Prescription Drug Abuse: When Your Drug Dealer is Your Doctor

prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest addictions worldwide. Abusing prescription drugs changes the way the brain works and that is why your decision making becomes faulty. Not only that, but the intense cravings for the drug also increase the longer the abuse of prescription drugs will be.

What are the most popular prescription drugs that are abused?

  • Opioids – doctors have been prescribing many opioid painkillers that contain codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone – all highly addictive ingredients.
  • Benzodiazepines – prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia

Prescription drug abuse most commonly starts with a script from a doctor and the patient will find relief from the medical issue they have. But when does it become an addiction?

No one decides that they will become addicted when they first start taking prescription drugs. The changes that occur in the brain will change the way the individual thinks. For instance, when a person is finding relief from the drug they will continue using it even long after the symptoms have subsided. When the individual tries to stop, they will suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms that cause them to relapse.

Signs of prescription abuse:

  • Forging, stealing, or selling prescriptions
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed by the doctor
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • Unusually energetic or sedated
  • Losing scripts so that more scripts must be written
  • Doctor hopping – seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors

 Symptoms of prescription abuse


  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Increased pain with higher doses
  • Poor coordination


  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms are severe and require immediate medical attention in a detox clinic. Withdrawal symptoms will lead to complications and relapse.

Symptoms of withdrawals:

  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Body aches
  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Tremors

For more information about the detox process, contact ARCA rehabs Jhb or Durban today.


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