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Washington Prescription Drug Addiction

If you are living with a prescription drug addiction, you are not alone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that over 8 million American adults are addicted to prescription drugs such as painkillers and stimulants. According to the State Office of the Attorney General, Washington prescription drug addiction and abuse causes more deaths each year than meth, cocaine and heroin combined. These facts can feel overwhelming, especially if you are an active addict. Fortunately, help is available and within your reach. The Washington prescription drug addiction crisis effects more than just those suffering with the substance disorder. If you are currently trapped in the cycle of chemical dependency or you have a loved one who is, reach out for help today! Each day spent abusing substances is another day that they consume freedom, instigate arrest and increase the odds of an overdose death. Find personalized treatment for a successful recovery by calling an addiction rehabilitation specialist now.

What is Washington Prescription Drug Addiction?

Prescription drugs include any substance that is prescribed by a health care provider such as a doctor. However, this does not mean that all prescriptions are legally obtained. Many addicts purchase prescription pills on the street, while others may abuse their own prescriptions for a health condition. There are three main categories of drugs that are most commonly abused. These include the following:

Opioids: Prescription opioids relieve pain and can induce euphoric feelings when taken in large doses. Codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone are the most commonly prescribed and abused forms of opioids. This category of drugs can cause confusion, nausea and slowed breathing, especially when abused.

Sedatives: Sedatives, also known as depressants and tranquilizers, are used to slow brain activity and are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and sleep problems. Xanax, Valium, and Ambien are commonly abused prescription sedatives. Sedative abuse can lead to memory loss, poor coordination, and even confusion.

Stimulants: Stimulants are prescribed to increase alertness as well as focus, and are commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are all commonly abused prescription stimulants. Stimulant abuse can cause high heart rate and blood pressure, sleeping problems, and high body temperature.

Many people assume that prescription drugs are safer to abuse than street drugs, but this could not be further from the truth. Any substance used in excess can lead to consequences, and in some cases, death.

How Are Drugs Categorized?

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) requires certain substances, such as prescription medications, to be classified. This is done according to five different schedules, which have varying levels of addiction potential. Schedule I controlled substances are the most severe and currently have no acceptable medical use in the United States. This in turn makes them illegal. Schedule II substances have high risk of abuse potential and are prescribed moderately. Many addictive drugs are found in this classification.

What Are the Signs of Washington Prescription Drug Addiction?

Identifying the presence of an addiction can be challenging. This is especially true for addicts who are in denial over the extent of their problem. The following signs can alert you to presence of a serious and life-threatening addiction:

∙         Rapid mood swings

∙         Financial instability

∙         Loss of interest in preferred activities

∙         Isolation

∙         Inability to make or maintain eye contact

It is important to keep in mind that signs will vary depending on the type of drug being abused. Sedatives can induce excessive drowsiness and cause an individual to nod off at strange times. Stimulants can cause an addict to stay up all night long or engage in excessive social activities. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, you should seek out help immediately before further damage can be done.

What Are the Risks Associated With Washington Prescription Drug Addiction?

Prescription medications pose a variety of different risks to both your physical and mental well-being. For starters, they can cause brain damage and lead to memory loss, poor coordination, and loss of motor skills in some cases. They can also result in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders and depression. Long-term use can significantly increase your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and incurring permanent organ damage. Any addict can experience these complications, regardless of how long they have been using. The only way to protect your well-being is to get the help you need to overcome addiction as quickly as possible.

What is Withdrawal?

Abstaining from an addictive substance such as prescriptions results in withdrawal. This period is known for uncomfortable symptoms and as such, has the highest risk of relapse. Withdrawal symptoms can range in severity, but typically includes the following:

∙         Irritability

∙         Aggression

∙         Rapid mood swings

∙         Sweating

∙         Nausea

∙         Vomiting

∙         Confusion

∙         Dehydration

∙         Inability to sleep or excessive sleepiness

∙         Shaking or seizures

∙         High heart rate and blood pressure


You do not need to feel alone during this difficult time. Medical detoxification is designed to serve as a starting point to the recovery process. During this time, patients are fully supervised by a team of health professionals who are available to assist with withdrawal symptoms. This allows you to focus less on feeling uncomfortable and more on recovery. Detox is a unique process that enables the body to release harmful toxins caused by addiction in a slow and controlled manner. As a result, it can break the body’s physical dependency to substances. However, it does not address the mental, emotional and social factors surrounding Washington prescription drug addiction. Only rehabilitation in a reputable program can do this.

What is Rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is the only treatment available for addictions. Inpatient rehabilitation, also known as residential treatment, is the leading and most research-based option. It also is the most invasive. During it, patients are required to live on-site for one or more months. This allows them to focus solely on recovery and can virtually eliminate the risk for relapse.  Residential programs offer a structured environment with 24/7 access to support from staff and other residents.

Some people are unable to commit to the strict guidelines that inpatient programs maintain. Outpatient programs are often used as a solution, but do not have the same benefits. For starters, they do not offer constant supervision. This in turn can result in relapse during treatment. However, individuals with a strong support system in place and high internal motivation can succeed in an outpatient environment.

Choosing to get help is the first step towards recovery from prescription drug addiction. If you are ready to get started towards a healthier and happier lifestyle, contact an addiction specialist for more information today!