Sobriety Home Foundation

Prescription Drug Addiction

Sobriety Home remains one of the best drug addiction treatment facilities in Canada. We offer individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse various evidence-based addiction services and addiction treatment options. At Sobriety Home, individuals living with prescription drug addiction have access to individualized recovery programs with a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. It is our goal to provide our patients with individualized evidence-based addiction treatments to move towards living a life with managed prescription drug use. Patients at Sobriety Home can look forward to the following:

  • Detoxification from prescription drugs
  • Treatment for prescription drug addiction in a residential setting
  • Prescription drug intervention
  • Rehabilitation from prescription drugs
  • SMART Recovery
  • Vivitrol

Prescription Drugs – What are they?

Prescription drugs are controlled psychoactive drugs administered by physicians. Within the context of addiction and substance abuse, they most often include opioids, sedative-hypnotics, and stimulants. Typically, individuals take prescription drugs to manage acute and chronic pain or to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. During the 80s, prescription opioids were prescribed by physicians to treat acute pain. Today, they are only prescribed in patients with chronic conditions such as pain, arthritis, or cancer. Sedative-hypnotics, known as barbiturates, were first introduced in the late 1800s. Years later, benzodiazepines were introduced in the early 70s as a safer alternative. They were most commonly used to treat insomnia, depression, and some anxiety disorders. Now, physicians caution about the potential for addiction when using these drugs, even in a medical context.

Prescription Drug Addiction – What does it look like?

Taking any prescription drug that has not be prescribed to you for the purpose of getting high or altering your mood constitutes as abuse of prescription drugs. Further, addiction and abuse can arise when prescribed drugs are taken at higher doses or used with alcohol and other drugs. In Canada, prescription drugs were the third most commonly used drug among teenagers. According to experts, this is partly because there is a perception among youth that they are more accessible than other illegal drugs. Further, because prescription drugs are indeed prescribed, some youth may be under the illusion that they are safer than illegal drugs. Between 23 – 45% of street entrenched adult drug users in Toronto reported using prescription opioids in the past year, depending on the type of opioid. The most commonly used prescription drug was oxycodone at 45%. Overall, 0.3% of the total Canadian population reported using prescription opioids for non-medical purposes in the last year. This rate has neither increased nor decreased since 2013.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Prescription Drug Use

Because “prescription drugs” is an umbrella term for any previously prescribed drug taken by an individual, both the long and short-term effects of abuse vary. However, individuals abusing prescription drugs can typically be identified as abuse can result in negative effects on interpersonal relationships, employment difficulties and/or job loss, financial struggles, legal trouble, and psychological problems. Perhaps most importantly, prescription drug misuse can lead to overdose and potentially death.

Intoxication and Overdose

Once again, symptoms of intoxication and overdose vary on the drug of abuse. However, there are some universal symptoms among users that may help an individual identify whether someone has overdosed on prescribed medication. An individual who has overdosed may exhibit mental changes such as confusion, fogginess, rapid speech or hyperactivity. Further, they may experience dramatic emotional changes. Some individuals have reported hallucinations and delusions of grandeur. Physiological manifestations of overdose can include severe changes in body temperature, nausea and vomiting, extreme fatigue, diarrhea or abdominal pain, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, dramatic changings in breathing, and convulsions.