When you visit your doctor and receive medication, you assume it’s safe. After all, why would someone who spent years in medical school steer you wrong? Prescription drug abuse statistics show that some of these medications are anything but safe. What happened, who’s at risk, and what do you need to know?
Government Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics Paint a Grim Picture
The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that concerns about certain medications are appropriate. Hydrocodone and oxycodone are active ingredients that have an addictive potential on par with heroin. Furthermore, adderall and other stimulants carry the connotation of being “smart drugs” that can boost performance.
The age groups with the highest risk of dependency development are those between 18 and 25. Even though the drug of choice may change later on, the illness of addiction remains in place. They might abuse drugs to deal with pain or stress, affect weight loss, or get better sleep.
Opioid abuse, in particular, can be life-threatening. Prescription drug abuse statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point to a high mortality rate. Since 1999, deaths due to opioid overdoses quadrupled. On average, 15,000 people die each year because of an overdose involving these painkillers.
Do You Need Treatment?
Did you receive a prescription for a medication with a potential for addiction? Statistics suggest that one in four patients using opioids will experience a problem with dependency. It starts with the body’s need to increase the dose to receive the same results. Before long, you need to keep taking the medication to feel like yourself.
Maybe you liked the way the medication made you feel. You’ll continue to take them even though you no longer experience the pain you once had. If you do nothing, things will get worse. You’ll need to use more of the medications. Moreover, you may mix them with other drugs.
Doing so puts you at risk of overdose. However, don’t become a statistic. There’s help in the form of rehab.
What Happens in Rehab?
Therapists work with you to discover why you use. Substance abuse treatment programs employ a variety of modalities that customize the approach to treatment. Examples include:
- Evidence-based treatments that consist of cognitive behavioral therapy and similar one-on-one interactions with therapists
- Reality-based therapy that enables you to apply coping strategies as you master them
- Family therapy that brings in loved ones to save relationships and build your relapse prevention network
- IOP treatments that help you transition into daily living after therapy
- Alumni program outreach that provides follow-up and keeps you in contact with counselors and peers