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South Africa's Top Prescription Medication Therapy Centre
Prescription Drug Rehab
For help in dealing with prescription medication addictions, simply dial the number at the top of this page to discuss it or to arrange a confidential session with a professional addiction counsellor.
Media reports about the untimely deaths of celebrities, due to abuse of prescription medication, have brought this matter to the attention of many people. There are now more people who use prescription medicines than ever before in history.
Prescription medicines are not generally implicated when the word drugs is used by the media or in casual conversation. The word is commonly used to denote only illicit drugs, but prescription medicines are, in fact, classified as drugs. They are simply allowed, as controlled substances, because of a justifiable need for medical application.
Because these drugs can be legally obtained and used, there is a moral perception that abusing it is not as bad as using notorious “hard” drugs like, for instance, marijuana and heroine. In a certain sense this may, arguably, be true. Nonetheless, abuse of prescribed medication remains extremely dangerous.
Prescription drugs require legitimate access, but, because it is widely and abundantly distributed, access is difficult to control. People who are addicted, become desperate and use various methods to obtain excessive quantities.
They deceptively solicit legal prescriptions from a number of different doctors and chemists. They enlist helpers who obtain prescriptions under the helpers’ names and then pass it on to them. They even forge prescriptions. There is also a thriving “black market”, operated by illegal syndicates and peddlers, where any quantity can be bought without prescription.
Treating prescription drug addiction is no easy task and, in most cases, requires the use of professional services.
Types of prescription medication
The most often abused classes of prescription drugs are:
Opiates: Codeine and morphine – used to treat pain and coughing.
These medicines are marketed under a wide assortment of brand names which differ from country to country. For more information about specific products, you should do research using the specific product name or the class references mentioned above.
Symptoms of prescription medication
Due to the wide variety of products available, the symptoms and dangers of abuse vary greatly. The following is a summary of the most common effects:
Opiates: Give a sense of euphoria and relaxation. Side effects include drowsiness, craving for the drug, constipation, nausea, anxiety, depression, sweating, runny nose, muscle aches, hot flashes, insomnia, tremors, irregular heartbeat, liver and kidney damage, respiratory depression. An overdose can cause convulsions, cardiac arrest, coma and death.
Central nervous system depressants: Cause reduced anxiety, calmness, difficulty concentrating, slowed heartbeat, slowed breathing, a floating sensation, confusion, sleepiness. Lack of replenishment causes high levels of anxiety, irritability, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, insomnia, muscle aches, restlessness. Withdrawals are physically and mentally severe. An overdose, or when combined with alcohol or other depressants, may cause coma and the heart and lungs may stop functioning.
Stimulants: Improve concentration, memory, ability to finish tasks, reduces hyperactivity. Side effects: Rapid speech, dilated pupils, high blood pressure, sweating, fever, loss of memory, dizziness, depression, psychosis, weight loss, swollen feet, severe tiredness, sleep problems, isolation, slurred speech, trouble breathing, confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, cardiac problems.
Some internet sites offer prescription medicines without the need for a prescription. Some supply counterfeit drugs that contain dubious substances. It is illegal to import the drugs without a license – you can be prosecuted if it is detected. You may not receive the goods after making payment. However, in some cases, the genuine product is available, making it an easy, if risky, way for addicts (even teenagers) to order prescription drugs illegally. While prescription medications may be addictive there are a number of over the counter medications that too can become problemaic to ones health and wellbeing.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Withdrawal from prescription drugs can be very dangerous and there are psychological implications too, so a professionally assisted rehabilitation programme is the best solution to ensure the safety, comfort and long term wellbeing of patients.
Intervention, specialised remedial treatment, contingency management, family counseling and employer advisory (if required) are all factors that impact on patients. These are not part of “just stopping” the abuse – Simple abstention is sometimes possible, but not a feasible long term solution.
In addition to medical treatment, individual psychotherapy or counseling is required for the patient to deal with the emotions which are associated with all types of drug abuse. Counseling is also useful because it helps the patient to understand why they were attracted to a drug in the first place and to enable them to deal with life going forward.
For help in dealing with prescription medication addiction, just dial the number at the top of this page to discuss it or to arrange a confidential interview with a professional addiction counselor.