Prescription Drug Abuse Seen More Often By Addiction Centers in Arizona

10/27/18: Arizona Opioid Epidemic

Prescription Drug Abuse Seen More Often By Addiction Centers in Arizona

Addiction centers in Arizona are treating more people for prescription drug abuse than they have in the past. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) says that the state is working to battle the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that has hit the state. The agency reports that on average, one person dies per day in the state because of an overdose on prescription painkillers. Opioids are the most abused prescription medication, and many people got hooked on the drug because they were prescribed the pain medication to treat pain from an injury or post-surgery.

Looking at the Statistics of Prescription Drug Abuse in Arizona

Drug abuse in Arizona ranks near the top of the listing in a category that reflects negatively on the state. The state’s rate of drug-induced deaths is higher than the national average. From 2007 to 2008, Arizona ranked among the 10 leading states for drug use other than marijuana among young people ages 18 to 25.

Controlling Prescription Drug Abuse

In 2010, more than 1,100 people in Arizona died from drug overdoses and poisoning, which is more than the number of Arizona residents who are killed in motor vehicle crashes every year. Prescription drug abuse is a national health crisis as well as a crisis on the state level. To crack down on prescription drug abuse and the opioid crisis, state-based monitoring programs for prescription drugs have been enacted. Healthcare providers, as well as patients, are being educated about the drugs and the possibility for dependency. More convenient drug disposal methods to get leftover prescription drugs out of homes have been provided by local agencies. Since 1999, there has been a 300% increase in prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, and Vicodin. The higher number of prescriptions has contributed to more abuse of the drug and increased the number of patients seeking help at addiction centers in Arizona.

Illicit Drugs vs. Prescription Drug Abuse

Many people falsely believe that prescription drugs are safer to abuse than illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Many have commented that they believe this because the manufacturing of prescription drugs is regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). But, that is not the case. To the contrary, prescription drugs are more lethal than illicit drugs. Every year, more people in Arizona and more people in the United States die from prescription drug overdose, addiction or abuse than from illicit drugs.

The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is when you take a medicine that was prescribed for you in larger doses than prescribed, more frequently than prescribed, and longer than prescribed. It can also involve taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to you or intended for you. While any kind of prescription drug could be abused, some are abused more often than others. Here are the most commonly abused prescription drugs.
  • Opioids – which are painkillers. Some common opioids are Lortab, Percocet, Tramadol, Vicodin, Oxycodone, thebaine, hydromorphone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Codeine, and OxyContin.
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants – drugs to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. These drugs include Valium, Xanax, Prosom, Halcion, Klonopin, Sonata, Ambien, Lunesta, Nembutal, Luminal, and Mebaral.
  • Stimulants – used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These medications include methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, dexmethylphenidate, and amphetamine.
All these drugs cause a reaction in your body. As your body adjusts to the medication, you will increase your dosage to get the same effect, or the effect will wear off much more quickly.

Treating Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction and abuse affect the user as well as his or her family and friends as well as society. If you have been abusing prescription drugs, it will take more than strength and willpower to break those strings. Your body has developed a physical dependence on the drug. Addiction to opioids makes changes to certain areas of the brain. Prescription drug abuse will alter circuits responsible for reward behavior and mood. Long-term abuse of prescription drugs will affect almost all the systems in your body. When you stop taking drugs cold turkey, you may suffer serious withdrawal symptoms, such as:
  • Agitation
  • Moodiness with severely bad moods
  • Chills
  • Goosebumps
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Body aches
  • Larger than normal pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent yawning
  • Intense craving for the drugs
The withdrawal process for opioids could take anywhere from several hours to several days or even weeks. The length of the withdrawal period is based on the kinds of drugs you were using, the size of the dosage, the frequency of the dosage, and how long you had been taking them.

How Can Drug Abuse Occur?

There are many ways that an individual can get addicted to prescription drugs or start abusing them. As an example, a high school football player might suffer a broken shoulder that requires surgery and the doctor prescribes OxyContin to help ease the pain. The athlete continues to suffer from pain, so he increases his dosage and the frequency. Even after the injury is healed, he is still using the painkillers and because his doctor won’t prescribe anymore, he gets them from friends or family members who have been prescribed the same drug or a similar medication. Another way that prescription drug abuse might occur is if you suffer an injury and don’t seek medical treatment. A friend might offer you some leftover pain pills that they have from a prior dental surgery. When you do this, you are taking medication that was never intended for you, so it is not the right dosage and you don’t know the right frequency. At first, the medication might ease your pain so you will want to continue using it. You will then ask other people for their prescriptions of the same painkiller.

Seeking Help for Prescription Drug Abuse at Addiction Centers in Arizona

If you or a loved one has a problem with prescription drug abuse, help is available at addiction centers in Arizona. To learn more about the programs available, contact Arizona Addiction today to learn how we can help you regain control of your life and leave your abuse of prescription drugs in the past. Content for Arizona Addiction by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment and technology. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact 602-737-1619 or email [email protected] to get the help you need. Our acclaimed recovery environment merges upscale, luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare.

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