Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment: What Are My Options?

prescription drug addiction treatment

In 2021, approximately 8.7 million people in the US reported misusing prescription pain relievers, and almost 3.7 million people misused prescription stimulants. 

The fact is prescription drug abuse is becoming more and more of a problem, causing deaths and overdoses, impacting many people’s lives. However, it’s often overlooked since many people focus on overdoses that involve drugs like heroin or cocaine.

If you or a loved one has a problem with prescription medications, finding prescription drug addiction treatment is just as important. Learning more about prescription drug abuse and the treatment programs available will help you move your life in a healthier direction.

Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about prescription drug abuse treatment options.

Overview of Prescription Drug Abuse 

Prescription drug abuse, also known as prescription drug misuse, is when you use prescription medication in a way that’s not intended by the doctor who prescribed it. This can include anything from taking a friend’s prescription painkiller for your headache or taking the medication and snorting it to get high.

Misusing a prescription medication might seem harmless enough initially, but abusing prescription drugs affects your brain as much as street drugs do. 

What Prescription Drugs Are Most Often Abused?

One of the most common prescription drugs people misuse is opioids. This is because so many people suffer from chronic pain issues and take these medications for pain relief. Doctors often prescribe opioids or narcotics to treat chronic back, head, cancer, or surgical pain.

Opioids include different medications, such as:

  • Vicodin
  • Percocet
  • Oxycontin
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • MS Contin

Although these medications can improve your quality of life if you follow the directions, becoming dependent is possible. 

When you take an opioid, it attaches to proteins or opioid receptors in the brain. Once this occurs, the opioids block pain messages sent from the body to the brain. This effectively relieves the pain you’re feeling. However, at the same time, you also experience a release of feel-good chemicals called dopamine.

Once you take opioids for a while, you won’t feel that initial dopamine high with the same dose of medication. You’ll need to take more to achieve the same dopamine effects. Ultimately this tolerance leads people to misuse their medications and find different ways to take them, like an injection or inhalation. 


Stimulants are medications for conditions like depression or attention deficit disorder (ADD). They boost your body, increasing your energy, alertness, and attention. They also raise your heart rate and blood pressure. 

Common stimulant medications include:

  • Adderall
  • Concerta
  • Dexedrine
  • Ritalin
  • Daytrana

Stimulates give you an energy high, but eventually, your body becomes used to the effects. As a result, you won’t feel that same energy rush as you did initially. To achieve this, people often begin taking higher doses or crushing the pills and snorting them to get an instant high.

Benzodiazepines or Central Nervous System Depressants

Many people worldwide use benzodiazepines to treat disorders like insomnia and anxiety. Common benzodiazepine medications include:

  • Valium
  • Ativan
  • Xanax

These medications work with a chemical in your brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which lowers your brain activity, making you feel calmer or drowsy. When people take stimulant drugs or suffer from severe anxiety, they can start to depend on these medications to keep them calm.

Benzodiazepines can also be extremely dangerous since taking too many can cause you to become too sleepy. Also, mixing them with other prescription opioids or stimulant medications can affect your breathing and heart rate.

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

The signs of prescription drug use vary, depending on the length and amount of drugs you use. Since addiction alters your brain chemistry, behavioral changes are the first things you’ll notice.

You may see that a loved one has lost control of their life. They might suddenly start missing work and social interactions. Changes in eating habits, like going for days without eating, also occur.

Lack of personal hygiene and financial difficulties will also start happening. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Poor coordination
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Poor judgment
  • Paranoia

If you’re having difficulties with prescription medications, it’s essential to take an honest look at the changes in your own life. You can do this by thinking about your daily routine and how you’re functioning.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

One of the first things you need to do is find a prescription drug addiction treatment center to help you with the detox process. When you’re taking prescription drugs like opioids and stimulants, your body becomes dependent on these medications.

The amount of time to form a physical dependence varies for each person. It also depends on how long you’ve been taking the medications.

Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms

You’ll experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking medications abruptly. For example, early symptoms of opioid withdrawal begin within the first 12 hours after you last took medication and typically include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose and tearing
  • Muscle aches
  • Yawning
  • Sweating

Later symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and dilated pupils. You might also experience mood swings and problems with concentration.

This is why drug addiction treatment is so critical in the withdrawal phase. Medically supervised detox will help your body safely get rid of all substances and help you feel more comfortable while experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

When you first arrive at detox, you’ll get a physical and psychological assessment to evaluate your symptoms. Your healthcare providers will form a treatment plan to help you through this phase.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is often a vital part of a drug addiction treatment plan. This involves using specific medications, depending on what type of drug addiction you have. 

If you’re taking opioids, you’ll typically receive medications like buprenorphine and naltrexone. You may also get a combination of these medications known as Suboxone. Buprenorphine helps relieve withdrawal symptoms, while naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids, which helps prevent relapse.

You’ll also get medications to manage symptoms you’re experiencing, like insomnia, anxiety, depression, or stomach upset. 

Finally, you’ll start with behavioral therapy to begin treatment for any mental health issues you have. This usually includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and group therapy sessions. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns contributing to addictive behaviors.

Treatment Options for Prescription Drug Addiction 

After detox, the next step in treatment for drug addiction involves residential treatment options. You can choose between inpatient, outpatient, or partial hospitalization treatment programs.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

Inpatient treatment programs can last from 30 days to 6 months, sometimes longer. You might also find your detox program is included in an inpatient treatment program, but it also can be separate. The purpose of inpatient treatment is to focus on getting well without having the distractions and stress of daily life.

During your stay, you’ll have access to staff 24/7 who will help you manage any remaining withdrawal symptoms. You’ll also get more intensive behavioral therapy and have to attend group therapy meetings regularly. Usually, treatment programs use the 12-step recovery method, so you’ll work through these steps daily.

Be sure to do your research and consider that you’ll be away from your everyday life for the entire time you’re in the program.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are the most intensive outpatient treatment you can get. They focus on stabilizing your behaviors early in the recovery process.

You’ll typically need to attend 5 to 6 hours of treatment daily for 5 to 6 days a week. This program is a higher level of care, so it can be difficult if you work a full-time job or have other family responsibilities. PHP also focuses on behavioral counseling, group counseling, and relapse prevention.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs IOPs) are the least restrictive, and most people can work while attending these programs. You’ll usually have treatment for a few hours daily, 3 to 4 days a week. 

Like the other programs, IOPs focus on behavioral counseling, group therapy, and release prevention. You’ll need to be able to attend program sessions regularly for this program to be successful. Many people do well with this level of care, especially if they haven’t been using prescription drugs long-term.

Sober Living Homes

If you’ve had a prescription drug addiction for a long time or need help getting back on your feet, you should consider sober living homes. Remember, addiction doesn’t stop with treatment, and sober living homes give you the support you need when you first begin living sober.

You’ll have room and board and must participate in 12-step programs daily. You’ll have to follow sobriety rules and check in with staff as required. Sober living homes allow you to work on educational and employment skills. You’ll also get assistance focusing on goals and repairing relationships. 

Find Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Today

Knowing more about prescription drug addiction treatment will help you to feel more comfortable about the process overall. Remember, help is available; once you reach out, you’ll feel much better.

If you’re looking for treatment for drug abuse for yourself or a loved one, you can turn to Detox to Rehab for your treatment needs. We offer a supportive community committed to helping you along your journey toward sober living. We can help you find the program you need, whether it’s detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, or sober living options.

Make sure to contact us today and speak to a care counselor by calling (866) 578-7471. If you’re more comfortable visiting us online, you can fill out our contact form to get started.

  1. This is quite common among the youth. Sensitisation is required to curb this menace because so many people have been harmed by this.

  2. Many people have lost their lives due to overdose of the prescription from the doctor. This writ up has actually highlighted some of the factors responsible for the act. It is better for everyone to desist from this.

  3. This rarely happens, although it happens none the less. The most common type are pills. This is not even talked about much. That being said, this is an eye-opener. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is very deadly because it weakening the body system even to the extent that the victim won’t know unless he seeks for medical help. This is quite informative. Thanks to detox to rehab.

  5. I think almost everyone is guilty of abusing prescription drugs. Thank you for sharing this life changing post with us.

  6. Gone through the article and got to know about the prescription drug addiction and how people are misusing it, but the treatment part gave me more familarity with the topic.

  7. Yeah prescription drug abuse is becoming more and more of a problem, causing deaths and overdoses, impacting many people’s lives. negatively.

  8. I don’t understand why people will use drugs in a way that’s not intended by the doctor that prescribed it. that person is just joking with his or her life. I’m glad there are great options for prescription drug addiction. thanks for posting this important piece

  9. This is well detailed on the subject matter “drug abuse”. Yu guys have done a good job on how drug abuse works, the symptoms and how to avoid it.

  10. Who knew that even taking prescription drugs can also be abused and used to feed one’s addiction? I think this is worse than the usual drug addiction problem (the usual meaning a person gets addicted to dangerous drugs by having to get it through roundabout means) as the doctor who prescribed these drugs are “allowing” the addict to feed his or her addiction legally (because of the said prescription). That said, I am also surprised and relieved that there are dedicated programs tailored to combat such conditions. People really need to be aware that addiction can also come from this, and this article really helps a lot in detecting the warning signs and getting the best possible care (in terms of the addict’s needs) as soon as possible. I hope everyone who is suffering from this gets the help that they need.

  11. This is an Informative and educative piece of article, it has done a good job in enlightening me in the aspect of drug abuse. And now the right things to do when it comes to drug prescription.

  12. Thank you Detax to rehab for sharing these type of stories with all of us.These stories are really very much inspirational for many people.

  13. The article you provided offers a comprehensive overview of prescription drug addiction treatment options, highlighting the importance of seeking professional help to address addiction effectively.

  14. It is interesting to note how prescription drug addiction can develop unintentionally, emphasizing the need for healthcare providers to closely monitor their patients’ medication use.

  15. The various treatment options discussed in the article, such as medication-assisted treatment and behavioral therapies, demonstrate the complexity of addiction and the need for individualized treatment approaches.

  16. The section on detoxification highlights the importance of undergoing detoxification under medical supervision to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

  17. The article’s emphasis on the importance of addressing co-occurring mental health conditions alongside addiction treatment emphasizes the importance of treating the whole person.

  18. The section on holistic treatment options, such as meditation and yoga, emphasizes the importance of addressing addiction from a mind-body perspective.

  19. It is concerning to note the high rates of prescription drug abuse and the associated health risks discussed in the article, highlighting the need for more education and prevention efforts.

  20. The article’s emphasis on the importance of family involvement in addiction treatment highlights the crucial role of social support in the recovery process. Thank you for sharing.

  21. The different levels of care, such as inpatient and outpatient treatment, discussed in the article underscore the need for flexibility in addiction treatment approaches.

  22. It is something that addicts who are in the journey of recovering to recovering should not do. It will make more worse the situation.

  23. The article’s discussion of the different types of prescription drugs that can be abused highlights the need for healthcare providers to educate their patients about the risks associated with these medications. Very informative indeed.

  24. Long term recovery is very important indeed. The section on aftercare and ongoing support emphasizes the need for ongoing support beyond formal addiction treatment to maintain long-term recovery.

  25. It is encouraging to see the numerous evidence-based treatment options available for prescription drug addiction, offering hope for those struggling with addiction.

  26. Awareness is the way forward to this act. Many lives have been destroyed because of drug abuse prescription. Many people still need to be told.

  27. Drug addiction is everywhere now a days. Abuse of using drugs harms our body. We may feel happiness when taking drugs but that is only for a short period of time that is why people tend to be dependent on taking it again and again. please be careful with your health.

  28. I think the most common prescription drug I have heard of is Adderall. It being a stimulant is mostly loved. Thanks for sharing options of curbing and managing prescription drugs abuse.

  29. Its stark clear the prescription drugs especially those who contain opiods are as addictive as any other type of drugs and thus should be taken with monitored guidance as supervision to prevent addiction.

  30. Very useful information. Just because something is prescribed, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t impose the same risks and dangers of street drugs. I’m glad there are so many inpatient and outpatient services available, as well as sober living seminars. Thanks for the comprehensive read.

  31. From all of this, it shows that people who are on prescription drug should be careful so as to know when to stop taking them so as not to be addicted to it.

  32. Excessive intake of prescribed drugs amounts to addiction. As a matter of fact, people should desist from this unwholesome habit. Big thanks go to Detox for rehabilitating addicted lives.

  33. Many prescribed drugs are abused nowadays by the people. However, it is crucial to jettison the habit. I salute Detox for rehabilitating the addicts.

  34. Prescription drug addiction is common all over the world. I believe the only way out through public sensitisation and awareness. Thanks to detox to rehab for this information.

  35. Due to an overdose of the medication prescribed by the doctor, many individuals have perished. This article has really brought attention to some of the causes of the act. Stopping this is best for everyone.

  36. Many people have died because of subscription drugs and the bad thing is that they don’t know when they become addicted to it, because they feel the need to take more of it to alleviate the pain or relieve themselves from the ailment for which the drug was given.

  37. I didn’t know there are prescription addiction centers where people can get help because prescription addiction is a real problem. This article is very informative and helpful. Thanks.

  38. I feel bad for people who get addicted to prescription drugs while trying to treat an ailment. I wish there were better options than addiction inducing prescription drugs.

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