Prescription Drug Rehab New Jersey: Ranking the 10 Most Addictive Prescription Medications
In recent years, the prescription drug addiction problem in New Jersey has reached epidemic proportions, often requiring prescription drug rehab in New Jersey. While legislators and the medical community have been working to address the problem, many people are struggling with a substance use disorder involving an addictive prescription drug. The difficulty with addictive prescription medications is that they serve a vital purpose in the pharmaceutical pantheon of drugs. Opioids, for instance, are extremely effective at treating post-surgical pain. Benzodiazepines like Xanax have the power to quickly reduce symptoms of extreme anxiety.
Unfortunately, the longer a person uses addictive prescription medications, the more likely they will develop a tolerance. As tolerance develops, the individual must take more of the medication to feel its effects. And, so, the path to addiction is formed. Individuals who have an addiction to a prescription drug may have tried to stop using it only to find they cannot. Prescription drugs can be every bit as addictive as alcohol and illicit drugs–and also as dangerous.
It’s important to tackle an addiction right away. While the idea of quitting a drug might seem overwhelming, substance use disorders can be successfully managed, but it typically requires high-quality treatment. Quantum Behavioral Health specializes in substance abuse treatment as well as dual diagnosis. We offer outpatient treatment programs that are based on leading medically sanctioned therapies designed to support lasting recovery.
If you are addicted to a prescription drug or are taking a medication that’s known to be addictive, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the drug. We’ve outlined the most addictive prescription medications. Many people may be surprised that these are also some of the most widely prescribed medications. If you’ve tried to stop using a prescription drug and cannot, contact us for an evaluation. We can help you end your drug dependence, safeguarding your well-being and future.
How Common Is Prescription Medication Addiction?
Sadly, prescription drug addiction in New Jersey is very common in the U.S. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that in 2016, more than 16,000 people died due to opioid overdose alone. Statistics show that about two million people are addicted to prescription drugs, which accounts for about 12% of all people taking prescription drugs. A further 16 million people abuse prescription drugs, particularly addictive prescription medications, which puts them at risk for developing a substance use disorder.
Once a person becomes addicted to a drug, prescription or otherwise, it’s what’s known as a chronic condition. They can’t become unaddicted simply because they go through detox or even after they complete a treatment program. The brain remembers! Substance addiction is a chronic relapsing condition. If a person decides, after treatment, to dabble again, the risk of restarting the cycle of addiction afresh is substantial. The only way to ‘cure’ or manage an addiction, as the medical community puts it, is to embrace abstinence 100% of the time.
Statistics involving prescription drug addictions are grim. Between 1999 – 2020, more than 450,000 people died of opioid overdose. When users cannot obtain the prescription opioid they are addicted to, they are inclined to procure heroin, which has become more easily accessible on the street and cheaper in many cases.
Although prescription opioid painkillers are the most popularly abused addictive prescription medications, they aren’t alone. Other types of addiction prescription drug classes include stimulants and sedatives. Millions of people right now are living with a prescription drug addiction. Many are on the verge of developing an addiction because they abuse addictive prescription medications. Despite being prescribed by doctors, these drugs can become deadly when abused–as statistics show.
10 Most Addictive Prescription Medications
The following is a list of the most addictive prescription medications and information about them–what they’re prescribed for and why they’re frequently abused.
Opioid Prescription Drugs
Opioid painkillers are the most abused and addictive prescription medications. Even though they are effective for pain relief, they are habit-forming. Some people develop a habit or dependence on them after being prescribed the medication. Other people acquire them on the street or from a friend to achieve some of the euphoric sensations they may cause when abused. Opioids relieve pain and target the brain’s reward center. In short, people feel good when taking one of these drugs–until, that is, its effects wear off. The following are some commonly abused prescription opioids:
Fentanyl is very powerful–about 100 times more powerful than morphine. It’s also incredibly addictive. Fentanyl is a controlled Schedule II drug, and while it’s legal when prescribed by a licensed physician, it is still dangerous and people should use it with caution. Fentanyl is also sold on the street. Drug sellers even lace other drugs with Fentanyl to make them more potent. Using Fentanyl with another drug only increases the risk of overdose.
The painkillers Norco and Vicodin contain hydrocodone. After surgery or dental surgery, either drug may be prescribed for a period of time to control pain. However, this drug is addictive and is often abused. People abuse it because of the feelings of calm and euphoria the drugs can offer.
Like hydrocodone, oxycodone is extremely addictive. It is the active opioid ingredient in the drugs OxyContin and Percocet. Doctors may prescribe this drug to treat long-term pain for some conditions, but patients are carefully monitored.
Often regarded as a ‘gateway’ opioid, codeine is a prescription medication that’s found in many cough syrups. The drug alleviates pain and coughing but can also prove to be habit-forming. Generally, physicians prefer to taper patients off its use after about a week. Even so, many people attempt to obtain codeine without a prescription to abuse it.
Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat people who are suffering from anxiety. They slow the brain’s activity, which allows the individual to become calm and relaxed. They may be able to finally get sleep and relief from the worry and stress that underlines their condition. Because these drugs work so well at what they do, a person can enjoy taking them. It feels good to feel good–to get relief from anxiety. The downside is that these medications are addictive. Taking even a slightly higher dose than is prescribed can begin the path to addiction.
Also known as alprazolam (generic name), Xanax is prescribed for patients suffering from anxiety. However, many individuals abuse them because they enjoy the calming and relaxation the drug induces. The fact is, if a person is feeling stressed, Xanax can calm them down. The trade-off is that the more a person relies on this drug, the greater the risk of addiction.
Valium (known by its generic name as diazepam) also reduces anxiety. Physicians may also prescribe it to reduce muscle spasms and seizures. Like Xanax, the drug slows down the central nervous system. When taking the medication, people report feeling relaxed.
Klonopin (clonazepam) is also a benzodiazepine drug prescribed for treating panic attacks and seizures. Like other benzos, it can cause people to feel relaxed, which is why it is so widely abused.
Stimulants increase feelings of alertness and can improve focus. These medications are most widely prescribed to treat attention deficit disorders. However, many people without a disorder abuse them because of the alertness and energy they cause. Among students, stimulants have become popular drugs of abuse.
Adderall is a primary prescription medication for treating attention deficit – hyperactivity disorder. It generally works fast and lasts up to six hours. Users feel a heightened degree of alertness and ability to focus. Abuse of this drug increases the risk of addiction.
Although Ritalin also has a high risk for abuse, it, too, is a first treatment option for people with attention deficit – hyperactivity disorder. It provides a similar effect, helping the individual focus on their tasks. College students are among a leading demographic of Ritalin and Adderall abusers. It’s easier to pull an ‘all-nighter’ and study effectively with the help of these drugs; unfortunately, when these drugs aren’t prescribed, that constitutes abuse. Using these medications without authorization only heightens the risk of addiction.
Barbiturates are sedatives. Like benzodiazepines, they can alleviate sleep problems and cause relaxation. Doctors are less likely to prescribe them straight off to address insomnia or seizures because of their risk of abuse. Other drugs can be prescribed with fewer negative effects.
Phenobarbital is a barbiturate that has been widely abused. It can induce sleep and feelings of calm. It’s addictive and dangerous in its own right when abused, but it becomes increasingly so when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.
Although these are among the most addictive prescription medications, they aren’t the only ones. You may be addicted to a prescription drug not listed here. Any substance addiction is a dangerous one. If you’re addicted to any of these or a different prescription drug, it’s important to evaluate your condition and get the help you need to end your drug dependence.
Is Drug Detox Necessary for Prescription Drug Addiction?
Generally, medical detox in New Jersey is necessary and is usually the first step in the treatment process. However, that’s not always the case. Each individual is dealing with different circumstances. For instance, a person might have already completed detox in the hospital. It’s not uncommon for a person to have a medical scare due to their addiction. While in the hospital, their body is weaned from the drug. To stay off the drug, they must enroll in a rehab program to learn how to manage their powerful triggers to use. In these cases, medical detox at rehab is not needed.
Also, sometimes a person has a type of addiction that can be medicated. For instance, New Jersey medication-assisted treatment works for people with certain opioid addictions. The medication satisfies the brain’s demand for the drug but doesn’t cause the person to get high or experience negative effects. When the opioid receptors in the brain are satisfied by the medication, they don’t trigger withdrawal symptoms.
The best way to find out if you need to go through detox is to consult an addiction specialist at Quantum Behavioral Health, a New Jersey drug rehab. Generally speaking. However, it’s helpful to remember that addiction involves physical and mental dependence. The body is physically dependent on the drug. When it doesn’t get the drug in a certain period of time, it triggers withdrawal. Fortunately, some treatments can reduce these unpleasant symptoms. Prescription drug rehab in New Jersey is the safest place to stop using and undergo detox. Many people also detox at home under clinical care. Again, it depends on the individual’s needs.
Mental dependence is what post-detox therapy targets. Once the body is clean, the person can focus on their subsequent therapies. During these sessions, clients learn how to identify their triggers and control them so they don’t lead to relapse.
Inpatient vs Outpatient Prescription Drug Rehab
Both prescription inpatient drug rehab in New Jersey and prescription outpatient drug rehab is effective for treating substance use disorders, but which is right for you? Today, many people living with a substance use disorder are opposed to residing in rehab for a month or longer. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Inpatient treatment is ideal for some extremely unstable people and at high risk for relapsing. Residential rehabs often involve 24-hour monitoring and offer a high degree of support.
Alternatively, outpatient programs are ideal for people who are motivated to stop using and are stable enough to return to their homes or to work after their treatment sessions. That said, there are different levels of outpatient care. Partial care is an outpatient program at Quantum that involves a high degree of support. Clients generally spend about 20 hours a week at our rehab. Intensive outpatient therapy involves less time at rehab–about nine hours a week. This program is ideal for people who want to keep working or caring for their families.
Regular outpatient treatment is less intensive than the other programs and involves fewer than nine hours each week. This program is ideal for clients who have completed a more intensive program but can still benefit from some ongoing support as they transition back to their everyday lives. Quantum offers outpatient programming, but we frequently refer clients needing inpatient therapy to our network partners who do offer residential care. Some of our clients come from these rehabs, enrolling in outpatient therapy after completing inpatient therapy.
The great news for people with substance use disorders is that they have options when it comes to treatment. There are flexible options available for clients who don’t want to live in rehab and who want to keep going to school or work. Our addiction specialists can help clients decide what program suits their specific needs and preferences.
Learn More about Prescription Medication Rehab at Quantum
Quantum Behavioral Health is a leading New Jersey outpatient addiction treatment center. Many of our clients are recovering from prescription drug addictions. We feature a team of caring clinicians with the experience and expertise to help each client complete their recovery journey. Many of our clients also have an underlying mental health condition–a dual diagnosis. We can provide treatment for dual diagnosis and addictions to prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and alcohol.
Quantum specializes in outpatient treatment. We offer different tiers of treatment because people need different levels of support. Our clinicians customize therapy to ensure everyone gets the support they need to achieve their recovery goals. Clients can expect to participate in group therapy and individual therapy with a certified therapist or psychiatrist.
We offer multiple treatment approaches at Quantum because addiction is complex. Each treatment targets a different aspect of the condition. During cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, we help clients understand how their thoughts and feelings impact their behaviors–especially their negative behaviors. By managing their thoughts and emotions more effectively, they can more skillfully manage their behaviors–and prevent relapse. We also feature numerous other treatments like art therapy, relapse prevention, anger management, and more.
Don’t put off getting the help you need to get off drugs for good. Visit us and let’s discuss our treatment options and the ideal plan for your needs. Call us at (609) 993-0733 to learn more about our enrollment process.