Why Do Most People Get Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

In Canada today, addiction to prescription drugs is increasing at an alarming rate. Yes, people abuse prescription drugs too. Even worse, more often than not, such action leads to a dependence on the drug. According to world statistics, about 10% of people who are given prescription drugs as medication will eventually become addicted to the drug. This number also holds in Canada. The reasons people abuse these drugs are numerous. However, this behaviour puts them at risk of substance addiction and severe health complications.

Many people assume drug abuse only happens with ‘street drugs’ such as heroin and cocaine. However, addiction is, in fact, more common with prescription drugs. Every year, more than 15 million people around the world develop an addiction to these drugs. Some of these drugs include opioid painkillers, anxiety medication, sedatives and stimulants. Unsurprisingly, you are not alone in wondering how people get addicted to these prescription drugs. Thankfully, we have answers for you.

In this article, you will discover the reasons people abuse prescription drugs. Furthermore, we will also help you differentiate between prescription drug use and its abuse. That is not all. We will also shed light on the signs and symptoms that tell you if you or your loved ones have developed an addiction to a prescription drug. But first, let us start from the ground and work our way up. Let’s take a look at what prescription drugs are and why they are so addictive.

What Are Prescription Drugs?

A prescription drug is a pharmaceutical drug that requires you to have a written prescription by a licensed medical practitioner before you can acquire it. This is rather unlike over-the-counter medicine that you can obtain without any prescription. 

Prescription drugs are controlled in this way because they contain active ingredients that people can quickly develop an addiction to. That is, drug abuse and dependence is a greater danger with a prescription drug.

Generally, prescription drugs are more potent than over-the-counter medication. This also means that they can have much more significant side effects if you misuse them. In essence, prescription drug abuse is when you take medication for reasons other than why your doctor prescribed it. Also, if you take more than the recommended dosage, you are abusing the drug.

According to the stats, about 22% of Canadians above 15 years use one or more psychoactive prescription drugs. Some of the drugs that fall under this category and are commonly abused include:

  • Opioid pain relievers – Morphine, Codeine, OxyContin, Vicodin, etc.
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants – Valium, Xanax, etc.
  • Stimulants – Dextrostat, Ritalin, Adderall, etc.

Can Prescription Drugs Be Addictive?

The straightforward answer is ‘Yes,’ and we will tell you why. Prescription drugs are usually strong medications. Furthermore, some prescription drugs are similar to controlled substances in that they can affect how your brain works over time.  Such drugs influence the brain’s neurotransmitters and can affect its reward system. So, if you continue the inappropriate use of such medication, your self-control will decline in the long run. This will lead to further dependence and, of course, an addiction to the prescription drug.

Furthermore, by choosing to use the wrong dosage of prescription drugs, your body may develop a tolerance. In this case, to feel the same effect that you are used to, you will have to up your drug intake. For instance, if you abuse prescription pain medication, as time progresses, you may have to take more to achieve the same level of pain relief. This tolerance can then lead to dependency.

More often than not, drug abuse is how people get addicted to prescription drugs. Let us look at why addiction to prescription drugs is more rampant in recent times.

Why a Lot of People Get Addicted To Prescription Drugs

There are several reasons people abuse prescription drugs. These reasons include the following:

Prescription drugs are encouraged

The sad fact is that many doctors have very tight schedules and do not take the time to review their patient’s history thoroughly. This is especially true of doctors in major cities such as Vancouver and several others. Instead, they will write out a prescription and tell their patients that the drugs are all they need to get better.

Most patients either do not know better or are desperate to get over their pain, depression or whatnot. So, they are eager to listen to their doctor and religiously use them, side effects or not. In most cases, this is the beginning of an addiction to such prescription drugs.

The drugs are very effective

Most addictive prescription drugs are usually potent and effective. For instance, a person recovering from a major surgery feels better shortly after taking opioid painkillers. This, in itself, can become the reason some people develop an addiction to prescription drugs. 

You see, the intensity of the problem is significantly reduced not long after ingesting the medication. Therefore, the medicine becomes the go-to when the issue comes up – whether it’s pain, stress, anxiety or depression.

This effectiveness can cause one to develop a dependence on the medication. As such, in a bid to deal with their condition or prevent a recurrence, people may reach out for the pill bottle more often than necessary. This results in prescription drug abuse and addiction.

Some prescription drugs reduce emotional pain

Emotional pain is not uncommon with patients in Canada, and indeed all around the world. Sometimes, prescription drugs have the effect of being able to block out the pain. This is partly due to the way these drugs affect the brain. So, even if the pill is not intended to block out this pain, it may happen regardless. 

The emotional pain-blocking effect of some prescription drugs is the reason some people develop an addiction to it. In such cases, the users continuously use these medications to deal with their unwanted feelings instead of seeking therapy.

They seek pleasure from the drugs

Several prescription drugs influence the neurotransmitters of the brain resulting in a euphoric state in its users. Other times, it induces an intensely heightened state of relaxation. 

As they do very little to achieve these states (asides from using these drugs), these effects can quickly become addictive. These pleasurable and relaxing effects of prescription drugs are among the more common reasons people develop an addiction to such medication.

They develop a tolerance

It is not uncommon for users of some prescription drugs to build a tolerance for such medication. This is particularly common among people who take such medications regularly over extended periods. 

People who develop a tolerance to specific drugs will find that they must take an increased dosage to achieve the same desired effect. This is a red flag of a growing dependence and addiction. Rather than abuse the drugs by taking more than necessary, such patients must speak with their doctor.

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction

Are you wondering how to figure out if you or your loved one has become addicted to prescription drugs? Here are some signs that can help you.

  • Excessive mood swings or hostility
  • Using higher doses than instructed
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • Poor-decision making
  • Looking high, unusually excited, or sedated
  • Frequently ‘losing’ prescriptions thereby requiring more prescriptions
  • Going to multiple doctors for the same prescription
  • Forging, stealing, buying, or selling prescriptions

Final Take

It is safe to say that most people, if not all, who suffer from prescription drug addiction, did not set out with that goal in mind. However, seemingly trivial things like upping your dosage now and then can quickly contribute to your drug dependence. 

If you find that you exhibit some of the symptoms above, it is not a time to panic. You can get drug abuse and addiction treatment in Vancouver. Here at Addiction Healing Centre, we offer top-notch addiction services to help patients manage and get rid of prescription drug addictions. Send us a message or call 888-5089-802 today!


Top Signs You Need Professional Addiction Treatment Help

Without a doubt, addiction rehab is the best option for anyone that wants to overcome drug addiction. However, sometimes people may find it difficult to determine if they are indeed addicted to a substance. This is a precarious state of mind. Mostly because this class of people will not get the help they need. However, there are ways you can know when it is time addiction treatment. All you have to do is be able to recognize the signs that you need professional addiction treatment.

Over the years, professional treatment for people with addictions has proven to be useful. Despite this, many people struggling with addiction still prefer to try and go it alone. More often than not, this never works out. It is tough, if not impossible, to break free from addiction without help. This is especially true when substance use has gone on for a relatively long time. However, some signs can help you come to terms with the reality that you need professional addiction treatment.

This first step to getting help for your addiction is to acknowledge that you need help. However, that can sometimes be the more difficult part. Often, people living with addiction always ask questions like – ‘Do I need addiction treatment?’ or ‘Do I need rehab to get better?’ There are ways you can arrive at the correct answer, and we will guide you to it. In this article, we will give you some vital tips on how to know when to get addiction treatment. Read further to find out the telltale signs that you need professional addiction treatment.

What is Professional Addiction Treatment?

Before we dive into the various clues that can help you whether you need an addiction expert, let us make a quick detour. First, you must know what professional addiction treatment is all about. This way, you can truly appreciate the help you will be getting.

Professional addiction treatment is what you get when you check into a licensed addiction treatment centre. This treatment does more than provide you with all you need to kick your addictive habits successfully. Furthermore, professional addiction treatment does a lot to treat various underlying issues you may have with your health. This may either be your physical health or your mental health. Lastly, professional rehab also provides you with the tools to ensure your recovery and long-term sustainability.

At a professional treatment centre, you will have a host of addiction experts caring for your needs. Some of these professionals include medical doctors, counsellors, psychologists, therapists, and more. Each of them will work around the clock to help you overcome your addiction and live out the rest of your life sober. So, you see, you must be able to identify the signs that you need professional addiction treatment. This way, you can get the help you need and fast too!

The Top Signs That You Need Professional Addiction Treatment

If you are dealing with substance use, but are wondering, ‘Do I need addiction treatment?’, you certainly should not stop reading now. The next few paragraphs will help you put things in a better perspective. You definitely need professional addiction treatment in Vancouver if you observe the following signs.

Substance use is a top priority for you

This is one of the most definite signs that you need an addiction treatment expert. If your mind is continuously filled with thoughts of your next substance-use or drink throughout the day, you may have an addiction. Addiction is a critical disease of the mind. As it progresses, you start to lose focus on the things which you once held dear. 

This may include family, friends, and even hobbies. Gradually, drug use becomes your primary focus, and you cannot keep your mind off it. If you notice this behaviour, it may be best to reach out to an addiction rehab centre.

You have driven under the influence

This may seem like no big deal, but it is very much so. If you have ever driven a car while intoxicated, then it probably means that you cannot control your actions under the influence. When you drive while drunk or high, you pose a threat to yourself and the occupants of your car. Even worse, you put other road users at risk. If you are unable to manage your actions while under the influence, then it’s time to get help.

You have health problems associated with drug use

Continuous drug use over an extended period will eventually take a toll on your body. This may affect you either physically or mentally. For instance, too much alcohol can damage your liver and brain, while drugs like heroin can cause depression. So, if you are suffering from any medical condition related to substance abuse, that’s a sure-fire sign that you need professional addiction treatment. Do not ignore these signs.

Your friends and family are begging you to stop using

Sometimes, it may be challenging to be accurate to judge your character and shortcomings. Instead, it is the people around you that are often able to give an objective review. Therefore, when people close to you ask you to stop using drugs, they may be right. Their concern about your substance use is enough reason for you to be too. 

Relatedly, if you are wondering how to know if you are an addict, an excellent method is to ask your loved ones. But, you must be ready for the answer. More importantly, you must be ready to take a step in the direction by contacting an addiction treatment expert near you

You’ve experienced withdrawal symptoms

One of the signs that you need professional addiction treatment is the presence of withdrawal symptoms. If you have ever tried to stop using or drinking and get headaches, nausea, and general feelings of unease, it can only mean one thing. Addiction is slowly taking over your body. 

However, you can fight it and win. But, the only way to do this is to seek help from professionals in the field. If you have also tried to quit unsuccessfully in the past, then it’s time to get addiction treatment.

You lie about your substance use

If you have ever felt the need to be dishonest about your issues with drugs or alcohol, then there is an underlying issue. You may justify lying with the ‘it’s none of their business’ line. But it means that you do not have control over your drug use again. For people in this situation wondering when to get addiction treatment, now is a perfect time. Don’t try to build a higher fence around yourself with lies. Your freedom is on the other side of that fence!

Why Should I Choose Professional Addiction Treatment?

Now that you know the signs that point to a for need professional addiction treatment, let us look at why it is your best bet. Here are some of the benefits of addiction rehab centres.

  • It is safe – You will have the watchful presence of medical experts to guide you through it all.
  • You have fewer chances of suffering a relapse.
  • You can address underlying issues such as your mental health or even family problems. 
  • It is the perfect healing environment – conducive and free from negative energy.
  • You get peer support.
  • You enjoy aftercare services to ensure your long-term recovery.

To Sum it Up

You must be able to identify the signs that will help you know when you need professional addiction treatment. However, acknowledging these signs is only your first step towards a healthy living. Your second step will be to secure professional addiction treatment services for yourself. 

Call 8885089802 to speak with an addiction expert today. Also, you can send us a message here info@addictionhealingcentre.ca.Remember, nothing is more important than your health and wellbeing. Stay Safe!