Dealing with the Substance Use and Abuse of Prescription Drugs

Taking medicine without regard for the instructions given by a qualified prescribing doctor and the specific directions of the dispensing pharmacist is normally considered prescription drug abuse. This form of substance use and abuse can be manifested in a number of ways, such as:

  • substance use and abuseTaking a smaller or larger dose of medicine than the doctor instructed.
  • Using medicine that was intended for someone else.
  • Using prescription drugs for something rather than medical purposes.
  • Taking drugs in a manner that is unusual. An example may be snorting drugs that are supposed to be swallowed.

The substance use and abuse of prescription drugs can lead to a number of serious consequences, including addiction.

Effects of Prescription Substance Use and Abuse

If an individual continues to take prescription medicines without heeding the doctor’s instructions, he or she is likely to develop health related complications. While some drugs may appear relatively harmless in the initial stages of use, prolonged or mismanaged use can ultimately result in serious effects and vital body organs, such as the kidneys, lungs, liver, pancreas and brain, may be compromised.

Using prescription drugs without adhering to correct instructions can also have negative effects on the way a person behaves. The individual may start isolating him or herself from people, or begin to develop behavioral changes and even mental complications, such as hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia and irritability. Without timely treatment, effects can sometimes cause death.

Good Treatment Approaches for Patients Abusing Prescription Drugs

The professionals treating prescription drug abuse must have a thorough understanding of the possible psychiatric, psychological and medical conditions that may lie at the root of the misuse. This requires knowledge of the underlying causes of the addictive disease process.

In order for prescription drug rehab to be truly effective, therefore, a person’s whole history of substance use and abuse, along with any symptoms of pain, anxiety and depression, must be considered on an individual basis.

Information about particular drug abuse symptoms, sources of pain, and problems or challenges in personal or professional relationships should be included, as all such information is helpful in customizing an effective treatment program. A personal assessment might also benefit a prescription drug abuser who has previously been unsuccessful in an outpatient situation and may require a more intensive approach.

The Best Treatment Takes Every Aspect into Account

substance use and abuseSuccessful prescription drug abuse and addiction treatment should take into account more than the causes of the chemical dependency. It should also address the medical challenges that are faced when curtailing the long-term abuse of prescription drugs. If there are other medical symptoms or complications from prescription drug addiction an individual may be referred to consulting health care providers, such as a neurologist, cardiologist, dentist, or gastroenterologist, for example.

Prescription drug abuse and addiction are serious medical conditions that require specialized, supervised treatment. Irresponsibly reducing the use of certain prescriptions can lead to serious medical complications, or even be fatal.


Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Rehab Center Hotline and a clickable link back to this page.