Prescription drugs are designed to help alleviate pain and discomfort, but some people choose to take the drugs for completely different reasons. It’s a common occurrence, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for recreational purposes. Dabbling in prescription drug abuse can result in addiction, and when that happens, detox is the first step people need to take in order to get well once more.
Differing Treatment Routes
Medications can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, and each medication might be specifically tailored to work on one particular part of the brain or body. As a result, prescription drugs can vary widely, in content, in toxicity levels and even in routes of administration. All of these medications might be slapped with the label “prescription drugs,” but they might be different in almost every conceivable way. Since the drugs are so very different, the treatment routes providers use to deal with addiction are also vastly different.
People who are addicted to sedative medications or anti-anxiety medications might have developed persistent brain changes due to that abuse. As a result, they can’t simply stop taking the medications cold turkey. In some cases, abrupt withdrawal from these medications can cause seizures. Instead of suggesting a rapid detox, experts often suggest that people work closely with their doctors to develop a slow, steady, tapering dosage of the drugs they were once addicted to. The detox might take longer to complete, but it might also be safer for the person to go through.
Opiate medications, on the other hand, might benefit from a quicker approach. This might be of help to people who are addicted to:
In a standard opiate withdrawal program, people are given replacement medications that can mimic the action of the drugs they were once addicted to. While on these medications, they’ll avoid the side effects of withdrawal and feel able to work on developing healthy habits.
As these two examples make clear, detox from prescription medication can vary dramatically, depending on the drugs the person took. There are some aspects of a detox program that don’t differ, however, no matter what drugs the person has been taking. For example, researchers in the journal Canadian Family Physician report that most people in the early stages of recovery have difficulty sleeping, and they want immediate relief for that problem. As the authors put it, the addiction has caused the people to be “crisis oriented,” and they may resist pleas to wait and be patient. Other lifestyle changes, just like this, will need to take place if the person is to heal and develop healthy habits. Much of that work begins in detox, as addicted people learn how to work with their bodies and restore natural processes, instead of drugging their bodies into submission. In addition, all detox programs strive to remind people that detox, in and of itself, isn’t a cure for addiction. When the process is complete, the person will not have active drugs in his/her system, but the addiction remains in place, just waiting to start up again. The person will need to go through a formal rehab program in order to keep those urges in check.
At Axis, we offer a medically supervised detox program for people struggling with prescription drug addiction. We follow that detox program with either inpatient or outpatient addiction rehab programs, with a proven track record of success. To find out more about our programs, please contact us via our toll-free telephone line.