Prescription Drug Addiction

Published by John Gillen | Last updated: 16th January 2023

When most people consider drug addiction, they often make the association with illegal drugs. However, it is estimated that prescription drug addiction is on the increase more than addictions to heroin and cocaine and there is a greater demand for prescription drugs rehab.

Because prescription drugs are available via the NHS, there are fewer obstructions in obtaining these kinds of drugs. Most commonly, the drug that people find themselves addicted to is painkillers.

At Cassiobury Court, we offer a comprehensive detox and rehab programme for those who have developed an addiction to prescription drugs, and we allow you to get your life back on track. If you believe you are suffering from a prescription drugs addiction, why not call us today for some free advice?

If you contact us on 01923 369161 or text HELP to 83222, we can offer a no-obligation consultation over the telephone about your prescription drug use. We can also offer advice if you are concerned about the welfare of a friend or loved one who you suspect may be using prescription drugs to excess.


Types of prescription drugs

Prescription drugs can be split into five different categories. Opiates are substances that are used to aid pain management. Stimulants speed up the central nervous system, giving a sensation of being more alert and focused.

Sedatives slow down brain activity and are therefore used to treat sleep problems or as a tranquiliser. Hypnotics are used for anaesthetic purposes, or to induce sleep and anti-anxiety drugs will inhibit anxiety by either slowing the heart or by causing a tranquilising effect.

Examples of the most common prescription drugs that people develop an addiction to are Percocet, OxyContin/oxycodone, Lortab and Vicodin. Some of these drugs may be issued as a prescription under other names, or you may be prescribed generic versions, but the effects are still the same.

A warning is given when you start to take these medications, and whilst doctors should have a plan in place to take you off these drugs as part of your treatment, the guidelines are not always followed.


Signs of an addiction

Using a prescription drug is of course not a sign of addiction – it could be that you require prescription drugs to manage a condition. However, a number of symptoms indicate that you may require some prescription drugs rehab.

Symptoms of a prescription drugs addiction are anxiety, depression or a worsening state of mental health, confusion, drowsiness or a lack of coordination, reduced appetite, feeling a rush or a high when taking your medication, a faster heart rate, paranoia and personality changes and using illegal means or being dishonest with doctors in order to obtain drugs.


Prescription drug misuse

The majority of people who go on to develop a prescription drug addiction did originally have a legitimate need for the drug. For instance, someone who was suffering from insomnia needed help with their sleeping or someone who was experiencing back pain needed painkillers for a short time.

The issue is that once the effects wear off, doctors may increase the dosage or move you onto stronger drugs as opposed to finding the root cause of your anxiety, pain or any other condition. As the NHS is creaking under the strain of government cuts, other treatment options, such as therapy and physiotherapy simply are not accessible in some local areas.

The situation can be exacerbated if addicts mix the medication in potentially lethal combinations in order to seek out the same high they experienced before. Misuse of medication in this manner is one of the symptoms of prescription drug addiction and can lead to a slew of physical and mental health problems.


Prescription drugs withdrawal

The difficulty with many prescription drugs is that if you try to stop access suddenly by going “cold turkey” then you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Most medications need you to taper off the amount you take towards the end of your treatment but even so, prescription drugs detoxification can lead to withdrawal symptoms – and this causes the effect of people wanting to give up on getting themselves clean.

Examples of withdrawal symptoms include shakes and tremors, insomnia, fatigue, a loss of appetite, mood swings, hallucinations, migraines, cramps and general muscle pain. However, everyone is different and will experience different symptoms to different degrees.

These symptoms will usually occur approximately twelve hours after the drug the user is addicted to was last taken and the severity of the symptoms will depend on the number of drugs you’re taking and whether or not you have been mixing drugs.

Residential treatment, such as is offered by Cassiobury Court, is the best way to overcome a prescription drugs addiction as your progress can be carefully monitored whilst undergoing prescription drugs addiction treatment.


Our prescription drug detox programme

Cassiobury Court is proud of our track record for looking after clients who require prescription drug treatment. Our detox process is medically supervised by experienced staff and will free your body of any prescription drugs that you have built up in your system.

Withdrawal from prescription drugs does carry some risks which is why it needs to take place in a controlled environment and disclosing all medical conditions to us is essential in order for us to ensure your detox takes place safely.


Prescription drugs addiction treatment

When your detox has been completed, your treatment will continue in our residential rehab treatment centre. You won’t be immediately discharged in order to ensure you avoid an immediate relapse and so as we can address the issues that have caused you to suffer from prescription drug addiction in the first place.

You will be able to undergo intensive and varied therapy which has been designed and customised to help you deal with your emotions as an alternative to prescription drug abuse. This should help to avoid a relapse moving forwards.

You will be able to undergo both group and individual therapy and we employ methods like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to encourage you to change your behavioural and thought patterns. Staying with us in our centre allows you to share your experiences with other people who have an addiction to prescription drugs.


A life free of prescription drug addiction

Once your therapies have been completed, your 28-day stay with us will be ready to be finished. It may seem like a big chunk of your life to commit to your recovery but being treated in a residential surrounding will allow us to properly treat your addiction without the distractions that life can cause and you will be entitled to a year of free aftercare.

Please don’t put it off and call Cassiobury Court today and we can help you to live a life free of prescription drug addiction.

John Gillen

John Gillen - Author Last updated: 16th January 2023

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