The numbers of people who are addicted to prescription pain medication have grown substantially over the past few years. What may surprise many is that these cases do not always involve men in their 20’s and 30’s. In fact, there are many women and elderly individuals who are currently addicted to prescription drugs and seeking help.
Experts state that many elderly drug addicts go unnoticed
because it’s hard to balance seniors’ legitimate medical concerns and the potential for abuse
Many feel that these seniors are simply growing older when in reality, they are growing more and more addicted to the medication that they are using. And the elderly are not the only ones who are suffering.
Today, women are more prone to become prescription drug addicts than virtually any other group.
Between 1999 and 2010, nearly 50,000 women died from painkiller overdoses in the United States
While there is help for people who are addicted to drugs, many feel ashamed and simply want to hide the fact that they are now in need of something that could potentially take their lives.
No one expects to become addicted to their medication. Many simply visit the doctor with the intention of receiving help for an injury or illness, only to later become so addicted to medication that they risk their lives and even the lives of their loved ones simply to get a hold of that medication. There are many narcotic painkillers given out to patients every year and these narcotics are addictive. The problem is that many patients have no idea what they are taking or the risks associated with such medication.
People who have never considered taking drugs in their lives are becoming addicted. Prescription painkillers are prescribed for a number of reasons. They work by causing the brain to think that the body is completely free of pain. Unfortunately, they end up causing drug addiction in many users.
The drugs can create a feeling of euphoria, cause physical dependence and, in some people, lead to addiction. A person who is abusing prescription painkillers might take larger doses to achieve a euphoric effect and reduce withdrawal symptoms
The unfortunate reality is that many people feel that prescription drugs are completely harmless simply because they are given to them by their doctors. Many would never consider the fact that a medication prescribed by a trusted doctor could cause them to become addicted. The reality however, is that addiction does happen and it happens more and more every year due to prescription medication.
Research over the years has shown that addiction is actually a disease and should be treated as such. Treatment includes considering the type of addiction or drug that is used as well as individual needs based on the patient’s history and other factors. In order for treatment to be successful, many different things have to be considered. Detoxification is the term used to describe ridding the body of the drug that has caused the addiction and while it is not a pleasant experience, it is a needed one.
Detoxification on its own however, is not enough. Studies have shown that there are other things that need to be done to treat any type of addiction. Most treatment programs include a period of detoxification as well as counseling and in some severe cases, the use of medications that are designed to help with addiction. In order for a patient to make a complete recovery, multiple treatment courses may be needed, again depending on the individual and his or her addiction.
Those who are addicted to prescription medications should take heart that there is assistance available. There are many drug rehab programs that are designed for prescription drug addiction and work with individuals to help them to completely recover from these addictions. Some lobbyists are even calling for stricter measures to be taken when doctors prescribe medication, to avoid the issue altogether.