! Highly recommend.
02 Jul 2020
Beautiful and helpful staff, anything you need is given if possible. Good food and a genuinely warm welcome.
02 Jul 2020
I am very pleased at myself for having the heart to come to terms with my addiction and take the step to change my life by going into rehab it was the best move i did in starting new life, the program help not just with detoxing but it help by getting to route of the problem the staff are extremely sportive and highly experienced and professional. not forgetting the food also amazing i will always be grateful to the team of liberty house thank you for letting express myself and being there to listen
02 Jul 2020
I couldn’t of ended up in a better place the staff are awesome, they are more than attentive and will bend over backwards to make sure the care you receive is provided to the best of there ability. The food was great, which is always a plus especially when kicking a habit. It has been the best decision of my life coming here i cant thank them enough for all the help and support. Id highly recommend Liberty House to anyone trying to tern there lives around . Many thanks
02 Jul 2020
i entered here a very broken and scared individual. the staff bend over backwards for you here nothing is to much trouble. the chef also caters to your personal needs. i leave here with a great understanding of what i suffer with and direction of the right paths to take. im still fearful but lernt there is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of fear. cos rosie sharron dave pablo tony hsve given me a gift i will never be able to show my true gratitude for. thanks to qall at liberty house
01 Jul 2020
I have been very happy with my treatment, I didnt want to go home. However I feel ready to go home. I have learned to manage my stress levels. Fantastic team.
01 Jul 2020
I really enjoyed my time at Banbury Lodge the staff here work so hard and never fail to make sure we are looked after. I have gained my life back thanks to the support from all the staff. Big thank you to Lianne for ,aking the days here brighter.
01 Jul 2020
I am overall extremely pleased with the treatment I’ve had here at Recovery Lighthouse. The staff have been absolutely wonderful, so kind and easy to approach. All the workshops I found engaging and enjoyed thoroughly. I am thankful for all the help I’ve been given and I feel confident I can succeed in my recovery journey.
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