While prescription drugs are legal, that doesn’t mean they're safe. About 100 million people in the US every year are prescribed medications for a wide variety of different health issues. Unfortunately, an astounding 19 million, or about 19% of those that were prescribed prescription drugs will go on to abuse them, and not take them as directed by their doctor. Abuse of prescription drugs often leads to addiction, and this can have a severe negative impact on a person’s life. From outgrowing their prescription drug issue to becoming addicted to illegal drugs, physical and mental health issues, and declined quality of life are a few of the negative effects that come with long-term prescription drug use. Depending on the specific drug, the results of long-term use may vary. In this post from The Last Resort Recovery blog, we’ll discuss some of the effects of long-term prescription drug use.
One of the most common cases of prescription drug abuse is among those who are prescribed opioid painkillers. Drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and many others are derived from opium. Opium is a derivative of the poppy flower and is the main component of the illegal street drug heroin. When people become addicted to opioid painkillers, they often turn to heroin once their doctor catches onto their cycle of abuse. When abused, opioids create a euphoric feeling, making them highly addictive. If a person who’s addicted to opioids cannot get their fix, they’ll turn to just about anything to experience the feeling they’re looking for. Given their highly addictive nature, people experience severe and intense withdrawal symptoms when trying to come off of opioids. Long-term abuse of opioid painkillers includes liver damage and severe worsening of mental health conditions, and overdose which can lead to death. Learn more about the effects of opiate addiction here.
Many people with ADHD and narcolepsy rely on prescription stimulants like Adderall and Concerta to help them focus and stay awake while going about their daily lives. When taken in the correct dosages, these medications can seem like miracles for those with legitimate issues paying attention or staying awake. Unfortunately, many people who use these medications don’t experience actual issues with attention or narcolepsy. When abused, many people say they feel a “rush” (commonly associated with euphoria) from taking prescription stimulants. This feeling makes prescription stimulants very addictive, and this can lead to a host of other issues. Long-term abuse of prescription stimulants can lead to gastrointestinal issues, cardiovascular issues, and overdose. Learn more about the effects of prescription stimulant use here.
If you or a loved one is experiencing issues with prescription drugs like opioids, stimulants, or sleeping pills, our team of abuse treatment specialists is here for you. At The Last Resort Recovery, we’ve helped countless men overcome their issues with prescription drugs through our variety of treatment programs. From equine therapy to fitness programs and more, we have programs that fit the interests of men from all walks of life. To learn more about our prescription drug abuse treatment programs, give us a call or contact us online today.