Prescription pharmaceutical medications can greatly help many people suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other physical and mental health conditions. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for some people to become dependent on these drugs and require addiction therapy to heal and recover. It’s estimated that about 52 million people 12 and older in the U.S. have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Addiction to prescription drugs can start slowly, and many people may not notice the shift from using “just a little more” or recreational drug use to drug dependence.
When this happens, treatment for prescription drug addiction may be necessary.
Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction
Even though they are prescribed by doctors, many prescription drugs, especially those used for pain relief or to treat mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, usually contain addictive substances. Because many of these medications are so powerful, people may develop physical and psychological addictions. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are:
- Opioids, like hydrocodone and oxycodone
- Central nervous system depressant medications, like Valium or Xanax
- Stimulants, such as ADHD medication or Adderall
Opioids are an especially dangerous drug for people to overdose on, while benzodiazepines can be deadly to stop using without medical assistance.
What is Prescription Drug Addiction Therapy Like?
For any addiction therapy to be effective, it must address the type of drug the individual is addicted to, the frequency of use, and the length of time they used the drug. Drug treatment plans are individualized for your unique needs. However, addiction treatment programs typically follow four steps:
- Detoxification to eliminate the drug
- Medication to manage symptoms and cravings
- Counseling, both group and individual
- Assessment of the client’s state after the first three steps
Common addiction programs focus on behavioral treatment, helping each client understand the unhealthy thinking patterns and coping mechanisms that may have triggered the desire to use. Sometimes, an underlying mental health issue needs to be addressed in conjunction with addiction therapy. An individual’s destructive behavior is also analyzed and addressed. Clients are given strategies to help manage their emotions and triggers and work with a counselor to create a relapse prevention plan.
Many programs, like those at Hickory Treatment Center, combine group and individual counseling. We also offer family counseling to help you rebuild damaged relationships and form a stronger support network at home.
After Prescription Drug Addiction Therapy
Because many people rely on prescription drugs to manage their health conditions, an important part of this type of addiction therapy is finding alternative methods to manage pain or control the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. This can mean changing to a non-addictive mood stabilizer or pain relief. Each individual is different, so each type of approach and change will be carefully curated for the individual client. Often, the clients will work with their addiction therapist and their specialist physician or psychiatrist to explore other options.
Behavior-based counseling, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), may help some people. These intensive therapies help untangle circular patterns of thinking and identify certain thought patterns and triggers that start the cycle of drug abuse.
Do You Need Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment?
If you’re worried about your abuse of prescription drugs, or that of a loved one, Hickory Treatment Centers can help. We offer several levels of treatment, depending on your needs, in a safe, compassionate, and non-judgemental environment. Contact us today to explore your treatment options and begin your journey to sobriety.