Prescription Drug Rehab Programs

When an individual is suffering from the disease of prescription drug addiction, they need intensive, professional help to regain their physical, emotional and psychological health.

Addiction is a chronic disease that will only get worse when left unchecked or managed inappropriately.

Finding a reliable and skilled prescription drug rehab center is one of the first steps to taking control of addiction and setting a course for a happier, healthier future.

Differences in Rehab Options

There are several types of prescription drugs that can lead to addiction. Each has a different impact on the individual who abuses them, and each one needs to be treated independently.

Some prescription drugs are stimulants that affect the central nervous system, like drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Others are central nervous system, or CNS, depressants used to treat anxiety or sleep disorders. These drugs might include Xanax or Lunesta. Another type of prescription drug and one of the most readily available is the prescription pain reliever. These drugs include powerful opioids such as Oxycodone, Roxicet, Vicodin and Lortab. Since each of these drugs works on a different part of the brain, they will have varying effects on the body and need different, but similar, treatment approaches.

taking prescription pillsSince each type of prescription drug requires a slightly different rehab process, it’s important to make sure the facility you choose has experience dealing with the particular prescription drug in question. The first difference in treatment will be seen during the detox phase of the recovery process. A central nervous system depressant, such as Xanax, will have different withdrawal symptoms and detox ailments than a stimulant, such as Ritalin. Opioid painkillers will have their own set of symptoms, as well.

When a person seeking to recover from their addiction enters a treatment center that specializes in detoxing, the staff will complete an intake examination and interview that will determine which kinds of prescription drugs are the sources of addiction. This information will be used to formulate a plan to manage the withdrawal symptoms accordingly. It is possible to experience withdrawal from more than one kind of prescription drug at a time, as well. This will be taken into consideration as treatment options are made available in those first few days.

Once detox has been completed, the recovering addict then moves on to the treatment phase of rehab. Detoxing is not a treatment for drug addiction; rather, it is the first, necessary step to recovering from addiction.

The rehabilitation options for each type of prescription drug addiction are not as different as one might think. After detoxification and getting help to manage the early withdrawal symptoms, the person suffering from prescription drug addiction will have a choice of many types of treatment.

The final decision will depend upon many factors, including:

  • Overall cost of the treatment option
  • Severity of the addiction
  • Individual preference and personality
  • Responsibilities to others, such as children or aging parents

The decision should be made after thorough discussion with everyone involved, including family, treatment center providers, therapists and medical staff.

Inpatient Treatment

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a treatment program’s length can affect the overall ability of a recovering addict to stay in recovery and strengthen his or her ability to abstain from the use of drugs in the future.

A long-term treatment center, generally six to 12 months in length, focuses on several aspects of treatment, including taking personal responsibility for one’s decisions and learning how to exist in a socially acceptable environment. A short-term residential treatment program is generally much shorter in duration on an inpatient basis, but is followed by ongoing outpatient services. These treatments are generally based upon the 12-step model of recovery started by Alcoholic Anonymous, and later adapted for drug abuse with the founding of Narcotics Anonymous

Outpatient Treatment

Mental Health TreatmentAnother viable option for prescription drug rehab is the outpatient treatment program. This program is designed to service individuals who, for whatever reason, are unable to enter an inpatient program or choose not to based upon the severity of their addiction. These programs offer the same kind of counseling and therapy available at an inpatient facility, but may also require daily or random drug screenings as a measure of whether the individual is still using the substances to which they have become addicted.

An intensive outpatient program will meet several times each week, or even daily in some situations, with times scheduled to make it easier for participates to attend regularly. Some facilities will have both morning and evening meeting times for group therapy and other activities. The amount of time one must attend an outpatient treatment program will depend upon individual progress and should be determined by the medical and psychological staff with input from the recovering addict.

Medications Available to Help Prescription Drug Addiction

Depending upon the kind of prescription drugs an individual abuses regularly, there are promising reports that certain medications can help the recovery process. For instance, when treating addiction to pain relievers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin or other forms of hydrocodone, treatment professionals turn to tried-and-true heroin addiction treatment medications. These forms of pain medications are opioids, and therefore many of the characteristics are the same as those of heroin, which is an opiate. Using drugs like Suboxone _ a mixture of the medications buprenorphine and naloxone _ has been shown to help addicted individuals reduce their abuse of pain medications by lessening the severity of withdrawal symptoms. These medications block the opiate receptors in the brain; however, they last far longer and do not have the euphoric effects that opioid pain relievers do.

Unfortunately, there is no medication presently that will help to treat addictions to CNS depressants or stimulants.

Available Treatments for Prescription Addiction

Behavioral therapies are one form of inpatient or outpatient therapy that has been effective in the treatment of stimulant addiction. This kind of therapy is available in several forms, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and motivational interviewing.

Motivational Interviewing is especially helpful for those individuals who do not believe they have an addiction disease and are not seeking treatment freely. For instance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that use of motivational interviewing techniques has benefited inmates in correctional facilities who do not wish to seek treatment, but are forced to by the legal system. Motivational Enhancement Therapy is a process where the individual addict is helped to see the reasons why seeking treatment is a good idea. Once they discover, with the help of a motivational therapist, that recovering from their addiction disease is a good thing, they are more likely to actively participate in their own recovery process.

Each of these therapies targets a different aspect of the addicted individual, from personality to self-image. Since each person is an individual, and no two people suffering from the disease of addiction have the same exact issues, these therapies may be tailored to meet the needs of each person. One or more of the therapies might be used in conjunction with another, for instance.

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

If an individual suffers from a psychological condition in addition to their drug addiction disease, they must be properly diagnosed and treated. Sometimes, the underlying condition came before the addiction. If it is not diagnosed and treated, the addiction treatment will be far less effective as the same conditions exist that led to drug addiction in the first place.

If the underlying condition developed as a result of the drug abuse and addiction, the symptoms of the newer disorder may play a key role in the frequency of relapse or recurrence of significant addiction symptoms.

A few common Dual Diagnosis issues are:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Major depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia

A highly effective treatment center will look for and diagnose any other conditions that may exist, such as anxiety or depression. This is especially important in the treatment of prescription drug addiction because some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs are for the treatment of conditions like anxiety.

What Happens After Rehab?

Sometimes, the most difficult phase of the recovery process is learning to live in society again.

Life after rehab means confronting cravings, temptations and stress without turning to prescriptions medications. Because relapse is part of the recovery process, the prescriptions drug rehab you choose should offer a continuing care program for its alumni. Some facilities will offer regular return visits for a day or two of refresher courses in sober living, while others may continually check in with the people they have helped to monitor their progress.

Getting help for an addiction to prescription drugs is a good decision. It is a decision that can change your life, or the life of someone you love, forever. Contact us today for more information on effective treatment. Such treatment can give the recovering addict the very best chance to live a fully and happy life as they continue to grow and heal without the painful costs of prescription drug addiction.