When a doctor prescribes a medication, they will typically provide some form of direction when it comes to how often it is taken, how much, whether to take it with food, and more. This is done to ensure the best results for that patient and mitigate any associated risks that come with taking the drug. Because most get prescriptions and instructions from a medical professional, there is a lot of misinformation about the dangers of the substances and their associated abuse. To combat this, Banyan Treatment Center Delaware below lists key facts about prescription drugs and the risks of becoming addicted to them.
Facts About Prescription Drug Abuse
A wide range of substances and drug types fall into the bucket of prescription medications. These can include stimulants, opioids, painkillers, sedatives, and benzodiazepines. For each of these types, there is a surplus of substances that are abused for a variety of reasons, each with unique and potentially damaging results.
Not as Safe as Some May Think
It may surprise you to learn that 35% of teenagers abuse prescriptions because they think they are safer than illicit drugs.1 The reality is that a person can fall into a habit of prescription drug abuse because they do not realize the addictiveness of their medicine. Because these drugs are meant to be prescribed by a licensed medical professional or doctor, not all will realize that even these substances hold their own potential for addiction. While obtaining a prescription in a pharmacy will effectively erase the risk of the drug being laced with other substances, that does not mean what is being purchased cannot be abused.
Most New Users Take Painkillers
Statistically, the most abused prescription drugs are painkillers, with roughly 9.7 million people misusing them on an annual basis. It is also worth noting that 43.3% of first-time abusers will take these painkillers, which is over 11% more than those who use sedatives.1 This makes sense when considering the rampant number of people who struggle with chronic pain, along with those who simply seek out a high.
Differences by Gender to Consider
An interesting yet concerning statistic to keep in mind is while women are roughly 11% more likely to be prescribed a drug, it is 22.9% more likely that men will abuse them.1 In fact, while pain relievers remain the most abused prescription substance among both genders, 32.5% more men will use them than women.1 Finally, while women are more likely to take drugs like stimulants to heighten their alertness, men are more likely to do so in the hopes of getting high.1
Most Common in Young Adults
Perhaps one of the most concerning facts about prescription drugs is their rates of abuse among teenagers and young adults. In teens ages 12 to 17, 4.9% will abuse prescriptions on a yearly basis, while that number shoots up to 14.4% in people aged 18 to 25.1 It is known that many college students will abuse stimulants like Adderall to increase their attentiveness in academic endeavors. Regarding teenagers, a staggering 62% say they opt to abuse these drugs because they are easy to obtain from their parent’s supply of medicine.1
Not All Users Intend to Get High
Despite the trouble statistics listed above, less than 1 in 10 prescription drug abusers misuse their medicine with the intention of experiencing a high.1 Take painkillers, for instance. If a person does not feel their pain is relieved enough, they may think that taking an additional dose in a day will not do much harm. This can lead them to develop a tolerance, meaning they need more of the substance to produce the desired effects.
Before they know it, they could be dealing with a full-blown addiction and even withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop. In the case of the latter, our detox in Delaware provides prescription drug detoxification to help patients rid their bodies of these chemicals in a safe and medically monitored environment.
Get Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment With Banyan
Our Delaware drug rehab offers prescription drug addiction treatment for those struggling with their own addiction. It is through this program that patients will have the ability to attend a variety of therapy sessions that will help them reevaluate how they cope with mental illness or other symptoms associated with their drug abuse.
To learn more about addiction treatment options at our Delaware rehab center, call Banyan at 888-280-4763 and speak with an intake specialist today.