A prototype of a drug addict would probably be someone seen in the corner of the streets. These drug addicts are for all time looking cautiously around, doing anxiety-related behaviors, yet very discrete with these behaviors. These individuals are most of the time being avoided by people passing by. They are also being seen as an outcast in the society they belong. These addicts secretly acquire the drugs from a dealer in a rendezvous.
However, if we come to realize, addicts also come from those who normally participates in the cycle of society. These addicts that we so called could be your own babysitter, the newspaperman, the bagel man, or even taxi driver who drives you everyday to work. Like almost everyone, these people are those who purchase prescribed drugs in pharmacies. Yes. Prescription drugs could be as as any banned drugs. People who buy drugs at the pharmacy could be as addicted to certain drugs as to those who discretely buy illegal drugs from drug dealers in the corners of every street.
Prescription drug serves its function when it is prescribed by the doctor to the patient in order to take care of any health-related problems. Other than that, what we did not perceive coming was that these prescription drugs have the probability to be a reason of dependency and addiction. Last 2007, Americans who abused prescription drugs has reached 7 million. Furthermore, it has been known that prescription drug addiction do not only exist in America but also in other parts of the world.
It is quite safe to say that nobody is safe from addiction because even those who are being prescribed by professionals can get prescription addiction. On the other hand, we should recognize that if taken properly, these drugs need not be addictive. It is when we take more than what is prescribed that we are more likely to be a candidate for prescription drug addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are three types of commonly abused prescription drugs. These are opioids, depressants, and stimulants.
Opioids are given to individuals who suffer chronic pain. But besides alleviating pain, these drugs could also cause feelings of euphoria. Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors found in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.
Depressants are used to treat anxiety problems, acute stress, and sleep disorders. As depressants, they make the brain to function slowly. Long terms and large doses of depressants could lead to tolerance and thus, the body would need larger doses to reach the “relaxing” feeling being brought by the drug. These results to addiction.
Stimulants, on the other hand, do the opposite of depressants. These drugs increase brain activities, increasing energy, awareness, and alertness, and are used to treat attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and narcolepsy. Stimulants cause the heart rate to increase as well as respiration which can be interpreted by the user as euphoria.
One is diagnosed to be addicted to the drug when one needs larger amount of a drug to produce the same effects. Most likely, when their physicians discontinue prescribing the drug, they go “doctor shopping”, asking friends to get drugs for them. Now, that patient becomes an addict. Usually, elder people are the ones vulnerable to prescription drug abuse. They did not will it. Regrettably, they just have a tendency to be prescribed with more medications than the younger ones. The major cause of the increase in the incidence of prescription drug abuse is still unknown. However, it cannot be denied that convenience of the drug could be a contributing factor.
Treating prescription drug would vary depending on the kind of drug the patient is addicted to The needs of the individual should also be taken into account. The two main courses of drug addiction treatment are behavioral and pharmacological. Behavioral treatment supports patient to discontinue drug use and educate them how to function normally even without the drug. Counseling should go hand in hand so as to guide and follow up the patient for any improvement. Medication could also be of great help most especially with opioid addiction.
There is no drug that is free from addiction. To treat this addiction, one needs a good combination of behavioral and pharmacological treatment.