Prescription drug

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:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Increased pain with higher doses
  • Nausea
  • Poor coordination
  • Slowed breathing rate

Anti-anxiety medication and sedative abuse cause:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Equilibrium/balance issues when walking
  • Poor concentration
  • Problems with memory
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech

Stimulant abuse is known to produce:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced appetite
  • High body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Paranoia

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

Medication Inside the Brain

Painkillers in the opioid family cause the following effects on the brain:

  • Opioids link up with opioid receptors, muting messages of pain along neurotransmitters
  • Physical dependence is built as the body adapts and begins to rely on the drug, causing unpleasant withdrawal when it is gone
  • Prescription painkillers also repress areas of the brain in charge of respiration; an overdose can stop a person’s breathing

Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives act on brain function in the following ways:

  • Sleeping pills boost the levels of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter; which lowers transmission of anxious and fearful feelings – most brain communications, in fact
  • A person feels more calm, but everyday alertness, coordination, critical thinking, emotional responses, memory, muscle tone and reflexes are slowed as well

Inside the brain, stimulants:

  • Nudge neurons to release dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters
  • Norepinephrine is a chemical that enhances focus and attention
  • Release dopamine, the “feel good” chemical

Getting Help for Prescriptions Abuse

As the price for prescription drugs soars, addicts often turn to heroin as a cheaper alternative. Due to its unreliable potency, heroin puts opioid addicts at an increased risk of overdose.

It’s imperative to get treatment for prescription drug abuse before it becomes an even worse problem.

Why Choose Sovereign Health?

What sets Sovereign Health apart is our dedication to creating a treatment plan tailored to each young patient who is in need of prescription drug addiction rehab and recovery. Our trauma-informed staff conducts a biopsychosocial assessment that provides our clinicians with a full mental and physical health x-ray of the patient and a blueprint for the individualized treatment plan.

Treatment that fails to address co-occurring conditions leaves a patient – especially a teen –vulnerable to relapse.

We draw from a wide-ranging arsenal of evidence-based and alternative therapies including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Process group therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Substance abuse education groups
  • Brain wellness
  • Art, equine, music and yoga therapies

Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is a clinical forerunner licensed to treat adolescent mental health issues and its manifestations: substance abuse, eating and mental disorder or a dual diagnosis of multiple issues.

We are accredited by the Joint Commission and stand behind our commitment to fusing cutting-edge treatments, alternative therapies and practical tools for wellness to give adolescents the best chance at a lasting recovery.

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