Skip to main content

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription Drug Addiction in Boulder, CO

Doctors prescribe millions of Americans all kinds of medications in pill form every day. However, just because a pill is doctor-prescribed does not mean it’s safe for everyone. Certain prescription drugs are highly addictive and downright dangerous if misused. 

Unfortunately, as the number of prescribed drugs increases, so does the rate of people misusing them. Interestingly, some prescribed drugs, such as OxyContin, Klonopin, and Adderall, can be just as dangerous and problematic in a community as street drugs.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that nearly 20 million Americans aged 12 and over misuse prescription drugs. About 1 percent of Americans aged 12 or older have a prescription drug use disorder. 

Common Prescription Drugs That Are Addictive

Some prescription drugs are more addictive than others. Most of these drugs prescribed are potent opioids prescribed for pain. Opioids flood the brain with dopamine, creating a pleasurable or euphoric high and the urge to retake the drug. 

  • Benzodiazepines (Klonopin, Xanax, Valium)
  • Opioids (Dilaudid, Fentanyl, Morphine, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin)
  • Stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin)

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Drug addiction (or drug use disorder) is a disease that affects a user’s brain and behavior.  The signs of prescription drug abuse are evident. The following criteria come from the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) released by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013:

  • Prescription medication is taken in more significant amounts or over a more extended period than was intended.
  • A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to reduce or control prescription medication use.
  • Much time is spent on activities necessary to obtain a prescription medication, use, or recover from its effects.
  • A strong desire or urge to use prescription medication.
  • Recurrent prescription medication use results in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Continued prescription medication use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of prescription drugs.
  • Recurrent prescription medication use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  • Prescription medication is continued despite knowledge of having persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems likely to have been caused or exacerbated by prescription drugs.
  • Physical or psychological issues likely to have been caused or exacerbated by prescription medication use.
  • High tolerance for prescription medication.
  • Withdrawal symptoms are experienced without using prescription medications

Anyone who meets at least two of these criteria in the past 12 months may suffer from a substance use disorder, putting them at risk for significant health problems or a drug overdose. At this point, it’s time for prescription drug rehab in Boulder before it’s too late. 

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Detox in Boulder, CO

Once one checks into treatment for any prescription drug use disorder, the next step is a medical detoxification program. 

A medical professional determines the detox period; however, it’s usually 2-7 days or until the client is medically and mentally stable. A set detox time is crucial for those abusing benzodiazepines (benzos) for an extended period. 

The reason is that detoxification from benzodiazepines often causes serious medical complications and even death. A prescription drug detox requires close monitoring by medical professionals. 

A person should never try and detox on their own. They will likely return to prescription drug abuse before the withdrawal process ends.

Withdrawal Symptoms from Prescription Drugs

When a  person abruptly stops using prescription drugs, their central nervous system goes into shock. Hence, withdrawal symptoms have begun creating a range of uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms are not for the faint of heart. Prescription drug addiction treatment in Boulder offers a designated medical detox center where severe withdrawal symptoms are managed and made less uncomfortable. 

Prescription drug withdrawal symptoms usually mimic severe flu symptoms, including a low-grade fever. 

Other symptoms of prescription drug withdrawals include:

  • Drug cravings
  • Chills
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Runny nose
  • Digestive issues
  • Dizzyness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Cold sweats
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Fatigue

Post-detox treatment for substance use disorder stemming from prescription medications at Flatirons Recovery in Boulder typically begins with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) day treatment program for at least 4 weeks.

After that, clients often step down into our intensive outpatient program (IOP) for 4-12 weeks while continuing to work for their therapeutic team on a plan that addresses their needs. A solid therapeutic team is essential to recovery after the structured prescription drug treatment ends. 

Get Help For Prescription Drug Abuse Today

Finding help for your (or a loved one’s) addiction to prescription drug addiction in Boulder, Colorado, probably feels overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start.

Relax and rest assured that at Flatirons Recovery, we’ll walk with you every step of the way – from admissions to recovery and beyond. 

All you need to do is make that initial contact. Our dedicated, licensed team of addiction specialists is standing by to help you or your loved one through prescription drug addiction treatment.   

We look forward to speaking with you and helping you on your journey, leading you to a life free of prescription drug addiction. Contact us now.