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Oregon Prescription Drug Addiction


Drug abuse takes many forms, from legal substances like alcohol to illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Prescription medications are also abused on a regular basis in the United States, with legal drugs misused and over used by more Americans each year. Most prescription drug abuse falls into three categories: opiates, sedatives and stimulants. Oregon prescription drug addiction is a growing problem, with specialized detox and rehab centers needed to treat all aspects of drug discontinuation and recovery. If you know anyone who needs help with Oregon prescription drug addiction, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible.


Categories of Prescription Drugs

The vast majority of prescription drug abuse falls into three categories. Opiates are the most widely abused class of drugs, including codeine, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone. These drugs are some of the oldest and most widely used medications in the world. Opiates are regularly prescribed for pain relief, including a number of acute and chronic pain conditions. Sedatives, also known as tranquilizers or central nervous system (CNS) depressants, are the second most widely abused class of prescription drugs. These drugs include barbiturates and benzodiazepine medications such as Valium and Xanax. Sedatives are taken medically for sleep and anxiety disorders, and they are also taken to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Stimulants are the third most widely abused class of prescription drugs, including attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) drugs like Ritalin and Adderall.


How are Prescription Drugs Abused?

To put it simply, prescription drugs are abused whenever they are taken in a different way than intended by a medical professional. Common methods of abuse include taking larger doses than prescribed, combining different prescriptions, using drugs intended for someone else, and crushing up tablets to inject or snort them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most people who abuse prescription medications obtain them freely from friends and family members, with people also getting prescription drugs from drug dealers and multiple doctors in a practice known as “doctor shopping.” People who abuse prescription medications fit into two basic categories: overusing existing psychiatric medications and obtaining drugs specifically for recreational purposes. While most prescription drugs come through the medical system, some substances are also sold on the black market as an alternative to illegal substances.


Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics in Oregon

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a growing problem across the United States, including the state of Oregon. According to NIDA, Americans consume an amazing 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs while only accounting for 5 percent of the global population. While rates of illicit drug abuse are falling in many states, prescription drug abuse and dependence is rising across much of the country. According to Oregon.gov, there has been a 450 percent increase in the number of deaths from prescription drug overdoses in Oregon over the last 10 years. While the National Governor’s Association is developing a statewide plan to address this growing epidemic, a shortage of detox and rehab centers has been noted across the state. Doctors in Oregon prescribe opiate drugs at twice the rate of lowest-use states, with a clear correlation found between prescription and overdose rates over the last few years. While opiate medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone cause the most harm, benzodiazepine and stimulant abuse rates have also raised concern.


Opiate Abuse and Treatment

Opiates are the most widely abused prescription drugs in Oregon and across the U.S. Opiates include the naturally occurring alkaloids codeine and morphine along with a number of semi-synthetic variations. Opiates are available as single-ingredient or multiple-ingredient medications, with examples of the latter including Vicodin and OxyContin. Opiates are known to produce a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use, with medical detox and medication treatment generally advised to help alleviate and manage the withdrawal period, Psychotherapy treatment is also needed to address the issues surrounding addiction, including motivational and cognitive behavioral therapies.



Sedative Abuse and Treatment

Sedatives are widely abused for their tranquilizing and hypnotic properties. While barbiturates have been heavily abused over the last few decades, the vast majority of sedative abuse now concerns benzodiazepines such as Valium and Klonopin. Much like opiates, these medications are associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome, with medications often needed to help reduce and manage withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, people addicted to benzos will take part in a gradual dose reduction scheme, with medications reduced slowly over a period of weeks or months. During this time, behavioral therapy and counseling sessions will also be applied to treat the emotional and social precedents of drug addiction. Aftercare programs are also initiated after rehab, including 12-step support groups and sober living environments.


Stimulant Abuse and Treatment

Stimulant abuse and addiction is on the rise across much of America, with popular drugs of abuse including Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall. These drugs are taken for recreation and performance enhancement, with their energetic properties allowing people to stay awake for longer and focus on work and study without getting tired. Stimulants are not physically addictive, differing from both opiates and sedatives. Instead of inducing a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome, people dependent on stimulants are likely to experience an emotional-motivational withdrawal syndrome. Common withdrawal symptoms include severe drug cravings, lack of motivation, depression, anxiety and insomnia. The psychological nature of addiction is not easily treated through medication, with most treatment programs focused on counseling and psychotherapy support. Relapse prevention and aftercare programs also play an important role during treatment, including motivational programs and 12-step support groups.


You don’t have to struggle with your prescription drug addiction alone. Treatment centers in Oregon can help you overcome you substance abuse problem and help you lead a happier life. Call a facility today.