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North Carolina Prescription Drug Addiction

North Carolina prescription drug addiction is a growing problem. While prescription drugs might be obtained through a medical prescription, they are manufactured and sold illegally as well. Prescription drugs are ever-changing, and different types of addictions can set in, and that can be hard to overcome.

Whether addiction starts with prescription drugs obtained legally or not, treatment for recovery might be needed. Those seeking treatment for their addiction will be able to find the care and support that they need through an addiction treatment center.

North Carolina Prescription Drug Addiction Statistics

A great way for treatment programs within North Carolina to be better equipped to help prescription drug addicts is by studying trends and statistics. By understanding what drugs individuals are using and becoming addicted to, treatments can be tailor-made to help individuals and specific demographics within the area. By providing the right care and access, those seeking out care for prescription drug addiction will be better served.

North Carolina is the 30th state in the country when it comes to drug overdose mortality. Overdoses are commonly caused by prescription drugs, as these can be hard for individuals to self-medicate and understand dosages if dependency levels have risen over time.

The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) reports that prescription drug abuse is something that is now a public health concern since this is so widespread. Only one in ten individuals battling with a substance abuse disorder receives the care that they need. This shows how many addicts are in need of treatment. If rehabilitation centers can provide outreach to those battling abuse, more addicts will be able to receive care for their addiction and prescription drug abuse.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

While there are various prescription drugs that can have addictive qualities, there are three main types of drugs that are commonly prescribed, obtained illegally, and can lead to addiction. These are opiates, sedatives, and stimulants. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that prescription medications are actually the second most commonly used drug in the country. When prescription drugs are taken illegally, this can lead to overdoses and addiction since this isn’t monitored, and drugs can interact with other substances that a user might be taking at the same time.

Opiates are supposed to be used to help with acute pain management, and should be monitored by a physician. Common opiate types are codeine, Vicodin, and fentanyl. These drugs might be prescribed after surgery or an accident. Opiates might also be prescribed to those working to overcome heroin addiction, but is only a beginning part in the process of overcoming heroin addiction, as opiates are a dangerous substance in their own right.

Sedatives can be prescribed to relieve anxiety, but aren’t usually a drug used for long term stress or longstanding mental health issues. Common sedatives are benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Sometimes individuals will self-medicate with sedatives for longer periods of time than recommended, which can form an addiction over time. 

Stimulants are commonly prescribed for focus and for weight loss, and are supposed to be supervised with regimented dosage over time. Common stimulants are amphetamines and Adderall. This drug can work so well that those taking this prescription might up their dosage, thinking this will lead to even better outcomes. Over time, stimulants can leave an individual anxious, paranoid, and with extreme weight loss and malnutrition.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction

Individuals that have fallen into addiction over time from a prescribed drug might not even realize that they have a problem. Even if an individual begins using their prescription in a way that wasn’t recommended by their doctor, such as crushing up pills to make these fast acting or upping their dosage, they might still view this as self-medicating. If individuals that started out with an acute physical ailment or mental health-related issue, this illness may have been a more chronic issue. These types of ailments usually should be treated with a longer term solution than prescription drugs that are habit forming.

Once an individual is addicted to prescription drugs, their dependency levels will rise over time, and addicts can become detached from reality, withdraw from friends and family, or become lethargic. Users might actually blame these behaviors on their initial illness, when these are really caused by a prescription drug addiction.

Different types of prescription drugs can have different symptoms, especially when users are coming down from a drug or might be in the beginning stages of withdrawal. Opiate users will immediately have flu-like symptoms as the body is coming off of this drug. This feeling will lead users to want to keep opiates in their system to avoid this. Those coming down from sedatives will have trouble sleeping, and can become agitated and frustrated. Stimulants will leave an individual feeling lethargic and depressed when coming off of this drug. All physical reactions from withdrawal symptoms can lead a person to continued drug use rather than working through detox.

North Carolina Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment and Care

If an individual becomes addicted to prescription drugs, either through a medical prescription or from illegal use, intense addiction treatment might be needed to overcome this. Depending on one’s tolerance level and dependency, detox might be needed to help an individual physically overcome the drugs in their system. Once they have gone through detox, treatment can begin for the mental component of addiction. This might involve therapy, restorative care, and support systems to be put in place.

Prescription drug addictions can be unique, especially if an individual was taking a drug to help alleviate symptoms from a physical or mental condition. This might come out in treatment, and this dual diagnosis will need to be treated around the individual. Both an addiction and a secondary illness will need follow up care and attention. If there is another illness such as physical pain or emotional scarring, this can be worked through with restorative care, physical therapy, or non-habit forming medications. This will help an individual stay sober in the long run and avoid relapse.

 

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