Prescription drug addiction is a widespread problem and is caused by the legal provision of addictive drugs such as opioid painkillers, sleeping pills and antidepressants. This has, and continues to, pose a significant risk to the health and wellbeing of adults across the country and the wider world.
Prescription drugs are legally given by the NHS in the UK. Over twelve million people are estimated to be taking prescription drugs deemed addictive - approximately one in four of our country’s population.
Prescription drugs are split into three main categories.
Opioids such as OxyContin and Codeine are powerful painkillers which are used to treat cancer patients and those with chronic pain conditions.
Stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall are commonly used to treat conditions including ADHD and narcolepsy.
Depressants such as Valium and Xanax are used to alleviate anxiety and depression and are also sometimes prescribed to help individuals who struggle to sleep, such as those suffering from insomnia.
Because the umbrella of prescription drugs is wide, actual use will vary according to the instruction of medical professionals who prescribe the appropriate substances.
The problem of addiction appears when this guidance ceases to be followed. This usually happens in one of two ways, or both; first, the individual may exceed their regular dosage, leading to a stronger reaction which may begin to induce an addictive response. Secondly, their prescription may run out and the drug is not required anymore, leaving them struggling withdrawal symptoms which they alleviate by turning to equivalent illegal drugs.
The exact effect of prescription drugs on the body will vary depending on the prescribed substance. Common to all individuals who fall into addiction through prescription drugs, however, is the deterioration of self-care and overall wellbeing.
In the case of stronger prescription drugs such as opioids, however, excessive drug use may lead to overdosing and health complications due to the use of needles, such as contracting HIV or Hepatitis through the unsafe injection of heroin as a substitute for prescription opioids.
As addiction cements itself in the life of an individual misusing drugs and alcohol, the growing need to consume drugs begins to take increasingly high priority over other obligations in life such as work, social relationships and physical self-care. In this manner, prescription drug use affects the body by leading to a deterioration of physical health and mental wellbeing.
If you or a loved one are struggling with prescription addiction we can help. You can call the Help Me Stop Team free today to discuss our treatment options. Simply phone us on 0208 191 8920 or use our contact form to get in touch.