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Fact: Prescription drug abuse is on the rise.
According to the most recently available statistics, drug abuse of all types – including prescription drug abuse – reached an eight-year high in 2010. In the National Institute of Drug Abuse survey, nearly three percent of respondents stated they abused prescription drugs in the previous year, up from 2.5% the previous year the survey was given.
Types Of Prescription Drugs That Are Abused
Prescription drug abuse occurs across several different categories of drugs, but Opioids, CNS depressants and stimulants are the most often abused. Opioids, including substances like codeine, oxycodone and methadone, are normally prescribed to treat pain. CNS depressants affect the central nervous system (hence the acronym CNS) and are used for anxiety and sleep disorders. Stimulants are used for ADHD treatments and other hyperactivity disorders.
Even though these drugs are used for a variety of different conditions, prescription drug abuse treatment is basically the same across the board. Addiction to any substance, whether it’s legal or illicit, is treated as a brain disease that is curable with the right approach. Differences in how a patient recovers depends on the drug their addicted to and how long they’ve been abusing that drug.
Treatment For Prescription Drug Abuse
There are two main types of prescription drug abuse treatments that that have proven effective over the years. A successful treatment course may incorporate both types of treatment – behavioral and pharmacological.
Pharmacological treatments use medications to help an addict get over their dependence. They help a patient get over the withdrawal effects of drug detox and overcome drug cravings.
Behavioral treatments handle the psychological and habitual parts of drug use. During this phase of recovery, patients learn lifestyle strategies and behaviors that will help them avoid drug use and deal with the issues that lead to their drug use. Behavioral treatments include individual and group counseling, cognitive and behavioral therapies, strategies for work and relationships and stress management techniques.
Although some people may do well with a behavioral or pharmacological approach on its own, most research shows that they work even better when they are combined together. The pharmacological part of the treatment helps patients remove the physical dependence on the drug and prevent any relapses. The behavioral part can help an addict rebuild their life and build successful strategies for overcoming prescription drug abuse. With this two-pronged approach, prescription drug addicts can end the cycle of abuse, no matter what prescription drug or other substance has a hold on them.