Prescription drug addiction has become an epidemic in our society. Due to the ready availability of prescription drugs and the common misconception that they are safe, many patients and their family members slip into prescription drug abuse without realizing the danger.
Although it is prescribed by doctors and provided by pharmacists, prescription medicine can be just as powerful and potentially dangerous as street drugs. When teens begin to use their medication without a medical need, or beyond the amount prescribed by their doctor, it can have serious physical and mental repercussions. Furthermore, when teens offer their medication to friends or steal it from the family medicine cabinet, the effects can be deadly.
Sovereign Health Rancho San Diego provides effective prescription drug rehab for adolescents 12-17 years old.
Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction
Adolescents can be prescribed opioid or amphetamine medications for injury as well as neurological or mental disorders. When used properly, these medications are usually safe. When abused, however, they can cause a number of noticeable side-effects, depending on the type of drug.
For painkillers in the opioid family, symptoms of abuse include:
- Increased pain with higher doses
- Poor coordination
- Slowed breathing rate
Anti-anxiety medication and sedative abuse cause:
- Equilibrium/balance issues when walking
- Poor concentration
- Problems with memory
- Slowed breathing
- Slurred speech
Stimulant abuse is known to produce:
- Reduced appetite
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
Red Flags of Prescription Drug Abuse
There are some red flags that can signal a unhealthy relationship with prescription drugs:
- Appearing to be high: unusually revved up or markedly sedated
- Continually “losing” prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be obtained
- Doctor shopping: getting multiple prescriptions for the same drug from different doctors
- Extreme mood swings or hostility
- Poor decision-making
- Sleep fluctuations
- Stealing, selling or forging prescriptions
Taking higher doses than prescribed