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What Are the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?

What Are the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drugs are medications authorized for use by licensed medical professionals. They aren’t administered over the counter but are used to manage particular symptoms. They are government-regulated, meaning they are only issued for legitimate reasons for users’ safety. When these drugs are taken for purposes other than their intended use, it is an abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 3.7 million people abused prescription drugs in 2021.

Prescription drug abuse can affect an individual negatively. It alters the brain’s structure, affecting the decision-making process. Abusing these medications leads to increased cravings, which become difficult to stop. Teenagers and young adults are the most affected among all age groups. This post discusses the signs of prescription drug abuse and the appropriate treatment approach.

DetoxLA is a Los Angeles drug and alcohol detox center that offers comprehensive, luxury treatment. Contact us today to learn more about available treatment options.

How People Take Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs manage specific symptoms of a particular condition. They aren’t sold in pharmaceuticals like over-the-counter drugs. Yet, some individuals manage to get these drugs from the prescriber. They could do this by stealing their friend’s prescription order.

Once these persons lay their hands on this class of drugs, they grind them into powder and snort. They could also dilute them in water to inject themselves. The purpose of this abuse is to achieve a certain level of effect.

Common prescription drugs include; painkillers, sedatives, and antibiotics. Other drugs are anti-anxiety agents, antipsychotics, hormone replacement therapy medications, and stimulants. These drugs produce differing levels of euphoria when taken in large or unrecommended quantities.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drugs are potent and can have adverse effects on the individual. Knowing these adverse effects, certain persons still forge ahead to take these drugs to feel good. 

Prescription drugs are life-threatening. Just because a doctor issues them doesn’t mean you should abuse them. The consequences can be heart failure or death.


Knowing prescription drug abuse signs can make you realize the danger you are causing yourself. They can serve as a wake-up call to seek professional help before things get complicated. Below are the symptoms of prescription drug abuse;

  • Increased tolerance for the drug. You require higher doses each time to achieve a more prolonged effect.
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Obsessive cravings. You think of all the ways to obtain the drug, including stealing it.
  • Drug shopping
  • Low libido
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Slurred speech
  • Depression
  • Reduced communication with your family and friends
  • Concentration issues
  • Slow reflexes
  • Dizziness

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above prescription drug abuse symptoms, they may have a condition. You or the person should contact an addiction specialist immediately for the appropriate treatment.

Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment

Excitedly, prescription drug abuse is treatable. Doctors and addiction specialists usually employ a multifaceted approach that includes medication and therapy.


The first step to recovery is to seek medical help. An addiction center will inform you about what’s onboard, including the available treatment options. A doctor may employ the following treatment options depending on the severity of the condition;


Medical detoxification is done by removing the toxins from your blood. Once this is accomplished, the doctor administers drugs to manage the withdrawal symptoms. It is usually the first step of treatment. It can be done in a residential or outpatient setting.

Evidence-based Therapy

Evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy can identify harmful behaviors triggering the addiction and seek to correct them by replacing the thoughts. The therapist encourages the individual with the addiction to find motivation from within to push through recovery.


Nutritional therapy can be used in conjunction with CBT. This entails introducing the patient to a structured diet that helps with recovery. This diet contains essential ingredients that build the body’s cells lost during the addiction phase.

Support Groups

Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery can help with recovery. They provide a platform where individuals with similar struggles share their experiences. It allows the individual to stay accountable.

DetoxLA Can Help with Your Prescription Drug Abuse Problems

Now that you know the signs of prescription drug abuse and it’s treatable, the next is to contact an addiction recovery center. This center will be responsible for your treatment and ensure you get the best services to aid your recovery. DetoxLA is the right place for that.

DetoxLA comprises compassionate, professional, and experienced medical staff willing to listen and help clients with prescription drug problems. We provide various treatment options, such as medication-assisted and evidence-based therapy. Our treatment options are tailor-made to suit the individual and foster quick recovery.