Overcoming Prescription Drug Abuse

Siobhan Morse, Executive Director of The National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies discusses overcoming prescription drug abuse.

Prescription drug abuse has developed into one of the country’s most severe drug issues.

Americans are abusing controlled prescription drugs at an alarming rate. They are now being abused more than cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, and heroin combined.

Outside of marijuana, prescription painkillers are the most widely abused drugs in the United States. Many who are addicted to prescription drugs have no prior background of substance abuse. The fact is they become addicted after being prescribed for genuine reasons.


Overcoming Prescription Drug Abuse

There are options for overcoming prescription drug abuse.

What is prescription drug addiction?

Prescription drug addiction is characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug cravings along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persists even in the face of devastating consequences.

What are the treatment options?

Medication and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process. Additionally, there are many new evidence-based technologies that are being put to use in drug treatment.

What is a medical detox for substance abuse?

Drug detoxification is used to reduce or relieve withdrawal symptoms while helping the individual adjust to living without drug use.

Drug detoxification is not meant to treat abuse or addiction, but rather as an early step in a long-term treatment.

Detoxification may be achieved drug-free, or may use medications as an aspect of treatment.

Often, drug detoxification and treatment will occur in a community program that lasts several months and takes place in a residential, rather than medical center.

Drug detoxification varies depending on the location of treatment, but most detox centers provide treatment to avoid the symptoms of physical withdrawal to alcohol and other drugs.

Most also incorporate counseling and therapy during detox to help with the consequences of withdrawal.

What is in-patient treatment for drug abuse?

In-patient treatment, or rehab, is the most intensive treatment for all substance abuse, dependence, and addiction. It is also referred to as residential rehab, or residential treatment. With in-patient rehab the patient resides at the treatment facility and is monitored 24 hours of the day while undergoing a program to help him or her learn how to overcome addiction and live their life.

What is outpatient treatment for drug abuse?

Outpatient treatment, or outpatient rehab, is similar to in-patient rehab, specifically for treatment of substance abuse and process behaviors, but the patient does not reside in the treatment center.

Approximately 90% of patients who receive some type of treatment each year attend an outpatient counseling program.

What is relapse prevention and education?

As with other chronic conditions, episodes of relapse may require a return to prior treatment components. A continuation of care that includes a customized treatment regimen addressing all aspects of an individual’s life, including medical, mental health, spiritual, and psychological services and follow up options, for example.

Community or family-based recovery systems can be crucial to a person’s success in achieving and maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.


Overcoming Prescription Drug Abuse

Overcoming Prescription Drug Abuse



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