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Prescription Drug Addiction in Texas
Drug Treatment Centers Texas

Pharmaceutical companies have developed new medications that are critical to managing a variety of health problems. However, these drugs can also cause addiction, and the individuals who use them face detrimental effects on their careers, their relationships and their health as a result. In some cases, the drugs are diverted and sold on the street, where they are abused for the temporary high they produce. Prescription drug addiction in Texas can be overcome through professional treatment that provides therapy for individuals dependent on these drugs.

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drug abuse involves the use of prescribed medication for purposes other than what they were intended. Individuals involved in prescription drug addiction in Texas may have a condition may be prescribed that drug by a physician, but they use more of the recommended amount or take it more frequently than recommended. They may no longer need the medication to control pain or other symptoms, but still continue to use it for the pleasurable feelings it provides. They may “doctor shop” to get more of the medication. In many cases, these drugs are diverted to other people and are sold on the street for profit. These drugs can lead to addiction, and a variety of health and social problems result from their misuse.

Commonly Abused Drugs

Some prescription medications are more prone to abuse because of the feeling of euphoria or intense relaxation that they provide. Other drugs are abused because of the feeling of energy and mental clarity they create. These drugs generally fall into several different classifications.

Opiates

Opiates are a class of drug usually used to control pain from surgery or from chronic medical conditions. These drugs produce euphoria and sense of intense relaxation. This category includes such drugs as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, Dilaudid and Demerol. The government has classified these drugs as Schedule II drugs with a high degree of risk for abuse and addiction. Individuals under the influence may appear drowsy, uncoordinated, neglectful of personal appearance, confused and withdrawn. Long-term use of these substances can cause lung problems, cardiovascular disease and sexually transmitted diseases or HIV infection from risky behavior. These drugs affect the central nervous system that controls breathing. Overdose can cause death from depressed breathing.

Sedatives

Prescription sedatives cover a number of different types of drugs that help calm patients or help them sleep. This category includes both barbiturates and benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax, Ambien, Klonopin and Ativan. The federal government lists them as Schedule IV medications with some potential for addiction. Individuals under the influence of these drugs appear sedated, with slower breathing, poor coordination and mental impairment.

Stimulants

Stimulant drugs are used to control symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, narcolepsy and other conditions. Drugs in this category include Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine. They are designated Schedule IIN by the government. Individuals abusing these drugs may show unusual hyperactivity, inability to sleep, poor eating habits, dilated pupils and mood swings.

Statistics on Prescription Drug Abuse

Data cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 4.5 percent of Texas residents over the age of 12 used opiate prescription drugs non-medically in the year previous to the 2011-2012 study. During 2013, 7 percent of Texas residents who entered treatment in a publicly funded program involved opioids other than heroin. The number of patients younger than 30 increased in these programs increase from 35 percent in 2005 to 38 percent in 2013.Prescription drug addiction in Texas has become a serious health problem in the state.

 

Why Are Prescription Drugs So Addictive?

Many of the drugs that are prescribed for painful medical conditions and other problems block the pain receptors in the brain or otherwise alter the brain chemistry to relieve symptoms. However, these changes in the brain can also lead to addiction, when the dopamine and norepinephrine that regulate feelings of pleasure and well-being are affected. These neurotransmitters are critical to normal mood regulation. Without them, the individual becomes fixated on acquiring the drug that can provide these feelings of well-being.

Professional Treatment Can Help Overcome Addiction

Breaking the hold of addiction can be difficult for people trying to do it on their own. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and the cravings that occur often drive people back to drug use. Inpatient treatment can provide medical support for patients in detox, so that they can begin therapy able to fully participate in the process. Individual counseling, group counseling and family therapy help patients to understand the reasons behind their substance use and deal with emotional issues. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps them recognize negative thinking patterns and develop new behaviors to achieve positive outcomes. Patients must also learn to recognize their individual “triggers” for substance abuse and how to apply effective actions to prevent relapse. Finally, patients are encouraged to create effective strategies for staying abstinent from drugs after the treatment program. These measures have been successful in helping individual overcome addiction and rebuild productive lives.

Opiate Treatment

Opiate prescription drugs can cause uncomfortable physical symptoms of chills, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and seizure. Medications can be used to reduce the severity of these symptoms, as well as reduce cravings. Individual counseling, group counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy assists these patients in understanding their motivations for drug use and how to develop better coping skills to prevent relapse.

Sedative Treatment

Medically supported detox can help individuals withdrawing from sedative addiction to avoid severe reactions and be better prepared to begin their treatment program. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful for these patients, to help them recognize negative thought patterns and learning better ways to cope with emotions and anxiety.

 

Stimulant Treatment

Treatment for stimulant addiction generally uses tapering the drug to avoid severe withdrawal reactions. Contingency management techniques provide vouchers for rewards for maintaining abstinence, which are checked with urine tests. Cognitive behavioral therapy also helps these patients to recognize their negative thinking patterns and for developing better coping behavior.

If prescription painkillers have taken over your life or the life of loved one, contact an addiction specialist today to learn about the therapies that can help you to overcome your addiction and return to normal, productive life.