Most prescriptions treat a person’s symptoms as intended with minimal side effects, especially when combined with healthy lifestyle choices. However, some prescriptions have either intended effects or side effects that make a person feel energetic, relaxed, euphoric, or high.

Our prescription drug detox in Los Angeles, California, helps those who find themselves struggling with addiction to medications. At Believe Detox Center, we understand how addiction begins, and know it doesn’t happen overnight.

prescription drug bottles

5 Types of Addictive Prescription Drugs

Most people unintentionally become dependent on their prescriptions. As a result, they cannot stop taking them without unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Alternatively, some people have untreated mental health symptoms and find relief by misusing drugs prescribed for other purposes.

Regardless of how our clients become addicted, we offer individualized treatment plans for those struggling with addictive prescription drugs. Prescription drugs can be overused, misused, or abused to varying degrees of severity. However, not all prescription drugs are addictive. Certain drug classifications and types of prescriptions are more addictive than others.

The following are five common types of addictive prescription drugs:

1. Anti-Anxiety Medications

Anti-anxiety medications primarily treat anxiety disorders and sleep issues. However, some anti-anxiety medications create dependency and addictive habits. Among anti-anxiety medications, benzodiazepines (or “benzos”) feature the highest rate of addiction among all.

Doctors prescribe benzos to treat anxiety, panic attacks, sleep disorders, and seizures. Benzos help to reduce overly active brains. This can have a calming effect on a person. However, these medications can also create feelings of pleasure within a person, which can be addictive.

Examples of benzos include the following:

  • Klonopin
  • Xanax
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam

In addition, another type of anti-anxiety medication is known as “barbiturates.” These medications have similar effects as other anti-anxiety medications and treat the same conditions. Like benzos, barbiturates also carry the risk of addiction.

Common barbiturates include the following medications:

  • Nembutal
  • Seconal
  • Luminal
  • Amytal

2. Painkillers

Painkillers are most likely to cause substance abuse and addictive habits. Many prescription painkillers activate the opioid receptors in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria and pleasure. These drugs, known as “opioids,” are either derived naturally from the poppy plant (called “opiates“) or are manufactured synthetically. Some opioid drugs combine natural and synthetic elements.

Both natural and synthetic opioids are highly addictive. However, synthetic opioids are generally much more potent than their natural counterparts. In some cases, a person addicted to prescription painkillers either seeks stronger doses of their medication or other pills as they develop a tolerance. Some people even move on to illicit opioids, like heroin or illegally manufactured versions of fentanyl.

Common prescription painkillers include the following:

  • Dilaudid
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Demerol
  • Vicodin

3. Stimulants

Stimulants, like amphetamines, treat conditions like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Stimulants work by stimulating activity in the brain to help a person focus or stay awake. However, stimulants can also increase feelings of euphoria and might even make a person feel powerful or invincible. Some stimulant drugs also increase mental and physical performance. That is why some athletes or college students become addicted to stimulant drugs.

Examples of prescription stimulants include:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Phenidate

4. Sleep Aids

Prescription sleep aids can also be highly addictive. A person can become tolerant to their prescription dosage and need more for the same effects. In addition, they could develop a physical dependency on sleep aids, causing great distress when the person stops taking them.

Examples of sleep aids include the following:

  • Lunesta
  • Sonata
  • Ambien
  • Restoril

5. Cough Medicines

Some cough medicines contain potent ingredients that can be addictive. For instance, some cough medicines contain dextromethorphan or DXM. DXM can be in common over-the-counter or prescription cough syrups, tablets, or capsules. Since medicine with DXM can be obtained without a prescription, people can easily abuse this medication for its hallucinogenic effects.

Pseudoephedrine is a type of cough suppressant that has addictive qualities. This medication works as a stimulant drug, especially when overused. People who abuse pseudoephedrine often take it with other substances, like alcohol. It can also be used to manufacture crystal meth, a highly addictive stimulant drug.

What is the Best Way to Treat Prescription Drug Addiction?

Treatment for prescription drug addiction starts with some form of detoxification or “detox.” While for most types of drugs, detox involves stopping use and going through withdrawal, some prescription drugs aren’t safe to stop all at once. For instance, doctors might recommend a gradual tapering off of medications like benzodiazepines.

In addition, since many people addicted to prescription drugs took them for medical or psychological reasons, they could see a recurrence of the symptoms their prescription treated. Thus, stopping altogether could have dangerous consequences. However, for most drug addictions, an inpatient detox program is the first place to start.

During detox, clients transition from active addiction to becoming drug-free by stopping all substance use and going through withdrawal under medical supervision. Our prescription drug detox in Los Angeles can help our clients safely begin their recovery with the medical and psychological support that they need.

group therapy during detox in los angeles
Detox programs also include the following treatments to meet the needs of each client:

Addiction Therapy

Addiction to prescription drugs often occurs due to an underlying issue, such as a mental health disorder or emotional stress. Of course, some prescriptions that treat underlying mental health conditions can also cause addiction. Therefore, it is important to learn healthy coping skills and uncover problems that cause emotional distress during addiction therapy. That way, clients can cope with the symptoms causing their addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines FDA-approved (US Food and Drug Administration-approved) medications with behavioral therapy for comprehensive addiction treatment. Currently, the FDA has only approved medications to treat addiction to alcohol and opioids. So, if a client is dealing with an addiction to prescription painkillers containing opioids, MAT could be an option.

The medications used in our MAT program reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. They also help to prevent an accidental overdose if a person does relapse in early recovery.

Our MAT program is certified by:

  • AMA (American Medical Association)
  • AAAP (American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry)
  • ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine)

The medications we can use to treat opioid addiction include:

  • Methadone (Dolophine)
  • Suboxone (Buprenorphine)
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)

Aftercare Programs and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare programs and relapse prevention help clients stay sober after attending prescription drug detox in Los Angeles. Our aftercare program keeps alumni connected to the recovery community. Feeling a sense of belonging and having others who can relate to similar problems is crucial for long-term recovery from addiction.

Relapse prevention helps clients learn more about their addiction in terms of underlying causes and triggers. While many clients avoid situations that could lead to a relapse, sometimes, they cannot avoid certain triggering events.

For example, family gatherings, work, and holiday seasons are common triggers for those in recovery. Relapse prevention can be an ongoing process as clients learn what their internal and external triggers are. Clients then develop strategies to manage these triggers to stick to their sobriety.

End Your Prescription Drug Addiction Now

Believe Detox Center is here to help those struggling with addiction to prescription drug addiction. Our prescription drug detox in Los Angeles, California, is the first step to recovery from addiction.

Contact us today to end your addiction to prescription drugs.

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