There are very many processes that are applied in helping the patient to overcome the addiction and dependence of prescription drugs.
What is prescription drug detox?
To understand what prescription drug detox is, it is important to first understand what prescription drugs are.
Prescription drugs are those drugs that are taken in order to treat or manage certain health conditions. These drugs have the potential of causing addiction and dependence if they are used improperly, for instance in higher dosages than recommended or if taken for longer periods of time.
Some prescription drugs such as the benzodiazepines may cause addiction and dependence even if they are taken as recommended and advised by a doctor.
The dangers of the abuse of prescription drugs are the same as those of the abuse of the illicit drugs.
The statistics show that about 5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs and the problem in the US is described as ‘pernicious and pervasive’.
The high risk prescription medications which may cause addiction include:
- pain relievers (especially the opiates)
- sleeping aids
- anti anxiety medications
The most commonly abused prescription drugs include:
Prescription drug detox is basically a medical process that is aimed at reducing or eradication the levels of the prescription drugs toxins in the blood. These toxins cause the addiction and craving for the prescription drugs. They also cause withdrawal symptoms if the addicted person abuse the prescription drugs.
The duration of the prescription drug detox varies depending on the types of the prescription drugs that are abused.
Prescription drug detox can take on average 5 to 7 days for the abuse of painkillers such as:
Prescription drug detox can take on average 5 to 10 days for the abuse of anti-anxiety medications such as:
Prescription drug detox for the sleeping pills such as Sonata, Somidem, Ambien, Lunesta takes on average 5 days while the prescription drug detox for stimulants such as Dexedrine, Ritalin and Adderall takes on average 3 to 5 days. Each individual and each case is different and can take a shorter or longer period of time.
Prescription drug detox should not be carried out alone or very rapidly because it may increase the intensity and severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Detox should only be carried out by a well-trained medical professional. NEVER attempt to undertake prescription drug detox at home because the withdrawal symptoms of some prescription drugs such as the benzodiazepines are seriously life threatening.
It is important to keep in mind that prescription drug detox is not an end in itself but only a means to the end. It is mostly carried out together with other medical processes that are recommended in the treatment of addiction of the abuse of prescription drugs.