Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription drug addiction is THE addiction for the new milleneum.
Not just because of Elvis Presley
and Michael Jackson but because this kind of addiction
has gained favor among many classes of people who deny having
a problem since their medication was "prescribed by a doctor."
While prescription addiction may not be new, the numbers are.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), upwards
of 20 million people have used prescription medication for non-medical
uses. Prescription drug
abuse often leads to to full-blown addiction.
Prescription addiction is centered on
three types of drugs: opioids, Central Nervous System
(CNS) depressants and stimulants. Opioids are most often prescribed
to treat many varieties and causes of pain. CNS depressants are
prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders. Stimulants are typical
prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
obesity and narcolepsy sleep disorder.
Prescription addiction to opioids (narcotics) is a serious matter
and radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh found out. His addiction
was to a medication called OxyContin for pain relief. Other brands
of narcotics include: Morpheine, Codeine, Darvon, Vicodin, Dilaudid
Symptoms of withdrawal from narcotics are legendary since they
can present the most dramatic of the withdrawal symptoms. Vomiting,
uncontrollable shaking, sweating, hot and cold flashes and diarrhea
Barbiturates (barb, barbies) and benzodiazepines are the two
most common CNS depressants used in medicine found in prescription
addiction cases. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines slow brain functions
and produce a calming or sleepy effect. For many years its been
known that some addicts will use speed to get them up and then
barbs to take them back down. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines
can display serious symptoms, though not usually life-threatening
while withdrawal from barbs can be life-threatening so it is best
to check with a doctor before starting detox treatment.
Stimulants have the opposite effect of depressants in that stimulants
speed up the brain's activity. Withdrawal symptoms from stimulants
are usually not life-threatening but the effects of using the
stimulants can be. In the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise said his famous
line, "I feel the need, the need for speed." Tom Cruise
(Maverick) wasn't talking about drugs, but some speed addicts
report this same kind of euphoria and need for euphoria associated
with a dependence upon stimulants.
The life-threatening aspects of an addiction to stimulants can
be increased hostility and paranoia leading to accidents, dangerously
high body temperatures, irregular heartbeat, heart failure and
Unfortunately, there are too many street names for drugs
to mention here, but a comprehensive list can be found at
the official Office
of National Drug Policy Control site.
Click here for more information on the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, Prescription Drugs report.