Those with an addiction to prescription drugs typically require detox before they enter a treatment program. Proper prescription drug detox prepares the body for sobriety by safely ridding drugs and alcohol from your system, so you can start treatment with a clean slate. Detox is an essential step in the recovery process; however, the complications associated with common withdrawal symptoms can also make it a dangerous one.
Prescription drugs come with their own unique set of these symptoms, hence making it vital that detox is done at a licensed facility. Luckily, these facilities ensure this process is effective and safe, so you can continue your recovery journey on the right track.
What Is Prescription Drug Addiction?
Prescription drug addiction affects an astonishing number of Americans every single year. According to a 2017 report, 18 million United States citizens admitted to misusing prescription drugs at least once within the timespan of a year. To expand on this idea, the abuse of prescription drugs is most prevalent amongst the nation’s young adults, and 18 to 25 year-olds report the highest misuse rate.
Factors that contribute to the popularity of prescription drug abuse include accessibility and misinformation about the potency of these substances. The most common types of prescription drugs overused are:
Opioids help treat intense or chronic pain. This pain can occur after the result of injury, or after surgery. Though opioids are effective for treating pain, they pose an addiction risk. As an individual continues to take them, their tolerance increases. Eventually, this creates a dependence that leads to addiction. Common opioids include:
CNS stimulants are prescribed to those with ADHD or ADD, and can be very addictive when abused. Unfortunately, people who have no true need for them abuse them. They are popular with individuals who feel overly pressured to succeed, such as college students. Common prescription stimulants include:
- Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)
- Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)
- Ritalin/Concerta (methylphenidate)
- Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
CNS Depressants are for those with anxiety and panic disorders, or insomnia. They have a calming effect that helps with these disorders, but they also can become addictive. People without these disorders may also abuse them for their numbing effect. Benzodiazepines are a very common type of CNS depressant. Examples of this drug classification include:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Klonopin (diazepam)
- Valium (clonazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
Barbiturates and sedatives are other types of CNS depressants. Additionally, they can help relieve anxiety disorders or those with sleep disorders. These include:
- Nembutal (pentobarbital sodium)
- Mebaral (mephobarbital)
- Ambien (zolpidem)
- Lunesta (eszopiclone)
Prescription Drug Addiction Symptoms
It is no secret that our nation is facing a severe problem with prescription drug addiction. In 2018, more than 16 million US citizens over the age of 12 were reported to have abused prescription pills, with almost 10 million of these individuals abusing opioids alone. Moreover, 52 million of those taking prescription drugs have purposefully misused them at least once throughout their lifetime and that within the past 30 days, almost 50% of Americans have used some form of prescribed medication. These increased rates of use and availability highlight the need to identify prescription drug misuse before it escalates to addiction.
The signs and symptoms of prescription drug addiction depend on the type of drug, the frequency of use, and the amount used. Still, one can identify general signs and side effects. These symptoms fall under 1 of 2 categories: behavioral or psychological.
Behavioral symptoms that indicate prescription drug addiction include the following:
- Seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors (also known as “doctor shopping”)
- Falsely reporting your prescription as stolen or claiming to have lost track of your medication(s)
- Justifying drug misuse when confronted
- Crushing pills to snort or use intravenously instead of taking the medication by mouth
- Denying or deflecting during drug misuse allegations
- Being uncharacteristically irresponsible or unreliable
Psychological symptoms include:
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits
- Strained interpersonal relationships
- Severe cravings
- Sudden and/or extreme changes in mood
- Focusing your energy on getting and taking drugs
- Poor concentration and impaired judgment
- Lack of energy
- Increased irritability, anger, and agitation
What Happens During Prescription Drug Detox in Nashville, TN?
Our drug detox facility in Nashville, Tennessee helps individuals begin the process of helping the body adjust to a prescription drug-free state while under the supervision of a qualified care team. Our team will be with you every step of the process in order to keep you as comfortable as possible. We will check your vital signs to ensure that you are always physically stable. If a complication should occur, for example, we are there 24/7 to offer support and assistance. We will evaluate you and encourage you to continue with a treatment plan following the completion of inpatient detox.
It is important that you do not resort to detoxing at home as it could have serious consequences for your health. Instead, you need to be in a monitored and stable environment to ensure your heart and respiratory rates are normal. Additionally, detoxing outside of a licensed facility makes it more likely that you will be unable to cope with withdrawal symptoms, and end up relapsing—despite your best efforts.
What Are Prescription Drug Withdrawal Symptoms?
Prescription drug withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the specific type of drug involved. The severity of these effects is dependent on how long you have been and how much. Withdrawal symptoms that are common to users of opioids, CNS depressants (including benzodiazepines), and stimulants include:
- Intense cravings
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Confusion and difficulty concentrating
- Increased agitation
- Uncontrollable movements and tremors
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Intervals of excessive perspiration and chills
- Upset stomach
- Hallucinations/altered perception
- Aching bones and muscles
- In severe cases: seizures, coma, or death
How Long Does Prescription Drug Detox Last?
The exact amount of time detox takes depends on the person, the type of drug they are using, and the severity of their addiction. Generally, withdrawal symptoms surface during the first 12 to 24 hours after an individual’s last dose and peak within 72 hours. This process typically lasts for a total of 7 to 14 days; however, some symptoms might persist for longer. The following outline highlights the common stages of the prescription drug withdrawal timeline:
- Anticipatory. This is the preliminary stage in detox and is characterized by mild symptoms and cravings. Anxiety and fear are common during this time.
- Early Acute. This stage marks the start of physical side effects. Depending on the type of substance previously used, symptoms can range from vomiting, nausea, and sweating to insomnia and tremors.
- Fully-Developed Acute. The third stage of the withdrawal timeline is associated with the peaking of symptoms. Side effects are the most challenging and cravings are the most severe in this stage. Dangerous symptoms are most likely to occur at this time such as hallucinations and delusions.
- Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). Specific withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, depression, and trouble sleeping can persist for weeks to months following the initial detox process. Individuals are highly susceptible to environmental triggers during this time, which can increase their risk of relapse. PAWS can often be prevented by going through a proper detox program as these lasting symptoms are more common in those who did receive medically assisted treatment or who quit cold turkey.
Medically-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Prescription Drug Withdrawal In Nashville, TN
Certain medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and allow the overall detoxification process to be easier. The medications commonly used in prescription drug detox programs in Nashville, Tennessee to prevent dangerous and possibly lethal reactions that can occur during the withdrawal period typical include:
This opioid agonist helps to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. It does this by mimicking the effects that opioids have on the brain, but without the “high” experienced with opioids.
This medication acts similarly to methadone; however, it is not as strong. It prevents long-term relapse.
Clonidine makes common symptoms of withdrawal more manageable. It is not used to reduce cravings.
Prescription Drug Detox in Nashville, TN
Recovery is within your reach. Beating your addiction to prescription drugs starts with getting clean. We at Brentwood Springs Detox in Nashville, Tennessee, want to make your detox process from prescription drugs as easy as possible by providing you with comfort and stability. Start your journey towards a happier and healthier life today by visiting our admissions page or giving us a call.