Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction is a multifaceted issue that affects individuals from all walks of life. Unlike illicit substances, prescription drugs are legal medications prescribed by healthcare professionals to manage various medical conditions. However, when used improperly or excessively, these drugs can lead to addiction, dependence, and severe health consequences.

group Therapy session for those suffering from opioid abuse

The Scope of the Problem

The misuse of prescription drugs has become a significant public health concern in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an estimated 18 million people aged 12 and older misused prescription medications at least once in 2020. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for awareness, prevention, and effective treatment strategies.

Types of Prescription Drugs Involved

Prescription drugs commonly associated with addiction include:

  1. Opioids: Prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.
  2. Benzodiazepines: Anxiety medications like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan.
  3. Stimulants: Drugs used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall and Ritalin.

Understanding the signs of prescription drug addiction is crucial for early intervention and successful recovery.

Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction

  1. Increased Tolerance and Dependence
    • Tolerance: Individuals may develop a tolerance to prescription drugs, requiring higher doses to achieve the desired effects.
    • Dependence: Continued use of prescription drugs can lead to physical dependence, where the body adapts to the presence of the drug and experiences withdrawal symptoms when usage is reduced or stopped.
  2. Changes in Behavior and Mood
    • Mood Swings: Fluctuations in mood, ranging from euphoria and increased sociability to irritability and aggression.
    • Secrecy and Deception: Individuals may engage in secretive behavior to hide their drug use, including lying about prescriptions, doctor shopping, or stealing medications.
    • Neglecting Responsibilities: Prioritizing obtaining and using drugs over responsibilities such as work, school, or family obligations.
  3. Physical Symptoms and Health Issues
    • Physical Changes: Observable changes in appearance, including weight loss or gain, changes in hygiene, and dilated or constricted pupils.
    • Health Problems: Long-term use of prescription drugs can lead to various health issues, including respiratory problems, cardiovascular complications, and cognitive impairment.
    • Financial and Legal Troubles: Individuals may face financial difficulties due to spending excessive amounts of money on drugs or encounter legal problems related to drug possession or distribution.

Seeking Help for Prescription Drug Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drug addiction, it’s essential to seek professional help. Treatment for prescription drug addiction typically involves a combination of medical detoxification, behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and ongoing support services.

Medical Detoxification

  • Safe Withdrawal: Medical detoxification involves supervised withdrawal in a safe and controlled environment to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent complications.
  • Medication Support: In some cases, medications may be used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings, facilitating the detox process.

Behavioral Therapy

  • Individual Counseling: One-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed therapist to explore the underlying causes of addiction, develop coping strategies, and set achievable goals for recovery.
  • Group Therapy: Group therapy provides a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, learn from others, and build a sense of community.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

  • Opioid Replacement Therapy: MAT may involve the use of medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone to manage cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications: Benzodiazepines may be gradually tapered off or replaced with alternative medications to manage anxiety symptoms without the risk of addiction.

Supportive Services

  • Aftercare Planning: Developing a comprehensive aftercare plan is essential for maintaining long-term sobriety. This may include ongoing therapy, support group participation, and lifestyle changes to promote health and wellness.
  • Family Involvement: Involving family members in the treatment process can provide additional support and strengthen familial relationships, contributing to a successful recovery journey.

The Path to Recovery

Recovery from prescription drug addiction is a lifelong journey that requires dedication, commitment, and ongoing support. While the road to recovery may have its challenges, it is entirely possible with the right treatment and resources.

  • Holistic Approach: At 12 South Recovery, we take a holistic approach to addiction treatment, addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery. Our comprehensive programs are designed to meet the unique needs of each individual, promoting healing and empowerment.
  • Individualized Care: We understand that every person’s journey to recovery is unique, which is why we offer personalized treatment plans tailored to each client’s specific needs and goals. Our compassionate team of professionals is dedicated to providing individualized care and support every step of the way.

Contact Us Today!

If you or a loved one are struggling with prescription drug addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Call us at 12 South Recovery today at 866-311-4524 to speak with one of our caring admissions counselors. Your call is confidential, and we’re here to support you on your journey to recovery.


We're here to help.

At Twelve South Recovery, we accept most health insurance.

Get you or your loved one help for addiction or mental health issues today.

CALL 24/7 866-839-6876


Bluecross Blueshield Insurance Icon Cigna Insurance Icon HealthNet Insurance Icon HPHC Insurance Logo Beachstreet Insurance Logo Magellan Health Insurance Logo Multiplan Network Insurance Logo Prime Health Services Insurance Logo Tufts Health Plan Insurance Logo Aetna Insurance Logo Amerihealth Insurance Logo Anthem Insurance Logo Beacon Insurance Logo

National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers

Legitscript Certified Treatment Center California Department of Healthcare Services Logo Accredited By The Joint Comission - Gold Seal Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business