It used to be that prescription drug addiction was thought as largely an American thing. However, illicit use of prescription drugs in the UK has been steadily rising over the years. Perhaps you are visiting the BlueSkies website today because you, or someone you know, are abusing prescription medication.
How serious is the prescription drug abuse in the UK? Significant, according to the 2014 DrugScope survey, an annual survey conducted by police, drug action teams and workers within the drug and alcohol rehab industry. The survey results show an alarming rise in the recreational use of two particular prescription medications at a level that suggests the UK may be on the verge of an epidemic. Those two medications are gabapentin and pregabalin. The abuse of both drugs has risen over the last two years by 46% and 53% respectively.
These two anticonvulsant drugs notwithstanding, prescription drug addiction involves a long list of medications, ranging from methadone to morphine, and are no less harmful than addictions to drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Prescription drug addiction can be just as destructive, can go unnoticed and, in some cases, be potentially deadly.
How people become addicted to prescription drugs is not as clear-cut as our knowledge of the drugs themselves. There are a number of different ways the process of addiction can begin. For example:
- Legal Prescriptions Some individuals addicted to prescription drugs start out using a legal prescription for a legitimate medical purpose. Taking pain medication after a particularly complicated surgery is a good example. If a patient’s use of pain medication is not carefully monitored and controlled by a doctor, abuse and addiction could result.
- Illicit Use There is an entire black market for prescription medications that are acquired by sellers illegally. They then sell the drugs to street users who buy them the same way they might buy cannabis or heroin. The black market is an open door to abuse and addiction.
- Rehabilitation Attempts Some addiction clients recover from illicit drug use by being eased off the drug withdrawal process by using controlled amounts of prescription medication. However, often these medications only become substitutes. Methadone is a good example. Countless numbers of people are now addicted to methadone after having used it to get off heroin.
Prescription drug addiction is highly destructive to individual health, relationships, finances and many other areas of life. If you are taking any prescription medication outside the realm of proper medical supervision, please seriously consider whether you might be battling addiction. There is help available.
The process for prescription drug recovery is similar to that of alcohol or illicit drugs. It involves a period of detox, followed by rehabilitative therapies that help clients get to the root of the mental and emotional aspects of addiction. BlueSkies offers both detox and rehab at our modern, state-of-the-art centre. We invite you to contact us right away if you need help for yourself or someone else.
The BlueSkies drug and alcohol rehab staff are passionate about helping people struggling with prescription medications. Counsellors and support staff alike are fully trained and experienced, and many have been through recovery of their own. We believe there is no better place for you to conquer your addiction than here at BlueSkies.
Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about what we do, including our bespoke treatment plans developed for each client. We do not utilise a one-size-fits-all approach because no two people are the same. Rather, we will plan a recovery programme based on you, your circumstances, and your unique needs, always keeping in mind the end goal of an addiction-free life.
- Rising prescription drug addiction heralds epidemic, claims survey (The Guardian)