Over the years, the universal war on illicit drugs has led to more and more people choosing prescription drugs to get high. The increased use of prescription drugs for this purpose has also led to an increase in prescription drug addiction. Prescription drug addicts are every bit as addicted to their medications as their illicit drug counterparts are to their drugs of choice.
Thankfully, prescription drug detox is available through a variety of sources throughout the UK. You can access detox through a private clinic, charitable organisation or the NHS. The most important thing to know right now is that you can come clean from prescription drugs if you are addicted to them. It is simply a matter of wanting to and then being willing to do whatever it takes.
Why You Need Detox
If you are misusing or abusing prescription drugs, you may not see any reason to acquaint yourself with addiction detox. You may assume that because a doctor ordered prescription drugs, they are completely safe to use as you see fit. However, such assumptions are dangerously wrong.
According to the most recent statistics from 2012, more Britons die every year from prescription drug overdoses than from addictions to illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin. Do not make the mistake of believing your prescription drugs are not dangerous. They are. That’s why they can only be dispensed legally with a doctor’s prescription.
Some of the more common types of prescription drugs abused in the UK include:
- opioids – these include painkillers like morphine and codeine
- depressants – these include things like benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medications
- stimulants – these include things like Ritalin and Adderall.
The thing to understand about prescription drugs is how easy it is to develop an addiction without ever being aware of it happening. If you find your life is completely controlled by any form of prescription medication, you are likely addicted. You need prescription drug detox.
What Detox Does
One of the most profound results of any addiction is the tolerance and dependence it creates in the addict. In other words, every time you take your prescription drugs, your body becomes even more dependent upon them for daily functioning. It is a never-ending cycle that only gets worse as the days pass.
That dependence always leads to tolerance over time. Tolerance is defined as a condition in which you need to take ever-larger doses of prescription drugs in order to achieve the same benefits. The more dependent you become, the more drugs you take – and vice-versa.
Detox brings an abrupt stop to this cycle by forcing your body to break its dependence on drugs. Breaking that dependence includes allowing the body to cleanse itself of the chemicals associated with prescription drugs. Unfortunately, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms are part of the detox process.
You need to understand that a chronic addiction to prescription drugs cannot be broken without undergoing detox. Whether it is gradual or abrupt, the physical dependence now part of your daily life must be interrupted if it is going to be conquered.
How Detox Works
Many people believe that a successful prescription drug detox is nothing more than immediately ceasing to take drugs. Nevertheless, that really isn’t true. There’s much more to it than that, especially given the effects certain drugs have on the human body. Furthermore, detox from prescription drugs can present some very real dangers.
The potential risks of detox indicate that it should always be conducted under the care and supervision of medical professionals. They are the ones best qualified to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent serious injuries or death. They are also the only one that can prescribe substitute medications when appropriate.
The detox process begins with a clinical assessment from a trained professional. That assessment will determine whether the detox procedure will be performed as an outpatient or inpatient treatment. It will also serve to determine whether substitute medications are necessary or not.
Once the detox process begins, withdrawal symptoms usually appear within three to 12 hours. Because prescription drug addiction covers so many drugs, it is impossible to say specifically what types of withdrawal symptoms you would experience. However, here are some of the more common ones:
- anxiety and nervousness
- headaches, nausea, vomiting
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- involuntary muscle movements
- aches and pains
- intense cravings.
Withdrawal symptoms tend to peak on the second or third day of detox, followed by a gradual reduction in their severity. Moreover, while some prescription drug addicts can experience cravings for several weeks or months, most of the withdrawal symptoms completely subside within 7 to 14 days.
Outpatient versus Inpatient
If you receive prescription drug detox through an outpatient programme, you will be visiting your GP or a nurse regularly throughout the process. The purpose of these visits is to monitor your progress and your general health. In the event your GP or nurse suspects a medical emergency, you may be admitted to a hospital or a residential clinic.
Inpatient detox is administered at a hospital or private clinic. Inpatient detox will usually be the recommendation when your doctor or therapist is concerned about potential medical emergencies. Sometimes inpatient detox is combined with a prolonged residential rehab programme as well.
Addiction Helper is here to assist you in the process of finding and enrolling in a prescription drug detox programme. We work with qualified and certified private clinics, charitable organisations, support groups, professional counsellors, and the NHS. Somewhere out there is a detox programme that is right for you; our job is to assess your circumstances and find that programme.
We urge you to make a wise choice for yourself right now. We urge you to choose to get help for your prescription drug addiction before it’s too late. If you are willing to call our helpline, one of our trained counsellors will immediately get you started on the road to recovery. We want to see you break free from your addiction to live a substance-free life.