Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Abuse 

Prescription drug abuse can be a weight not only to the individual, but also to their family and friends. Essentially, it harms all personal relationships while stripping the addicted of honesty and self-worth. Furthermore, it’s difficult for a prescription drug abuser to imagine a life of happiness without being “high”. It is incredibly sad and almost impossible to find a way out without West Palm Beach addiction treatment. 

​Prescription drug abuse and addiction doesn’t happen overnight. It can sneak up on anyone after a protracted injury or surgery recovery. Similarly, an individual can be introduced through peer pressure or "medicine cabinet curiosity. " Either way, prescription drug addiction is not a product of weak character. In fact, addiction is a disease like diabetes or high-blood pressure.


​West Palm Beach Prescription Drug Treatment

Prescription drug abuse is very common but can spiral out of control without professional help. Our local West Palm Beach prescription drug treatment can help you end your addiction and normalize your life.

Prescription drug abuse recovery programs like Alternatives for You help people who are addicted to prescription drugs recover. Specifically, Dr. Charles Buscema will work compassionately with patients and their families. With his 30 years of addiction treatment experience, Dr. Buscema can help with leading medication assisted treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapy programs.  If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, this is the perfect time to pursue help.

Prescription drug treatment west palm beach

The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Doctors prescribe useful and beneficial prescription medications all the time. However, when they’re used without a prescription – or used for recreational purposes, prescription drugs can become hazardous, addictive, and even lethal. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states "most people are unaware of the dangers of sharing prescription medications to friends and family". While there are many medications that are abused each year, the below categories are highlights relative to U.S. current events.


Opioids were developed to treat pain, but they don’t reduce inflammation, combat infection, or otherwise treat a physical ailment. They simply treat the symptom of pain. Opioids fool people in pain into ignoring their symptoms of moderate or severe distress. Whatever is causing their pain symptom remains, it’s just easier to manage without feeling the discomfort.

Opioids perform this trick by attaching to brain receptors. Here, brain cells release dopamine, when something rewarding is going on. Opioids stimulate the brain to release a lot of dopamine, so an individual taking the pain medicine might feel happy, at ease, or rewarded, even though something very painful is happening (i.e. a broken leg).

This increase in reward can be awfully addictive. In fact, people who take opioid pain medicine tend to need more and more of them to feel that same initial reward feeling. As a result, opioids can be extremely dangerous. Also, those addicted to opioids are inclined to take too much, as they chase that original feeling. when they do, their breathing can become shallow, which can lead to overdose. The most commonly used Opioids for pain include:

  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Morphine Sulfate (MS-Contin)
  • ​Tramadol (Ultram)

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

Medications in this category are designed to slow down the process of the brain. Depressants work by adjusting the brain neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This biochemical is used in the brain’s communication structure. When its levels are reduced or changed, cells can’t talk to one another very well, and the whole system slows down. As you can imagine, a person who suffers significant anxiety or panic attacks can benefit from the slow down.

While it makes sense to treat a person with these conditions, depressants can also lead to an increase in dopamine. That means people taking Xanax or Valium may feel sedation and high at the same time. That can be powerfully pleasant, and it can lead to misuse and addiction.

Central nervous system depressants are sometimes abused alone, but when mixed with other prescription drugs or alcohol can lead to shallow breathing and overdose. At the same time, most users report significant “blackout” periods with increased abuse. Equally important, benzodiazepines are highly addictive and must be treated through a medically supervised detoxification. Short of that, individuals would will experience a painful withdrawal with a propensity for life-threatening seizures. The most common CNS medications include:

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

Central Nervous System Stimulants

CNS stimulants boost or stimulate the brain. That haste comes about due to an added release of, or a blocking of re-uptake of, specific brain chemicals that have to do with attention or concentration. While it’s practical to assume that stimulants would make anyone feel jumpy, individuals with mental health conditions that block focus tend to have an uncommon response to the effects that stimulants can deliver. For this group of people, most days are filled with jerking, anxiety, and worry. However, when they take a stimulant like Adderall or Ritalin, they feel more focused and alert. For people with mental health conditions that need stimulants, abuse is rarely a problem. However, abuse for these medications occurs on many college campuses as students use them as a self-prescribed study aid.

In this situation, legally scripted patients are influenced to sell them or share with their friends. For example, people using Adderall or Concerta recreationally can easily become addicted as they crave extra lift in energy the stimulants provide. Common stimulants include.

  • Amphetamines (Adderall)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin/Concerta)


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