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Prescription Drug Addiction in Idaho


People abuse a wide range of psychoactive substances, from legal drugs such as alcohol and nicotine through to illegal drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. Prescription drug dependence is also a significant problem in American society, including opiate addiction, benzodiazepine addiction, and stimulant addiction. While the majority of media attention is given to illegal drugs, there are more drug-induced deaths attributed to prescription opiates than any other drug class. Prescription drug addiction in Idaho affects all elements of society, with professional treatment often needed to break the bonds of addiction. If you or anyone you know is struggling with prescription drug addiction in Idaho, it’s important to reach out to a professional treatment center as soon as possible.


What is prescription drug abuse?

Prescription drugs are abused whenever they are taken in a different way than intended by a doctor or medical professional. People misuse and over use prescription drugs for a range of different reasons, with some drugs taken in a recreational context and others used to enhance physical or mental performance. The vast majority of prescription drug abuse involves just three classes of drugs: opiate painkillers, sedatives, and stimulants. Opiates include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, and codeine among others. Sedatives include Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, Librium, and Serax among others. Stimulants include Concerta, Ritalin, and Adderall among others. Opiates and sedatives are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants, with these drugs associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use. In contrast, stimulant drugs increase nervous system activity, with these drugs associated with an emotional-motivational withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use.


How are prescription drugs abused?

Prescription medications can be abused in multiple ways, with the substance in question greatly affecting abuse patterns. Common methods of abuse include using a larger dose than prescribed, combining medications, using drugs intended for someone else, and using a different method of administration than intended. For example, some people crush up tablets or pills in order to inject them for a more potent effect. This method of drug abuse can easily lead to overdose, especially when multiple-ingredient medications are consumed. People obtain prescription drugs from many sources, including family and friends, drug dealers, and multiple doctors in a practice known as “doctor shopping”. A combination of detox and rehab therapy is needed to break the bonds of prescription drug dependence, with residential and outpatient facilities available across Idaho.


Prescription drug statistics in Idaho

Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem across the United States, with more people dying from prescription medications than ever before. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), American citizens consume 75 percent of the global supply of prescription drugs each year, despite accounting for just 5 percent of the world’s population. Opiates are the most widely abuse drug class, followed by sedatives and stimulants. According to a combined report published by Idaho Drug Control Update and National Vital Statistics Reports et al., drug abuse is Idaho’s number one premature killer. While heroin, cocaine, and meth get the majority of media attention, prescription drugs are responsible for more deaths than ever before. 40,000 emergency department visits in Idaho are related to drugs each year, with 85 percent of addicts failing to receive the help they need.


Opiate abuse and treatment

Opiates, more correctly known as opioids, include both naturally occurring opium alkaloids and semi-synthetic opioid compounds. Naturally occurring alkaloids include codeine, thebaine and morphine, with semi-synthetic drugs including oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, methadone and many others. These substances are available as both single-ingredient and multiple-ingredient medications, with common commercial drugs including Oxycontin and Vicodin. Opiates are highly addictive and associated with a severe physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use. Medical detox is normally advised to help reduce and manage these symptoms, followed by cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational support programs. Treatment centers that specialize in opiate abuse and dependence cases can be found across Idaho, with intensive residential rehab programs available alongside partial hospitalization and outpatient care.


Sedative abuse and treatment

Sedatives are the second most widely abused class of prescription drugs in the United States, including barbiturates and benzodiazepines. While barbiturates are rarely prescribed in the modern age, benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium, Klonopin, and Librium are causing more problems than ever before. Much like opioids, benzodiazepines are associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome, with a medical detox period recommended to break the bonds of addiction. Access to professional treatment is always advised for sedative-related cases, with withdrawal symptoms known to cause additional medical complications if left untreated. In most cases, a gradual dose reduction of benzos is administered over a period of weeks or months to help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Comprehensive psychotherapeutic support is also needed in the weeks and months that follow drug discontinuation, including counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention support.


Stimulant abuse and treatment

Stimulant drugs are the third most widely abused class of prescription drugs, including Concerta, Adderall, and Ritalin. While these substances are not associated with physical dependence, they are highly addictive and known to produce severe emotional and motivational symptoms when drug use is stopped. Unlike opiates and sedatives which are abused mostly for recreational reasons, stimulants can also be abused to enhance physical and mental performance. Medication treatment is largely ineffective when treating stimulant abuse and dependence, with most treatment programs based on cognitive, behavioral, and motivational principles. Common psychotherapy programs include family therapy, art therapy, music therapy, moral reconation therapy, 12-step support groups, relapse prevention, motivational enhancement therapy, and contingency management. If you or anyone you know is struggling with prescription drug abuse or addiction, pick up the phone today. With one phone call you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.