Prescription Drug Addiction

In recent years the United Kingdom has followed suit with the US when it comes prescription drug addiction amongst its citizens.

Which means there has been a greater demand for prescription drug addiction rehab.

While most people think of illegal drugs when they think of drug addiction, it’s estimated that cases of addiction to prescription medication are becoming more common than addictions to substances such as cocaine and heroin.

Because certain prescription drugs are available on the NHS, there is less in the way of accessing these sorts of drugs. The most common prescription drug people find themselves addicted to is by far painkillers.

Cassiobury Court offer detox and rehab programmes for those who find themselves addicted to prescription drugs, allowing them to get their lives back on track.


Prescription drugs usually fall into the following categories:

  • Opiates – substances used for pain management
  • Sedatives – these drugs slow brain activity so are used as tranquilisers or for sleep problems
  • Hypnotics – used to induce sleep and for anaesthesia
  • Anti-anxiety drugs – inhibit anxiety either by causing a tranquilising effect or by slowing the heart
  • Stimulants – speeds up the central nervous system making you feel more alert and focused


Some of the most common drugs that people may find themselves addicted to include:

  • OxyContin/oxycodone (opiate)
  • Lortab (a mixture of opioids and other narcotics)
  • Vicodin (an opiate)
  • Percocet (a mixture of oxycodone and paracetamol)


Some of these drugs may be prescribed under other names, or generic versions given, but they have the same effects. In many cases, a warning will be given when starting these medications, and while doctors are supposed to have a plan in place to take you off these medications as part of your treatment plan, these guidelines aren’t always followed.


Readily available on the NHS

It’s often the case that people going through prescription drug misuse will start off with a legitimate need for the drug. For example, a bad back may necessitate prescription painkillers for a short amount of time.

The problem is, once the effects wear off, it’s not uncommon for doctors to increase dosages or put you onto stronger drugs, rather than finding ways to tackle the cause of your pain, anxiety or other condition. The NHS is under a lot of pressure, which means other treatment options such as physiotherapy or therapy simply aren’t accessible in some areas.

In some cases, sufferers may mix medications in combinations that can be potentially lethal, just to get the same high they felt before. One of the symptoms of prescription drug addiction can be the misuse of medication in this way, and this can lead to both physical and mental health problems.


Withdrawing from prescription drugs

The problem with many types of prescription drugs is that if you try to stop them cold turkey, you are likely to suffer from side effects. Many medications require you to taper off at the end of treatment, but even then, prescription drug detoxification can lead to a number of withdrawal symptoms. In many cases, the symptoms can cause people to simply give up on getting clean.

The withdrawal symptoms people suffer vary from drug to drug, and usually kick in around twelve hours after the drug was last taken. The severity of symptoms will also depend on your dosage and whether you’ve been mixing drugs. That’s why it’s best to go into residential treatment, where you can be carefully monitored while you are going through prescription drug addiction treatment.


Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shakes
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Migraines
  • Cramp and general muscle pain


Cassiobury Court’s prescription drug detox programme

Cassiobury Court has gained a solid track record for treating clients who are experiencing the above prescription drug withdrawal symptoms. Our prescription drug detoxification programme can be completed at either our London or Blackpool treatment center. The aim of initial detoxification is to free the body of the actual physical drug.

Our medically supervised prescription drug detoxification process and subsequent rehabilitation programme mean painful withdrawal symptoms will be kept at bay and our clients can enjoy the medical support which is essential to overcome their addiction once and for all. Withdrawal from prescription drugs carries certain risks, which it needs to be done in a controlled environment. It’s important to make staff aware of any medical conditions so we can keep you monitored.

Initial detoxification will be followed with a comprehensive rehabilitation process where our expert counsellors and therapists will employ a variety of modern and proven drug and alcohol treatment methods to ensure your journey into a prescription drug-free world is a lasting one.


Prescription drug addiction rehab at Cassiobury Court

Once you have gone through a detox, it’s highly recommended that you stay in residential treatment to avoid a relapse. We want you to be able to tackle the issues that caused your addiction and help you avoid a relapse in the future.

Staying with us for prescription drug addiction treatment means you undergo intensive therapy, designed to help you find other ways to deal with your emotions, instead of using prescription drug abuse to self-medicate. This will help you avoid a relapse in the long term.

You’ll go through traditional therapy as an individual, using methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT to change your thought and behaviour patterns. Staying in our centre means you’ll also work with others that have an addiction to prescription opioids and other drugs in group therapy.

If you’re unsure whether inpatient or outpatient care is right for you, consider whether you need to be kept away from temptations to use prescription drugs. It can be difficult to go through a treatment plan at home because it may be too easy for you to fall back into old patterns, so staying as an inpatient may help you prevent a relapse.


Know whether you’re addicted

Being on a prescription drug isn’t necessarily a sign you have an addiction; it may be that you need to take something for a condition. But there are a number of signs and symptoms that could indicate you need prescription drug addiction rehab:

  • Anxiety, depression or worsening mental health
  • Confusion, drowsiness or lack of coordination
  • Needing to take increasing doses to get the same effect
  • On painkillers, you may be getting an increased sensitivity to pain, so need to keep taking more and more tablets
  • Dizziness, slowed breathing
  • A fast heart rate
  • Feeling a ‘high’ when taking your medication
  • Reduced appetite
  • Using illegal means or lying to doctors to obtain drugs
  • Agitation, paranoia and personality changes

These could all be potential signs that it’s time to look at treatment programs. Once you have detoxed and gone through rehab, you’re less likely to have these symptoms, so can live your life free of prescription drugs. Cassiobury Court offers a free initial consultation so you can decide whether this type of treatment is right for you, with no-obligation.


Completing your prescription drug addiction rehab

After 28 days with us, you should have the tools you need to cope outside of rehab, but obviously we would not expect you to go out into the world without support. Everyone who completes their programme with us gets a year of free aftercare, so they can continue to get support on their recovery. These regular support group sessions can be extremely valuable when you re going through the difficult first year after rehab.

We can also help you access support local to you. Groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, who run a 12-step programme, aren’t just for people who take illegal drugs. They are often helpful to people with an addictive personality who have found themselves abusing prescription medication, and can help you build a local support network to help on your journey.

To learn more about Cassiobury Court’s prescription drug detoxification service and prescription drug addiction rehab, please call the team today on 0800 001 4070 or text HELP to 83222 in complete confidence.

John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years’ experience in providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John is also the co-author of the book, 'The Secret Disease of Addiction' which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.