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Prescription Drug Rehab

Prescription Drug Rehab

Although prescription drugs are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat a range of conditions with 1.5 million people in the UK receiving a prescription between 2017 and 2018, many of them are powerfully addictive and should be treated with caution. [1]

It can be easy to believe that these medications are safe due to their approval by medical experts, but the very fact that they are only available on prescription should be an indication of the dangers that these drugs can potentially hold.

An addiction to prescription medication can have severe and long-lasting repercussions on a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. It can lead to strained relationships with family and friends and a lack of employment opportunities along with lowered self-esteem and self-worth.

Recognising that you are struggling with prescription drug addiction is the first step towards long-term recovery. The knowledge that you do not have to suffer in silence and that there is help available can bring comfort to many people, and the chances of a successful recovery are drastically increased when you choose to seek help within a rehabilitation centre, either as an inpatient or an outpatient.

Do I need to go to rehab for prescription drug addiction?

You may be surprised to learn that an addiction to prescription medication can develop even if they have been prescribed by a doctor. If you have been taking a particular drug for a long period of time, your body will adjust and learn to function despite the substance being in your system and potentially causing a sedative or hyper-alert effect.

As a result, when you attempt to reduce or completely stop the dosage of this medication you may experience withdrawal symptoms as your body attempts to rebalance.

While the risk of addiction is lowered when taking this medication under the care of a doctor or other medical professional, it can not be completely eliminated. Anyone taking prescription medication for recreational purposes is at higher risk of developing an addiction as the dosage and purity of the substance are not being controlled by an expert.

Common signs that may indicate an addiction to prescription drugs include:

  • I take prescription drugs even when I do not have a medical requirement
  • I find myself needing to increase the amount and frequency of the dosage in order to experience the same effects
  • I purchase prescription drugs illegally when I don’t have a prescription
  • I have visited multiple doctors in order to obtain more than one prescription
  • I have attempted to stop taking prescription drugs but have been unable to do so
  • I have experienced negative consequences relating to my prescription drug use but continue to use them
  • I have been dishonest about the amount of prescription drugs that I’ve taken
  • My family and friends are concerned about my prescription drug use
  • I experience withdrawal symptoms when I attempt to stop taking prescription drugs
  • I can’t imagine my life without prescription drugs

If you find yourself agreeing with some of the above statements, it is recommended that you consider seeking help for prescription drug addiction as an inpatient or outpatient.

Which prescription drug addictions can be treated in rehab?

Prescription drugs come in a range of forms including opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and sedatives. Although the function and type of medication may differ, the approach to treating these addictions is fairly similar across the board.

As a result, there are a large number of prescription drug addictions that can be treated in rehab. As long as the patient recognises that they have a problem and establishes goals and motivations to change, they have a high chance of recovering from their addiction no matter how severe.

Common prescription drug addictions that can be treated in rehab include:

  • Tramadol
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Librium
  • Zolpidem
  • Zopiclone
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall

If you are struggling with an addiction to a prescription drug that is not listed above, give our supportive and non-judgemental team a call to discuss your situation. With our resources and experience, we can find a local rehabilitation centre that specialises in almost any addictive substance or behaviour, so you can get the help that you deserve.

Can I attend prescription drug rehab as an outpatient?

In many cases, it is possible to receive treatment for prescription drug addiction as an outpatient. This is ideal for patients who require a treatment plan that works around their schedule and fits into their daily life.

It is common for people to delay seeking help for addiction due to their inability to take time away from work or family responsibilities. Outpatient care can provide the support they require while still allowing patients to continue with their lives during treatment, potentially making addiction recovery more accessible.

Certain people may not be suited to outpatient care and would instead benefit from an inpatient stay at a rehabilitation centre, and these situations will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Anyone with a severe and long-term addiction who is likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms during detoxification should not attempt to undergo this process at home, and patients who continually relapse after outpatient treatment may also require additional support.

What are the signs and symptoms of prescription drug withdrawal?

The initial stage of prescription drug rehab involves complete detoxification, the process in which the drug is cleansed from the system over a period of time. This is the first step towards treating the physical aspects of the addiction.

It is not recommended to attempt a prescription drug withdrawal without medical supervision as unmanaged detoxification can result in a number of consequences including severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and an increased risk of relapse and overdose.

During this process the patient will be placed on a personalised detoxification plan, slowly lowering the amount and frequency of the dosage over a period of time until they are no longer ingesting the substance. Depending on the severity of the addiction they may still experience withdrawal symptoms, but these should be less intense due to this tapering-off method. [2]

Physical symptoms of prescription drug withdrawal include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Heart palpitations
  • Lack of appetite
  • Insomnia, difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Gastrointestinal issues including diarrhoea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Aching muscles
  • Painful joints
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Flu-like symptoms including a runny nose, fever and chills

Psychological symptoms of prescription drug withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Extreme feelings of paranoia
  • Intense cravings for prescription drugs
  • Feeling irritable and restless
  • Displaying aggressive behaviour
  • Suicidal behaviour including self-harm
  • Extreme confusion

In the case of prescription drug withdrawal, many of the symptoms are the exaggerated opposite of the medication’s intended effect.

While many of these side effects are merely uncomfortable, some are potentially life-threatening. [3] If you have chosen to complete the detoxification process at home, ensure that you have been medically approved and that you are able to be supervised 24/7 by a friend, family member or medical professional.

How much does prescription drug rehab cost?

Many people believe that the cost involved with receiving treatment at a rehabilitation centre will prevent them from seeking help for their addiction. However, this does not have to be the case. There are a number of treatment options available to suit almost any budget, and depending on the severity of the addiction it may be possible to attend rehab as an outpatient which can drastically reduce the price.

The cost of inpatient prescription drug rehab can range from £2,000 to £12,000 depending on the length of your stay and whether you opt for a single or shared room. For those with a less severe addiction it may be possible to complete a home detox and receive treatment as an outpatient. In most cases, these services are priced at around £1500.

Some treatment centres are inherently more expensive than others due to the location, range of facilities available, and specialisations. If you have specific requirements due to your lifestyle, budget or insurance options, call us today to discuss your options so that we can put you in touch with a rehabilitation centre that suits your needs.

How long does prescription drug rehab take?

Depending on the severity of the addiction prescription drug rehab can take between 10 and 28 days to complete, with many patients opting for a two or four-week treatment programme.

While patients are generally free to leave the treatment centre at a time of their choosing, prescription drug rehab has been proven to be more effective when patients complete the entire programme.

Towards the end of treatment, patients will work with their therapist to create a personalised aftercare plan. This will encompass strategies and actions to take in order to work through potential triggers, build a strong support system and cope with uncomfortable emotions in a healthy way.

If a patient leaves treatment early, they may not have access to this information and could be at a higher risk of relapse. Therefore, all residents are encouraged to complete the entirety of the programme and consider attending as an outpatient if they are no longer able to commit to inpatient recovery.

References

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/940255/PHE_PMR_report_Dec2020.pdf

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/how-can-prescription-drug-addiction-be-treated

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310652/

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