How to Know if Someone is Abusing Prescription Drugs


What are Prescription Pills?

In the last decade, the number of people abusing prescription drugs has risen dramatically in the United States .

Today it is estimated that over 18 million Americans are misusing prescription medications.

There are many reasons for this surge in prescription pill abuse.

People find them easy to obtain and think that they are safe to take because it is a medication.

Unfortunately, this is not the truth.

Prescription pills can be very dangerous when taken incorrectly, leading to long-term health problems and even death.

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Understanding Prescription Pills

Prescription pills are not available to buy over-the-counter because they are strong medications.

That means you need a doctor’s prescription to get these drugs.

But as abuse of these pills has increased, so too have the number of people selling them illegally.

People abuse three main types of prescription pills that include:

  • Opioids, which relieve pain.
  • Depressants, which relieve anxiety, tension, and panic attacks or help a person sleep.
  • Stimulants, which treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, as well as narcolepsy.

Prescription pills are dangerous when people take them incorrectly.

People abusing prescription drugs can become addicted to them, deal with negative physical and mental effects, and experience an overdose.

Abusing Prescription Drugs Emerald Isle Several prescription pill bottles stand behind one that lays on its side with white pills spilled out. Abusing prescription pills is a serious problem that many people need rehab for.


How are People Abusing Prescription Drugs?

Abuse is when people take prescription pills without a prescription, or not as the prescription says. Abuse includes taking someone else’s pills, taking your pills too often or in higher doses, or taking them to get high. People who abuse prescription drugs end up taking the pills unprescribed to get high faster or longer. These ways can include crushing them to snort or dissolving them in water for injection.

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How can Abusing Prescription Drugs Affect Your Body

No matter what kind of prescription pills you are abusing, the longer you take them, the more negative side effects you have. The negative effects will vary depending on how long you have been abusing prescription drugs, as well as how much you take. These effects can include:

  • Damage to the nose and lungs from snorting drugs
  • Damage to your liver, kidneys, or heart
  • Problems breathing
  • A higher chance of some cancers
  • Brain damage, both short-term and long-term
  • Needle marks and collapsed veins from injecting drugs
  • A higher chance of getting a serious skin, muscle, or blood infection from injecting drugs
  • A higher chance of being infected with HIV or hepatitis from using shared needles or having unsafe sex
  • Overdose, which, if not treated quickly, can lead to death

The negative effects to abusing prescription drugs can be both short- and long-term. Some are treatable and heal, whereas others become life-long problems. That is why it is important to get help when you know that you have a problem with pills.


Mental Illness and Abusing Prescription Drugs

Abusing prescription drugs does not just risk your physical health. They can also have negative effects on your brain. These effects can be difficult to deal with. People might use other drugs to make the side effects go away. That is why Emerald Isle focuses on treating all aspects of your addiction, including mental health effects. These effects can include:

  • Having a hard time learning new things
  • Short- and long-term memory loss
  • Poor judgment, especially in risky situations
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Having a hard time dealing with stress
  • Mood swings or inappropriate anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

These effects come from the way that abusing prescription pills changes your brain function. The effects can last for weeks or even months after you stop taking pills. It takes time for your brain to heal and to learn how to release chemicals normally again. This period of healing is often the most difficult part for people to get through. Having the support of Emerald Isle means that you will have the tools to help lessen these effects. You will also work through negative emotions and complete your treatment plan.

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How to Tell if You Are Abusing Prescription Drugs

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you are abusing prescription drugs. Maybe you are still mostly taking them how your doctor told you to. Maybe you do not use them daily. But prescription pill addiction can still happen in these situations. There are many changes that a person experiences when they abuse prescription drugs. Some of the signs you are abusing prescription drugs can include:

  • You think about pills a lot and worry about when you can take them next.
  • You take your prescription drugs in a way other than prescribed.
  • You had to find a new doctor in order to keep getting your pills.
  • You get your pills from somewhere other than a doctor by stealing, shopping online, or buying them from other people.
  • You have been using prescription drugs for a long time.
  • You feel angry if someone talks to you about abusing prescription drugs.
  • Your personality, habits, or sleep has changed drastically.

If one or more of these statements apply to you, there is a chance that you are abusing prescription drugs. If many apply, your addiction is likely very serious. Now is the time to think about getting help for your drug addiction.

Abusing Prescription Drugs Emerald Isle - A group of women talk about their prescription pill abuse during rehab.


Treatment for Those Abusing Prescription Drugs

At Emerald Isle, we know that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment. That is why we spend time with every client to determine the right treatment plan for them. The first step of treatment is to help you stop using drugs. This step often begins with detox to ensure all drugs are out of your system safely. Next, we move on to the rest of your rehab plan. Depending on the drugs you were using, this can include a few different options, such as:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT
    MAT uses both medicines and counseling to treat addiction. This approach effectively treating detox and withdrawal symptoms for more serious drug addictions that include opioids and prescription medications.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT
    CBT helps clients see the situations or emotions that trigger their drug use. Once a client can recognize these triggers, we help them avoid temptation and cope.
  • Contingency Management, or CM
    CM gives clients small rewards, such as cash, vouchers, or small gifts. You receive these rewards for things like attending and participating in your therapy sessions, sticking with your treatment plan, and staying clean.

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Let Us Help You Overcome Your Addiction

At Emerald Isle Health & Recovery, we pride ourselves on our individualized, evidence-based treatment.

Our comprehensive clinical and medical programs help our clients achieve long-term, sustainable recoveries.

Our state-of-the-art facility is in a highly private location.

This location ensures clients can get away from things that cause them stress or trigger their addiction.

We also focus on ensuring that our clients feel safe and comfortable to approach their recovery positively.

We realize that many of our clients wonder about how they are going to pay for their treatment.

That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification.

Give us a call, and our addiction specialists can verify whether your insurance will cover your detox and rehab.

We will also communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit you are entitled to.

You can complete a simple form right from our website or call us directly.

Prescription drug addiction can be a very difficult problem to overcome.

Many people feel overwhelmed by the idea of figuring out which treatment program is going to be best for them.

At Emerald Isle, we are here to help you design your recovery plan for maximum success.

Let us help you live a healthy life.

Call us today to get started on the path to kicking your addiction once and for all.