Due to their medical advocations, prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and painkillers, are perceived as credible, useful, and safe for consumption.
This is reasonable, commonly prescribed for short-term relief and treatment. Yet, just like many other substances, when abused, misused beyond prescriptions, or illegally consumed, prescription drugs are addictive and harmful.
Across America, such harm has been encountered through the epidemic of prescription drug addiction, focusing on opioid abuse. Significant damage has been found through the epidemic, resulting in grave outcomes of overdose and life-limiting addiction.
Here in the UK, prescription drug abuse is rising, recently found through GP data. Such rise places significant concern on what’s ahead for prescription drug abuse and the risk of a similar crisis.
While the UK Government is reviewing and considering ways to minimise the accessibility, exposure, and abuse of prescription medications, greater awareness is required across our communities and local areas.
The rising harm of prescription drug abuse is an advancing worry, deserving awareness, education, and accepted forms of intervention. Here’s how we can help here at Action Rehab through rehabilitation referrals.
Prescription drug abuse in the UK
Prescription drugs are highly accessible and consumed here in the UK, where 1 in 11 people are prescribed medication with addictive characteristics. Understandably, prescriptions are necessary to manage and treat a range of sleep, pain, and mood disorders. When consumed safely and correctly, they have a significant purpose through upholding and preserving health and wellbeing.
However, with the finding that 7.6% of people have misused a drug illegally, without a personal prescription, concern surrounding a possible crisis, similar to America, is high.
Prescription drug abuse is prevalent due to the accessibility of such drugs, now available through illicit drug trafficking due to their lower prices. The effects of prescription drugs, when misused, are also benchmarked against the likes of cocaine and heroin, displaying similar effects, again increasing their attractiveness. Found to target the central nervous system, the reward is felt through consumption, increasing the need for prescription drug exposure. In addition, as prescription drugs can increase the quality of life by managing many disorders, consumption is seen as a lifeline to continue such effects, increasing exposure, tolerances, dosage, and abuse.
Drugs of a prescription kind are also seen as harmless, down to their medical associations. Yet, the rising harm of prescription drug abuse is enough evidence of the harmful makeup of such medications, when misused, linked to increased mental health problems, overdose risks, and addiction rates.
Being aware of the addictive traits that prescription drugs carry is very important, along with how to safely consume them and spot the signs for potential addiction.
Signs and symptoms of a prescription drug addiction
The rising harm of prescription drug abuse is clearly linked to a lack of education, increased accessibility, and desirable exposure. It is, however, important that greater awareness is placed on recognising the signs of addiction to diminish the risks of a prescription drug crisis.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Illegally consuming prescription drugs
- Abusing prescription guidelines
- Feeling no effect from everyday consumption
- Requesting prescriptions ahead of time
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Associating ongoing consumption with relief
- Encountering the rebound effect of worsened health
- Feeling irritable and anxious as prescriptions dwindle
- Requesting prescriptions through various means
- Physical side effects through excessive consumption
- Psychological changes due to an adaptation within functionality and messaging
- Hiding prescriptions
- Withdrawing from everyday life through the suppressing effects of such drugs
The rising harm of prescription drug abuse – how to decrease it
As the risk of harm continues to rise, decreasing exposure, advancing education, and working towards reducing the reliance on prescription drugs are all next steps.
Prescription drug abuse is found to increase the rebound effect of poor health, is correlated with mental health vulnerabilities, is a catalyst for overdose, and is also a close development towards addiction. All will result in physical and psychological harm, reducing the quality of life, causing problems within the community, and increasing the infrastructure of illicit drug distribution.
Such outcomes have been noted across countries like America, now working through an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. As figures do rise here in the UK, working towards decreasing the necessity of prescriptions is key and increasing the acceptance of professional support and treatment.
Treatment options for addiction
To overcome prescription drug abuse/addiction, professional treatment will need to be accepted and completed. A drug detox process will be recommended, along with psychological addiction treatment services, where appropriately required.
For some, drug abuse will materialise into physical symptoms, cravings, and changes, sufficing with an independent detox process. However, for others, where prescription drugs have tapped into the reward system, the psychological disconnect will be required through cognitive behavioural therapy, stress management and relapse prevention planning.
Best completed through rehab, the cause and symptoms of prescription drug abuse can be worked through a range of effective treatment options. In place to promote withdrawal, restoration, education, prevention, and maintenance, detoxing from and learning to live without the consumption of prescription drugs will be possible.
Available through minor abuse, rehab will be a beneficial process to complete to reduce the harm of uncontrollable consumption.
Contact Action Rehab for support
The rising harm of prescription drug abuse will continue to intensify, up until mass change is present. However, if you’re personally suffering, you can activate such change for yourself by contacting our team here at Action Rehab.
Offering confidential advice and referrals into rehab, we can help you source treatment to diminish prescription drug abuse/addiction.
Prescription drugs are safe when consumed through recommended guidelines, usually on a short-term basis. Yet once such guidelines are abused, significant harm, including addiction risks, are common, requiring intervention.
Being aware of the signs of drug abuse is encouraged, helping to reduce the possible harm of addiction. Accepting professional support through our services will also be recommended to withdraw from and manage life without prescription drug exposure.