Prescription Drug Addiction & Treatment in Santa Clara, California
Drug abuse is rampant in the state of California along with people fleeing this state but this is another topic. Statistics reveal that 3 million people in the state abuse illegal drugs. Drug abuse is the leading cause of premature deaths in California, killing more people than car accidents, suicides, and homicides. Approximately 11 people die each day from drug abuse.
Data also shows that there are 40,000 drug-related emergency room visits each year in California and that 3 out of 10 car accidents in the state involve illegal drug use. The unfortunate fact is that 85% of people addicted to drugs in the state of California will never receive the help and treatment they need and this state leads the nation in poverty and bankrupt cities as well but let’s get back on track.
California seizes 413,000 pounds of marijuana, over 300,000 ecstasy pills, 18,000 pounds of cocaine and more than 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine each year.
In fact, the state has the largest marijuana market in the United States, totaling a little over $1,300,000,000. In 2011, California spent $60 million housing offenders involved with marijuana in prisons – this is at a rate of $114 every second.
Data from 1992 to 2012 showed that stimulants, including methamphetamine, were the most commonly cited among primary drug treatment admissions in California, followed by marijuana. For every $1 that is spent of rehabilitation for drug abusers and addicts in the state, there is an average savings of $7 in benefits such as:
- Fewer medical costs
- Decrease in theft and crime
- Increase in employment
- Less money spend on housing prison inmates
The amount of cocaine seized by law enforcement officials along the portion of the southwest border of California increased from 2001 to 2011, and then significantly decreased between 2011 and 2012. While the amount of marijuana seized has gone down over time, seizures of methamphetamine continue to increase.
Drug Abuse Issues in Northern California
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in 2015, the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana abuse among teenagers in the US continued to decline. However, this positive trend nationwide did not reflect reality in northern California, where the rate of alcohol abuse among teens remained disturbingly high.
A survey of young adults in Santa Clara County showed that 28% of juniors and 44% of high school seniors had abused alcoholic drinks at least once in the previous month.
The substance abuse problem among teenagers in Northern California is not limited to alcohol abuse. A number of studies have found that 47% of high school juniors and seniors reported smoking marijuana in the past month. 8% of high school juniors abused cocaine at least once in their lives, while 13% used a prescription drug for non-medical purposes.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse
There are millions of people of all ages across the United States who abuse prescription drugs, and the problem is only getting worse. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that approximately 52 million people older than 12 in the US used prescription medications non-medically at some point in their lives.
The harsh truth is that many people who abuse prescription medications do not think that their habits are harmful, which is why they often do not seek help. These medications fall into three categories: opioids, CNS depressants, and CNS stimulants.
The most commonly abused prescription drugs include OxyContin, Vicodin, Adderall, Fentanyl, Xanax, Valium, Ritalin, Ambien, and morphine, to name a few. They are prescribed to treat a wide range of conditions, from pain from cancer treatments to depression to ADHD.
It is important to get treatment as quickly as possible if you or a loved one is abusing and addicted to prescription drugs as they can deliver serious consequences. Fortunately, there are a number of well-known drug treatment centers in Santa Clara, California that can help you get clean and recover from your addiction to prescription opioids.
How to Tell if Someone is Using Prescription Drugs
The effects of prescription medications can vary significantly depending on a number of factors like the type of drug, the individual taking it, how much the user has taken, and whether or not prolonged prescription drug use has been going on.
Based on the general type of drug, some of the signs of prescription drug abuse include:
- Opioid Painkillers: One of the most serious drug problems in the US is the misuse of opioids. Some of the physical symptoms can include nausea, constipation, slowed breathing, lack of coordination and a sense of confusion. There can also be drowsiness. As an individual takes higher doses, it can result to more pain, which opioids are originally prescribed by physicians to treat. There are also withdrawal symptoms with opioids that indicate if someone is using drugs, including nausea and vomiting, flashes of cold, involuntary movements, restlessness, pain, diarrhea, and seizures.
- Sedatives: This type of prescription drug, that also includes anti-anxiety prescription medications, triggers a number of physical symptoms like dizziness, slurred speech, sleepiness, slower breathing, problems with concentration as well as memory, and problems with walking. There may also be poor judgment as well as tics or involuntary movements.
- Stimulants: If someone is using stimulants, some of the warning signs you can watch out for include agitation, jitteriness or a sense of anxiety. Loss of appetite, and have a raised body temperature and an irregular heartbeat are also signs of the use of stimulant drugs, such as amphetamines. When people abuse stimulants, they will often experience unexplained weight loss, and may even experience seizures.
Behavioral Warning Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
Gauging whether or not an individual is abusing prescription medications is not just based on physical red flags and signs. There can also be behavioral warning signs and changes that can occur with the abuse of prescription drugs.
First of all, as an individual begins using or abusing prescription medications, changes in behavior may be subtle. These behavioral changes can include symptoms like irritability or a lack of focus or concentration in areas like school or work.
As an individual continues to use prescription medications, over time, they will often become more aggressive, and begin displaying noticeable changes in their personality. This can result in damaged relationships with family and friends, and if individuals are abusing prescription medications or other types of drugs, they will often create a new circle of friends or social groups.
Priorities are likely to change, and commitments with work or school can be pushed aside. Signs of prescription drug use may include depression, financial problems, secrecy or lying, or trying to take extreme measures in order to obtain the drugs.
In many cases, people who are addicted to prescription drugs study the symptoms that require the medications to be prescribed so that they can visit a doctor and say that they are experiencing those symptoms. They may go “doctor shopping” until they find one who will give them the prescription they need to obtain the drugs. Some people may also steal drugs from others.
Risk Factors for Addiction to Prescription Medications
There are certain risk factors that people need to be aware of when it comes to prescription drug addiction, including past addictions, a family history of substance abuse, being part of an environment where there is prevalent drug use, or certain psychiatric conditions.
When a user develops a kind of physical dependency on prescription medications, they build a tolerance to the drug and will begin to require increasingly larger doses of the same drug so as to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Drug addiction refers to certain behaviors in which an individual compulsively tries to get and use drugs, even when there is a very negative impact on their life. Signs of prescription drug addiction can also present as withdrawal symptoms when the user suddenly stops taking the drugs, or takes a lower dose.
Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction
As you already know, there are a number of signs and symptoms that may indicate prescription drug use and abuse, and the actual symptoms will depend on the type of medication that the individual uses. Some of the symptoms common to all substances that are abused include:
- Doctor shopping
- Stealing medications
- Forging prescriptions
- Frequent ER visits with various somatic complaints
- Reporting prescriptions stolen or lost
- Selling medications for money
- Irritability and hostility
- Mood swings
- Angry outbursts or anger
- Poor judgment
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Difficulty making decisions
- Stealing or other illegal behavior
- Inconsistent answers to questions about prescription usage asked by family members and physicians
Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse and Common Co-Occurring Disorders
The effects of prescription drug abuse vary depending on the type of medication that the individual uses. However, some of the common effects of all types of prescription medication abuse include:
- Relationship problems
- Negative health consequences
- Psychological issues
- Legal problems
- Loss of job or employment problems
Some of the common co-occurring disorders found with addiction to prescription medications include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Somatization disorders
- Conduct disorder
- Additional substance abuse disorders
Withdrawal Symptoms from Prescription Medications
Physical withdrawal symptoms tend to differ significantly from person to person depending on the type of medication used, the quantity consumed, the degree of addiction, and also the period of time that the person used the prescription drugs. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms from prescription medications may include:
- Shakes and tremors
- Bone and muscle pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Racing thoughts
- Decreased self-confidence
- Decreased self-esteem
Treatment for Addiction to Prescription Drugs
As mentioned earlier, many people who abuse prescription medications often do not think that they have a serious problem.
This means that very few of them seek help for their prescription drug abuse and addiction issues. However, you must keep in mind that taking prescription drugs for nonmedical use is highly dangerous and can cause a wide range of health complications and devastation to your life.
It is important that the treatment you receive for prescription drug abuse and addiction targets the issues you face and the factors that led to your addiction.
You should, at the same time, remember that there is no “one size fits all” treatment plan for substance abuse. Each program works differently for users, so you need to make sure that you receive the right treatment – one that is tailored to address your unique needs and issues.
The first step to finding the right drug treatment program is the drug addiction assessment. This is a simple process that is conducted by a trained professional such as a counselor or therapist. They are trained to diagnose addictions and obtain information to make sure that you receive the right treatment for your addiction disorder.
During the assessment, you will be given a standardized questionnaire asking questions about your current drug use, symptoms, patterns of behavior, history of health and treatment, and how your addiction to prescription drugs has impacted your life. This is also when the professional will determine the extent of your addiction and whether you have any co-occurring disorders or health conditions.
You may also be referred to a physician to medically evaluate you. This usually involves a physical examination and diagnosis of any co-occurring condition.
All the information gathered during the assessment will be used to ensure that you receive the best help for your addiction. For example, the diagnosis of a co-occurring condition will play a role in the medications that you receive once you enter the drug rehab facility. The process is conducted in private settings and all information is confidential.
After the assessment, you will need to go through the pre-intake process. You will be given a form to fill out as well as a list of documents (medical records, etc.) and personal items that you need to bring when you enter the drug rehab facility.
Like the assessment, the information gathered during the pre-intake is used to help you find the right treatment program for your prescription medication addiction.
The process gives drug treatment providers a better understanding of your needs and issues, which in turn helps them provide you with a customized treatment plan that meets your specific needs and addresses your unique issues.
The next step is the intake process. This is an interview with the admissions staff of a drug treatment facility or other qualified professionals.
This is another process that gives treatment providers a clearer picture of your addiction, the extent of your addiction, co-occurring disorders, etc., which will allow them to tailor a treatment plan specifically for your needs and issues and make sure that you have the best chance of recovering from your addiction to prescription drugs.
The intake involves a wide range of questions, including questions about your drug habit, your mental condition, criminal history, etc. This is when most people lie when asked certain questions, often due to embarrassment or shame, especially when it relates to their drug use or mental health.
You may feel inclined to do the same. However, it is crucial that you keep in mind that you need to answer all questions openly and truthfully as your answers will help the treatment providers determine what you need and tailor a treatment plan accordingly. Not answering truthfully will only hinder the treatment you receive and its effectiveness in helping you overcome your addiction.
Some of the questions you will be asked during the intake process include:
- When and why did you decide to seek help for your drug abuse issues?
- Did you decide to get treatment because of an intervention, ultimatum, court order, etc.?
- What is the exact type of prescription drugs you abuse?
- What was the first drug you used?
- Do you mix your prescription drugs with alcohol or other drugs?
- How often do you use prescription medications in a day?
- How has your life changed as a result of your addiction?
- How has it affected your life, relationships, etc.?
- What is your family status? Are you married, have children, etc.?
- Do you have any medical condition that requires you to take medication?
- Is there a history of substance abuse or addiction in your family?
- Is there a family history of mental health disorders?
- Do you have a criminal history?
- How do you finance your addiction?
- Are you employed? What is your financial status?
- Have you received treatment for your addiction before? How many times?
As you can see, some of the questions can be personal and may seem invasive to some. But as mentioned, your answers will play a role in the type of treatment you receive and how effective it is.
Similar to the other processes, the information you provide in the intake process is kept strictly confidential and used solely for the purpose of designing a personalized treatment plan and maximizing your chances of recovering from your addiction to prescription medications.
Although detox is not a part of drug treatment, it does provide a strong foundation for the actual treatment. When you have been abusing prescription drugs, or any other substance, toxins and other harmful substances accumulate in your system, especially with prolonged use. These toxins need to be flushed out of the body before you receive primary drug treatment.
There are many different types of detox programs – inpatient and outpatient, from medically-assisted to holistic. Whatever you do, you should make sure that you do not go through the process alone. It is best to detox under the supervision of trained and experienced professionals or a medical team.
When you are detoxing, you will go through withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be painful and uncomfortable, and complications might occur as well. You need a medical team to monitor your vital signs and administer medications to alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms and help you sleep.
You may think that you can detox on your own, but you should avoid this. Many people who try to detox themselves end up using prescription drugs again when they can no longer bear the withdrawal symptoms.
Having supervision, especially under a team of trained medical professionals, is best as you get the treatment and care as well as the support you need while going through detox and make sure that you are ready for your primary treatment to recover from prescription drug addiction.
Inpatient Treatment Program
When it comes to treatment for substance abuse, an inpatient treatment center is a great choice as it has many advantages. It gives you a clean and safe environment away from normal activities that cultivate drug cravings and allows you to focus solely on your recovery. You get to stay in a conducive environment where you can seek help and support from trained and experienced professionals any time.
Also known as residential treatment centers (RTCs), inpatient centers offer group, family and individual counseling sessions, therapy and other services to address the issues you have and get to the root of the problem that caused you to abuse prescription drugs in the first place.
There are also educational and vocational classes that you can join to help you when you complete your program and are ready to return to normal life in your own home. Some inpatient facilities also offer 12-step programs that provide support from other people recovering from substance abuse.
Outpatient Treatment Program
An outpatient treatment program (OTP) offers the same services and care that inpatient programs do, but without the need to admit yourself into a facility.
You can receive treatment for your addiction to prescription medications while still being able to live at home, go to work and take care of your daily responsibilities. There are counseling and therapy sessions scheduled on specific days of the week. You will be required to attend those sessions. The OTP will also provide you with the medications you need to assist in your recovery.
There are also intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) that you can enroll in if you need help with your addiction to prescription drugs. However, this type of outpatient program is best as a step-down treatment option after you have completed your primary treatment in an inpatient treatment center. They offer care, support, and services to help you continue with your recovery and make sure that you do not relapse into drug abuse.
Aftercare and Sober Living Homes
Addiction, no matter what the drug, is a lifelong disease that you need to fight, and after leaving a treatment facility, you need to continue receiving care and support from loved ones as well as professionals. Aftercare services provide that and more.
They can be a very helpful tool when you return home and want to rebuild your life. Aftercare services address many aspects of your life, such as housing, child care, finances, transportation, education, vocation and more. Aftercare services help ensure that you continue to receive the support you need as you make the transition to a life without drugs.
On the other hand, sober living homes offer a safe, drug-free environment that you can live in when you do not have a safe place to return to. It houses multiple recovering addicts who support each other as they make the transition to normal life.
However, you must bear in mind that sober living homes have strict rules and regulations that you must follow. You must also pay your rent, buy your own food, etc. Additionally, there are random drug tests that you must submit too.
Get Quality Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction in Santa Clara, California
If you or someone in your family or friends circle is struggling with prescription drug addiction and want to get clean, there are many superb drug treatment centers in Santa Clara, California. From luxury facilities to more affordable clinics, you can find the right treatment center that provides the right treatment plan tailored to suit your needs and issues.
With the help of highly trained and experienced professionals in these facilities, you can begin rebuilding your life and living a healthy and happy life without the devastating presence of prescription medications.