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Prescription Drug Addiction

The effects of prescription drug abuse are different from those that are seen when prescription medication is taken properly. In some instances, though, it’s still hard to determine if effects are being caused by abuse or if the person taking the medication is simply very sensitive to the drug’s action, even though proper dosage instructions are being followed.There are some guidelines, however, that one can use to determine if prescription drug abuse is occurring. Some are listed below, but this should not be considered an all-inclusive list.

A person who is abusing his or her anti-depressant, however, may actually have to exaggerate normal movements in order to compensate for having taken too much medication. His or her speech may be slow to the point that it is almost methodical; further, he or she may not only stumble over words but have trouble finding the right words, to the point that there is a protracted delay in her conversation while she searches for the words.

His or her movements may be too deliberate – reaching slowly for a piece of paper, for example, or having to concentrate too fully on being able to pick something up. He or she may be unable to control her gait and balance, stumbling when he or she walks, swaying when she is standing still, and other things. His or her eyes may appear unfocused, and she may squint or blink as if she were having trouble seeing.

The intention for prescription drugs such as anti-depressants, painkillers, and stimulants, is to control the condition to the extent that a person can function normally. If a person is abusing anti-depressants or painkillers, however, he or she may be acting as though he or she is “in a fog.” His or her thoughts may be disorganized or he may even display incoherence in his speech. He or she is sluggish, and it is evident that he or she just isn’t “with the program.”
Someone abusing stimulants may be just the opposite. Their speech is rapid, their thoughts may be racing so fast that they cannot finish a sentence or complete an activity. Their personality traits may be exaggerated – they are too “bubbly”, too loud, or even too aggressive.

A person taking an anti-depressant exactly as it is prescribed may exhibit a calm, “laid-back” demeanor, but he or she is still functioning normally. He or she is able to carry on her duties, her speech is clear for the most part (he or she may stumble over words occasionally, but who doesn’t?), and he or she displays adequate mental alertness.

Prescription drug abuse can cause a person to exhibit unusual behavior. A person who normally can control his or her anger may suddenly have unexplained outbursts of anger. He or she may exhibit signs of dangerous aggression – provoking confrontations, or engaging in episodes of physical or mental abuse.

Further, prescription drug abuse can cause people who normally do not exhibit feelings of anxiety or paranoia to start expressing these feelings. Inability to handle even the simplest tasks or constant fear of “being watched” can both be signs of prescription drug abuse. If a person is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, emotional effects can include extreme depression. As withdrawal worsens, they may begin hallucinating.

  • Ryzolt Abuse, Signs, Symptoms, and Addiction Treatment

    Ryzolt Abuse, Signs, Symptoms, and Addiction Treatment

    Ryzolt is one of the brand names of the opioid drug tramadol. Ryzolt can be habit-forming, but it can also cause severe effects like no other opioid can, including a life-threatening withdrawal syndrome seen in certain patients. Tramadol withdrawal” is a syndrome associated with hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks and other psychotic effects. A person could potentially overdose on the drug, causing respiratory depression that can be deadly.

  • Roxicodone Abuse, Signs, Symptoms, and Addiction Treatment

    Roxicodone Abuse, Signs, Symptoms, and Addiction Treatment

    Roxicodone is one of the many brand name drugs containing the opioid oxycodone. While the medication can be helpful for the treatment of pain, it can also become addictive if abused. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, oxycodone products can cause an “increased pressure of cerebral and spinal fluid,” which can be potentially dangerous. In addition, seizures sometimes occur as a side effect of taking Roxicodone, but this is a rare occurrence.

  • Librium Abuse and Withdrawal

    Librium Abuse and Withdrawal

    Librium like other types of benzodiazepine medications, definitely has the ability to become addicting, so it may be abused or cause a dependence over time. Although one of the primary purposes of Librium is for treating alcohol withdrawal, the medication also has its own collection of withdrawal symptoms that you are going to need to consider. Although it is technically possible to go through the withdrawal process after stopping cold turkey without feeling too many adverse effects, there are better ways to quit taking Librium.

  • Zoloft Withdrawal

    Zoloft Withdrawal

    Zoloft is a fairly flexible anti-depressant medication in that it can be prescribed to treat a number of different psychological disorders including OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. The problem with Zoloft abuse is that it can be hard to tell if you are abusing the medication since it is a prescription medication that you are taking for a legitimate reason.

  • Baclofen Abuse and Addiction

    Baclofen Abuse and Addiction

    Baclofen is prescribed for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). It has also been prescribed for the alcohol dependence treatment in that it eliminates the craving. Since Baclofen affects the central nervous system it must be used with caution by people who have low blood pressure and breathing difficulties. People with diabetes should have their sugar level monitored closely and have medications adjusted accordingly.

  • Avinza Abuse and Addiction

    Avinza Abuse and Addiction

    Avinza is used for to relieve moderate to severe pain that requires continuous treatment. Cancer patients who are at the end of life are given the drug to make them more comfortable. If Avinza is taken in doses higher than prescribed it can lead to seizures and death. Avinza is easy to become addicted to since it is and opiate drug. It is one of the most highly abused prescription drugs and people who have had an addiction problem should not be given the drug.

  • Bupropion Abuse and Addiction

    Bupropion Abuse and Addiction

    Bupropion is most often prescribed for the treatment and management of major depression and seasonal affective disorder. Certain forms of the drug have been used in smoking cessation treatment. Long term use of the drug has not been evaluated and a health care provider who prescribes it for long term use should closely monitor a patient for reoccurring symptoms of depression. Bupropion lessens the effects of alcohol. Since Bupropion lessens the effects of alcohol drinking, while taking the drug can lead to alcohol poisoning.

  • Cymbalta Abuse and Addiction

    Cymbalta Abuse and Addiction

    Cymbalta is used to treat osteoarthritis and diabetic neuropathy. In women, Cymbalta can be used to treat the symptoms of incontinence. This medicine must be continuously taken as prescribed by your doctor on a daily basis. Even if a person’s symptoms go away, a person should not suddenly stop taking this medication unless directed to do so by their physician. The withdrawals of Cymbalta are pretty severe and very uncomfortable thus making the person in question extremely dependent on this drug.

  • Avinza Abuse, Treatment and Detox

    Avinza Abuse, Treatment and Detox

    Avinza is a powerful a narcotic medication that is typically recommended only for those patients who are tolerant of similar opioid medications. You need to avoid using this narcotic medication improperly, otherwise the result is going to be a serious addiction problem that you cannot remedy on your own. If you become addicted to a drug like Avinza you need to seek help from a drug rehab center that is going to offer the physical detox as well as the emotional rehabilitation.

  • Ativan Abuse and Treatment

    Ativan Abuse and Treatment

    Ativan is a benzodiazepine, and these are dangerous medications when taken improperly. Severe cases of Ativan withdrawal can actually be life threatening, including causing seizures. Because of this, you should never attempt to quit taking this drug without the right type of medical help. A drug rehab center that can help you go through the detox process without experiencing potentially life threatening withdrawal symptoms in the process. Be safe and avoid all of the terrible symptoms that are associated with cessation of Ativan abruptly.

Addressing the Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

If a person feels that he or she is witnessing the effects of prescription drug abuse in a person, he or she should first ascertain that there is no danger of that person harming themselves or others. From there, he or she should address any physical symptoms – labored breathing, rapid or slowed heartbeat, or loss of consciousness.

If physical symptoms are not that evident, but rather the effects of prescription drug abuse are being manifested in mental and emotional responses, again the first thing to do is to ensure both the affected person’s safety and the safety of those within proximity of the person. From there, whatever symptoms are being manifested should be addressed as calmly as possible.

For extreme aggressiveness, removing the person from the immediate environment or situation and perhaps even isolating him, although with supervision, may help counteract the aggressive behavior. This may also work if one is showing signs of paranoia or anxiety. If necessary, emergency medical treatment should be sought, especially if it appears that physical manifestations are becoming serious.

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