Drug Abuse and Addiction
Drug addiction, both to illicit drugs and prescription drugs, is a common issue in the United Kingdom and worldwide. The line between illicit and prescription drug abuse is becoming less distinct as a growing number of legitimate prescriptions become diverted to the illicit market. All forms of drug abuse, illicit or otherwise, place individuals at high risk of developing substance use disorders, and should be addressed immediately.
Each of the classes of commonly abused drugs is associated with different characteristics signs of abuse and addiction. Despite the distinctions, it is important to note that all drugs can cause negative health effects as well as serious detriments to a person’s life. Treatment plans will vary according to the drug in question. However, many forms of drug addiction benefit from both professionally supervised detox and therapy programs in treatment.
Prescription drug abuse occurs when anyone takes a prescription drug in a manner other than medically indicated, such as taking more than prescribed, more frequently than prescribed, crushing the pills up to snort or inject, or when taken without the supervision of a medical professional for the mere purposes of getting high.
It is important to seek help immediately for prescription and illicit substance abuse and addiction alike. Withdrawal from many of the common street and prescription drugs can be uncomfortable, painful, or even life-threatening. In many cases, it will be important to detox in a medically supervised facility, where medications can be prescribed to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. In the case of drugs like heroin, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, specific treatment medications such as Methadone is approved for use in facilitating detox and for longitudinal treatment of opioid dependence.
As with alcoholism treatment, detox should be followed up by further treatment to address any underlying causes of addiction and develop relapse prevention skills.
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