Why is Prescription Drug Abuse Common in the United States?

by | May 16, 2022

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

The United States has an overwhelming drug problem, in part, by the overprescribing of potentially addictive medications. 

Battle this problem at Impact IOP. Our intensive addiction treatment programs are designed for individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse, illegal drug abuse, and alcoholism. These substances don’t rule your life, and we are ready to help you learn this fact.

At Impact IOP, let us help you make an impact on your recovery journey with our Louisville addiction treatment programs.

Why is Prescription Drug Abuse Common?

Prescription drug abuse is expected because of how frequently they are prescribed. Prescription drug abuse hit an all-time high in 2012, alarming and shocking individuals tracking prescriptions. According to research, 255 million prescriptions for opioids alone were prescribed at a rate of 81.3 per 100 people. This increases the risk of abuse because of its availability and use. 

Due to the boom of prescription drug abuse in communities across the United States, strict prescription monitoring has been implemented to ensure that potentially addictive prescriptions are closely watched. Individuals are counseled on safe use and given first-level interventions if doctors notice signs of abuse.

Which Prescription Drugs Are Commonly Abused?

Three classes of drugs are commonly abused: opioids and opiates, stimulants, and central nervous system depressants. These three types of drugs cover the gambit of most addictive drugs and are, without a doubt, potentially deadly.

Individuals who abuse opioids are abusing prescription painkillers. Prescription pain pills can be prescribed in many instances. For example, an individual with back pain, a person with cancer, and a person who broke an ankle may all receive the same type of medication as it acts to block the opioid pain receptors and relieves pain. However, as mentioned above, prescription opioids are one of the top abused drugs, and when individuals are unable to access that medication anymore, whether because the prescription ran out or the doctor won’t refill it anymore, individuals often turn to street drugs like heroin, which has the same opioid pain receptors that prescription pain pills do.

Another commonly abused prescription medication is stimulants, specifically those used for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Individuals who abuse stimulants are at a high risk of developing heart problems, nutrition and weight problems, and overuse paranoia and hallucinations. In addition, stimulants are dangerous for individuals who are not prescribed them by a doctor, and those who abuse their prescription increase their own risks.

Lastly, central nervous system depressants are commonly abused. These drugs are used to control personality and anxiety disorders that individuals struggle with. Individuals can overdose on CNS depressants, but often, it is due to the combination of another substance, alcohol, opioids, or stimulants that interact with the depressant.

What are the Signs of Prescription Drug Misuse?

Prescription drug misuse can be noticed early on by a medical professional who is closely monitoring his patients who have been prescribed potentially addictive drugs. Additionally, family members who are aware of the signs of prescription drug abuse can watch out for red flags.

The main ways to abuse prescription drugs include:

  • Taking too much.
  • Taking it with other drugs.
  • Taking it in a way that it should not be.
  • Taking the drug illegally.

Taking too much of a prescription drug is one of the most apparent signs an individual may be abusing their prescription. As a result, their medication will run out too soon, they will need to refill more often than recommended, or they may even use other drugs when the first runs out.

Taking prescription drugs with another substance is a dangerous way to misuse drugs. In addition, individuals who mix medications and substances increase their risk of fatality and unwelcome side effects.

Those who take prescription medications in an altered form also act in a potentially dangerous situation. By crushing a pill to make it work more quickly or dissolving something into juice or water, you impact the time the body needs to process the drug. This can make it more addictive.

Lastly, prescription medications taken illegally have a higher chance of misuse developing into addiction. Because the prescription was not set to the individual, the chances of developing an addiction due to the strength of the medication are possible. Additionally, prescription medication can interact with other medicines and highlight other health concerns.

How to Find Prescription Drug Treatment Programs

To find prescription drug treatment programs in your area, you can search through your insurance company, your local doctor’s network, or the internet. 

We recommend our Louisville outpatient treatment facility, Impact IOP. Our partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment programs are ideal for individuals just starting on their addiction journey. They are comprehensive learning programs that support individuals in figuring out what is best for their treatment process and how they can achieve sobriety through learning and consistency. 
Contact our Kentucky intensive outpatient treatment center today to see how we can support you on your journey to sobriety.

Download this article

Our Latest Posts

How Can I Get Checked-In Anonymously To An Addiction Treatment Center?

Seeking help for an addiction can be difficult, but admitting you have an addiction in the first place can be even tougher. Everyone who seeks help for their addiction has to go through the process of admitting they need help, which isn’t always easy to do. While...

What to Know Before Asking for Time Off Work for Addiction Treatment

You can get the addiction treatment you need and still keep your job. In fact, your employer may be very supportive of the process.  After all, if you’re a good employee, they’ll want to hold on to you. That said,...

Intensive Outpatient Drug Treatment In Louisville

When you need support to overcome drug and alcohol addiction but also want to keep living your normal life without lengthy stays in rehab, intensive outpatient drug treatment in Louisville is the answer. By providing the best of both worlds, our team of friendly and...

Outpatient Drug Treatment In Louisville

Although an inpatient residential treatment program will often be the best course of action when it comes to severe substance addiction, this is not going to be necessary for everyone. Those who have a mild substance abuse problem with alcohol or drugs may well...

Maximizing the Benefits of Individualized Treatment for Addiction Recovery

Individualized treatment for addiction recovery is one of the most beneficial and essential methods for achieving long-term sobriety. This approach emphasizes tailoring care to each person’s unique needs, preferences, values, strengths, circumstances and life...

Supporting Healthy Coping Strategies to Address Comorbid Conditions

Living with multiple conditions or illnesses can be both challenging and overwhelming. Comorbidity, the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in an individual, is a growing concern that has seen an increase among those aged 65 and older as well...

Investigating Different Types of Interventions to Support Addiction Recovery

Living with an addiction can be a long, chaotic journey. It’s a struggle that is often compounded by the hardships of everyday life – lack of employment opportunities, financial stressors, family issues, and more. While each person's experience is unique and...

Tackling Co-Occurring Disorders: How to Manage Both Mental Health Issues and Benzodiazepine Dependency

Co-occurring disorders where a mental health issue and substance abuse occur at the same time present a unique and complex challenge. This also goes for benzodiazepine dependency and mental health issues. Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a group of drugs that slow down...

10 Pros and Cons of Outpatient Program Treatments for Addiction Abuse

There are two main options when it comes to addiction treatment - inpatient or residential programs or outpatient programs. The main difference between the two is that residential treatment involves residing 24/7 at the treatment facility while outpatient programs...

Examining the Role of Medication-Assisted Therapy in Rehabilitation Treatment

The use of medication-assisted therapy (MAT) in addiction rehabilitation has been increasing over the years as a way to manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and facilitate treatment success. This approach combines behavioral therapies with medications to help...

Our Video’s

Call Now Button