When you have become dependent on medications (such as sleep aids, painkillers, antidepressants) then you are addicted. Drug addiction is common and, unfortunately, often noticed late. Some medications are more addictive than others.
In this article, we share best practice methods to battle prescription drug addiction, the most effective treatments and the best location in Europe to undergo treatment. As a treatment center in Spain, we have +10 years of experience in treating a wide variety of addictions.
These are often sleep and sedative drugs and painkillers. Sleeping and sedative drugs are benzodiazepines. Doctors prescribe these drugs for anxiety, stress, and insomnia. In addition, painkillers are sometimes opiates. Doctors prescribe opiates for severe pain.
Addicted to medication, what is it?
When you are addicted to medication, you feel like you can’t live without it. You want to take medication over and over again. With physical addiction, your body becomes dependent on the medicine. Moreover, you get withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use:
- your body gets used to the medicine
- You need more and more for the same effect
Benzodiazepine and opiate addiction
Benzodiazepines suppress your brain activity. This calms you down or makes you fall asleep faster. Opiates have a strong analgesic effect.
Because the drugs make you less sensitive to outside stimuli, your environment seems to become calmer. With the emphasis on ‘seems’. Because medications do not solve your problems. They only make them less visible and do not take away the actual cause.
Risks of medication and addiction
The use of sleep aids, sedatives and painkillers can have the following risks:
- Getting used to medications can cause your body to become dependent on them
- Some of the active ingredients in medications break down in the body and results in unpleasant side effects, such as headaches or a feeling of gloom
- Alcohol and benzodiazepines do not mix and reinforce each other’s effects because they are both narcotics.
- Medicines and traffic are not a good combination; this is often clearly stated on the packaging
- Drugs and pregnancy and breastfeeding are also not a good combination because of the active substances that end up in the mother’s milk or in the unborn child
Addiction to medication
Addiction to medication is a problem and common. The medications that give mental and physical addiction pose the greatest risks. Oxazepam and morphine addictions are the most common. Furthermore, other medications that pose great risks for addiction are:
- Sleeping and sedative drugs (benzodiazepines) Painkillers (mostly opiates)
- Midazolam Fentanyl, methadone, tramadol, oxycodone (Oxy)
- Temazepam Morphine and codeine
- Zopiclon Temgesic
Treating prescription drugs & medication addiction
Are you taking medication for an extended period of time? You’re not the only one. As a result, in-patient treatment of drug addiction have shown to be very effective. In most cases, patients are able to reduce or stop medication use completely.
Abuse of prescription drugs in Europe is a greater problem than previously believed
International cooperation are essential for monitoring prescription drug abuse, determining its breadth, and developing targeted treatments according to the first comparative research on prescription drug misuse in the European Union. The study, published in the open-access journal BMC Psychiatry, examined nonmedical prescription medication usage in Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Nonmedical prescription drug usage is often characterized as the self-treatment of a medical issue using non-prescribed prescription medicine. It is also characterized as the use of prescription drugs to attain euphoric moods. A research team led by scientists from RTI International in the United States investigated nonmedical prescription drug use because it is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States. In addition, previous research suggests that it is more prevalent there than in the European Union, where prevalence and user characteristics are largely unknown.
The principal author of the study, Dr. Scott Novak, stated, “This is the first comparative study on prescription drug misuse in the European Union.” Previously, it was believed that the prescription drug crisis was confined to the United States. However, this study demonstrates that this is not the case.
Examining three separate kinds of prescription drugs – opioids, sedatives, and stimulants – the researchers discovered that Germany had the lowest rates of nonmedical prescription drug use among the five nations studied. On the other hand, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Sweden had the highest rates.
Family and friends were the most prevalent sources of nonmedical prescription medication use (44% for opioids and 62% for sedatives). Moreover, unknowingly obtaining drugs from another person was the second most prevalent source. The least prevalent source of prescription medications was the Internet.
Nonmedical prescription drug usage was more prevalent among men compared to women, whites compared to non-whites, and the jobless compared to those with other employment statuses. 12 to 17-year-olds had a decreased likelihood of nonmedical prescription medication usage compared to those aged 18 and older.
Prescription of a pain reliever was related with an eightfold increased likelihood of nonmedical use of prescription pain medications. The danger was tenfold greater with sedatives and sevenfold greater with stimulants.
Scott Novak stated, “Prescription pain medication usage was prevalent in the European Union.” While lifetime rates were not as high as in the United States – 20% for those aged 12 and older against between 7% and 13% in the EU — past-year rates were only somewhat lower. Consequently, this indicates that the EU may be catching up to the United States in terms of some chemicals, such as opiate painkillers.”
Approximately 52 percent of nonmedical stimulant users, 32 percent of opioid users, and 28 percent of sedative users also used illegal substances, a phenomenon known as poly-drug use. The United Kingdom had the greatest rates of poly-drug use involving sedatives or opioids, 48 percent for sedatives and 43 percent for opioids, respectively. Besides, women were around half as likely as males to participate in polydrug usage. A history of childhood arrest, major psychological distress, and sexually transmitted illness were all connected with an increased chance of polydrug use.
The researchers analyzed data acquired from 2,032 adolescents and 20,035 adults as part of the European Union Medicine Study, a series of simultaneous, nationally representative surveys undertaken in the five nations. Self-reported information included age, gender, and race, as well as whether respondents had ever taken prescription drugs for euphoria or to self-treat a medical issue with unprescribed drugs.
The surveys targeted individuals between the ages of 12 and 49, the average age of onset for drug misuse worldwide.