Prescription Medications

Prescription Medications are effective in treating various health conditions. However, more than 16 million Americans abuse prescription meds yearly.

Knowing more about prescription meds can be crucial.

What are Prescription Medications?

Prescription medications are medications given by a doctor’s prescription. The opposite of prescription meds is over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Those types of drugs do not need a doctor’s prescription.

What is Prescription Medication Abuse?

Prescription medication abuse is using meds in a way not prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes, these drugs might not even be given by a doctor.

It also includes the method of taking it. For example, snorting instead of injecting it or swallowing.

What are the Most Abused Prescription Medications?

Stimulants

Stimulants increase body alertness and can make a person energetic. They are usually used to treat obesity, depression, ADHD, and asthma.

Side effects of stimulants include higher blood and sugar levels. Examples of stimulants include

People abuse stimulants by taking larger doses. When abused, it can cause uneven heartbeat as well as severe addiction.

Opioids

Opioids are more intense painkillers that are effective in managing long-term pain.

Examples include codeine, morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Opioids can be addictive if used for long periods. An overdose of opioids can be fatal if taken with alcohol.

Always follow the doctor’s prescription when using opioids.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

This medication is used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. CNS depressants work by acting on the gamma-aminobutyric acid in your brain.

Depressants make you feel drowsy or less alert. Examples of CNS depressants include barbiturates. Depressants can also treat seizures.

Abuse of depressants leads to dependence or addiction. An abrupt stop or reduction in dosage can lead to withdrawal symptoms or death.

Why Are Prescription Drugs Abused?

What are The Symptoms of Prescription Medications Abuse?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of prescription meds being abused.

Stimulants

Opioids

CNS Depressants

Who is at Risk of Abusing Prescription Drugs?

What is the Danger of Seniors Abusing Prescription Drugs?

The percentage of seniors abusing prescription meds is growing, and a big chunk of that number abuse opioids.

Seniors with multiple health conditions who abuse these drugs put themselves in grave danger. They can become dependent on it or even die from an overdose.

It’s a more complicated matter if these drugs are taken with alcohol. Seniors need to be aware of the dangers of abusing prescription meds.

Always follow the doctor’s prescription.

What are the Consequences of Abusing Prescription Medications?

How Is Prescription Drug Abuse Diagnosed?

A doctor usually makes the diagnosis. To make a diagnosis, your doctor will ask you questions regarding your medical history.

They also ask you about the symptoms you are experiencing.

Blood or urine tests will also be taken. These tests can reveal the types of drugs in your body or if you have a physical condition.

How Is Prescription Drug Abuse Treated?

Detoxing and Withdrawal

The first step is to stop using these meds. Detoxification is used to remove all traces of the drug from your body.

We recommend that you undergo detoxification under medical supervision. Detoxing usually takes 3-7 days.

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after detoxing is normal. Medications can be used to reduce the intensity of the symptoms.

Medication

The type of medication depends on the drug that was abused.

Stimulants

There are no drugs recommended explicitly for stimulants. The best way to manage withdrawal symptoms is to taper off drug usage.

Your doctor might also treat some symptoms separately, such as insomnia or depression.

Opioids

Many medications can be used. They include

CNS Depressants

Tapering off is the best way to recover from this drug abuse. Your doctor might also prescribe other drugs based on your withdrawal symptoms.

Counseling and Group Support

Support groups and counseling can also be beneficial. They offer encouragement and fight against relapse.

Most rehab facilities offer this feature.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT retrains the user’s habits and inclinations. Patients are encouraged to develop positive traits. They are also able to manage their addiction and dependence better.

CBT reduces the chances of a relapse.

How Can It Be Prevented?

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), abuse of prescription meds can be avoided by following these guidelines

Substances That Should Not be Combined With Prescription Drugs

The general rule is that CNS depressants should never be combined with opioids as they contradict each other. Other substances that should not be combined with CNS depressants include

Apart from CNS depressants, opioids should not be combined with

Stimulants do not work well with the following types of medications

When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?

Contact your doctor immediately if you have abused prescription medications.

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Alyssa Mueller

Therapist

Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.

Charee Marquez

LMFT - Clinical Director

Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.

Stephen Carmel

Founder & CEO

I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.