Prescription Drug Abuse in Newark NJ 973-679-3011

Prescription drug abuse occurs when someone uses prescription drugs for non-medical reasons or in a way other than prescribed. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in communities across the United States, including Newark and greater Essex County, where prescription opiate overdose deaths increased by 88 percent between 2011 and 2012 and continues to rise.

Prescription drug abuse often leads to a physical addiction to the drug in question. Addiction is characterized by the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the drug use is discontinued as well as the inability to stop using drugs even though they're causing problems with the law, finances, personal health, and relationships.

Prescription Drugs Commonly Abused

While prescription drug abuse can occur with any controlled substance, the three most common types of prescription drugs of abuse are opiates, stimulants, and sedatives.

  • Opiate painkillers include OxyContin, Codeine, Vicodin, and Fentanyl. Opiates work by blocking brain receptors that transmit sensations of pain.
  • Stimulants include Adderall, Dexedrine, and Ritalin, which are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders by increasing the amount of the calming neurotransmitter GABA.
  • Sedatives include drugs in the benzodiazepine family, such as Klonopin, Xanax, and Valium, which are used to treat ADD and in some cases, obesity.

Health Risks of Prescription Abuse

Abusing prescription drugs can lead to addiction, which is a chronic disease characterized by changes in the physical structures and chemical functions of the brain. Other health effects of abusing prescription medications include:

  • Organ damage.
  • The onset of a mental illness or the worsening of an existing mental condition.
  • Decreased cognitive function, particularly pertaining to memory and processing.
  • The onset of potentially serious withdrawal symptoms when the drug use is discontinued.
  • Lower immunity.

Treating Prescription Drug Abuse

Getting help for a prescription drug problem before addiction sets in, is essential for protecting long-term health and wellbeing. Treatment for prescription medication abuse should take place through a quality drug rehab program.

If a physical addiction has already occurred, the first step of treatment will be medical detox, during which the drug of abuse will be withheld so that brain function can begin to return to normal. Medications are administered as needed to alleviate or prevent withdrawal symptoms.

  • Drugs administered for opiate medical detox include Methadone to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, buprenorphine to shorten the duration of detox, and Naltrexone to help prevent relapse after detox.
  • Drugs used to treat stimulant addiction are limited, but many physicians prescribe Zyban to reduce cravings and alleviate the deep depression and suicidal thoughts that often accompany stimulant withdrawal.
  • Sedative withdrawal can cause dangerous shifts in heart function, and since there are no medications approved to treat these symptoms, detox will be a tapering off process to prevent the onset of symptoms altogether.

Treating the highly complex psychological aspects of abuse and addiction involves various alternative and traditional treatment therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients learn to evaluate harmful thoughts and behaviors and replace them with healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Therapy takes place in group and individual settings, and in most cases, family therapy is used to help restore function in the home.

The last phase of treatment is the aftercare plan, which is personalized based on the individual's particular challenges and needs. The aftercare plan will include ongoing therapy and participation in a community recovery group like Narcotic Anonymous or Smart Recovery. Other components may include vocational rehab or a stay in a sober living facility to help ease the transition from rehab to back home.

To get the help you need for your prescription drug abuse issues, you need a good rehabilitation facility and treatment program.Call Drug Treatment Centers Newark to find your best center match, at (973) 679-3011

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