Many legally prescribed medications are mood and mind altering and are therefore potentially addictive.
Prescription medications are some of the most commonly abused drugs and many people seek treatment for this issue. The most addictive and commonly abused prescription medications include:
Opiates: Opiates are usually prescribed for pain management and include drugs such as Codeine, Morphine, Oxycontin (Oxycodone) and Tramadol.
Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines include drugs like Valium (Diazepam), Normison (Temazepam), Xanax and Stilnox and are usually prescribed for anxiety and as sleeping pills.
Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers: Seroquel is the most common antipsychotic medication and is used as a psychiatric medication to treat psychosis and/or stabilise moods in conditions such as bipolar disorder.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that prescribed medications are safer than illegal drugs. This may be the case when they are taken only as prescribed by people with no predisposition to addiction. However, when they are abused they can be highly addictive and extremely dangerous, particularly when they are combined with other drugs and alcohol. The main risk is overdose but permanent damage to vital organs is also possible.
Withdrawal from prescription drugs
Prescription drug treatment begins with physical withdrawal. Prescription medications are some of the most difficult substances to withdraw from. Because of their long half-lives and the way that they are stored in the body, withdrawal can last for weeks or months depending on the severity and duration of the addiction. It is a very specific process that requires specialised medical knowledge and clinical expertise.
Doctors and clinical staff in residential treatment rehabs will need to be highly trained and experienced in supporting residents through withdrawal from prescription medication. Making the withdrawal process as comfortable as possible in an ideally peaceful and serene atmosphere.
Withdrawal regimes vary depending on the type of prescription medication the resident is addicted to. The process usually involves a gradual reduction of the medication. Then sometimes another prescription medication is used in the short-term in a tapered dose to control withdrawal symptoms. It is important to openly inform the treatment centre the type and daily amount of prescription medication being taken as well as the amount of time the drug has been taken for doctors and the clinical team to be able to determine the duration of the detox period before the client arrives at. Prescription drug withdrawal needs to be carried out under strict conditions and the withdrawal being closely monitored with dosages adjusted accordingly.
World-class Prescription Drug Treatment
Due to extended withdrawal periods, individuals addicted to prescription medication usually require longer in primary care treatment.
This is because the physical withdrawal phase only treats the physical aspect of addiction; it doesn’t treat the underlying causes or the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects. While someone is physically detoxing they are less able to engage in and absorb the therapeutic activities involved in treatment. We usually recommend a 60 or 90 day stay but this can be discussed with Addiction Specialists.
Residential rehabs like Seasons Bali use a well-established model of substance abuse treatment that has proven successful in restoring the health and wellbeing of addicts and alcoholics for many years. It includes one-on-one counselling, process group work, educational groups and relapse prevention work.