Learn about prescription drug misuse in Dallas and where to treat it 

Since the 1990s there has been a dramatic increase in the prescriptions of drugs that could be considered problematic when misused. Powerful opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and amphetamine class stimulants are becoming more widely prescribed throughout the United States, and North Texas is no exception to this trend. Records from emergency rooms and rehab centers in Dallas are a testament to the rising threat.

Prescription drug misuse is nothing new. Once a patient has access to a drug, there is no guarantee that they can safeguard it from unauthorized parties or that they will be able to closely follow its use as directed. Most single cases of misuse, while risky, are not much of a cause for concern.

Unfortunately, with so many legal prescriptions of addictive drugs being given out today, a rise in problem use is inevitable. Many people who misuse prescription medications may later develop a substance use disorder. Many who are unable to obtain prescriptions may then turn to black market sources or illicit drugs, exposing them to other risks and dangers.

The misuse of prescription drugs includes a wide range of behaviors, with common examples including the overuse of medications, the combination of medications, taking other people’s medications, purchasing prescriptions and drugs on the black market, and using different methods of administration than intended.

Prescription drug misuse is treated in a similar way to alcohol or illicit drug misuse. Depending on the medications involved, a medically-supervised detox period may be recommended. In most cases, ongoing behavioral therapy and relapse prevention programs will be necessary to help recovering individuals stay clean.

If you live in North Texas, help is only a phone call away. If you or a loved one are suffering from prescription drug misuse, call Dallas Drug Treatment Centers at (214) 453-5663 to learn about your treatment options.

Prescription drug statistics

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 52 million Americans have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at some point during their life. There are an estimated 8.76 million current prescription drug abusers, with 5.1 million misusing opioid painkillers, 2.2 million misusing CNS depressants, and 1.1 million misusing stimulants.

54.2 percent of people obtain drugs free from friends and family members, with 18.1 percent getting drugs from a single doctor, 16.6 percent purchasing or taking drugs from friends or relatives, and 3.9 percent getting drugs from a dealer. For more perspective of the scope of the problem, over 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs are consumed by Americans, who represent just 5 percent of the global population.

Many prescription drugs are linked to substance use disorders, a term introduced in 2013 by the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that covers both substance addiction and abuse. This condition affects people from all walks of life, with people who have never used illegal drugs in their life still at risk of becoming dependent. Commonly misused prescription drugs include Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta, among many others.

Most misused prescription medications in Dallas

Emergency rooms and drug rehab centers in the Dallas metro report the following as the most misused prescription medications:

Opioids

Opioid painkillers are the most commonly misused class of prescription medications. The term covers both opiates, compounds derived naturally from the opium poppy, as well as newer synthetic drugs that have similar chemical structures. 

Opioids are an essential class of drugs and licensed physicians may legally prescribe them to treat acute pain and certain chronic pain conditions. Unfortunately, opioids have a high potential for misuse and are readily available on the black market. When taken regularly, opioids can create tolerance and dependence over time.

Most prescription opioid drugs are incredibly addictive. A medically-supervised withdrawal program is often recommended, as suddenly stopping opioid dosing can be fatal to long-time opioid users. Opioid replacement therapy is a particular type of treatment offered to individuals recovering from opioid use, where prescription opioids like methadone and buprenorphine are given to prevent harm during withdrawal.

CNS depressants

CNS depressants, also known as tranquilizers, are the second most commonly misused class of prescription drugs. Benzodiazepines account for most of this use, with common examples including Valium, Klonopin, Serax, and Xanax. 

Benzodiazepines are taken medically to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. These drugs are also commonly used for recreation. Benzodiazepines are cross-tolerant with other CNS depressants like alcohol and barbiturates, with overdose and even death possible with heavy use and particular drug combinations. 

Barbiturates are another commonly misused CNS depressant, with these drugs rarely taken medically but still available through the black market.

Stimulants

Stimulants are the third most commonly misused class of prescription medications. These drugs are taken medically to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but are often misused to help improve wakefulness and confidence. 

Prescription stimulants include dextroamphetamine drugs like Dexedrine, methylphenidate drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta, and amphetamines like Adderall. 

While long-term stimulant use does not cause a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome, individuals withdrawing from stimulants can still experience discomfort and strong cravings.

Get help for prescription drug misuse

If you live in North Texas, help for problems with prescription medication is only a phone call away. If you or someone you love is hooked on these medications, call Dallas Drug Treatment Centers at (214) 453-5663. We can help you find prescription drug treatment facilities in the Dallas area that meet all your needs. Call us today to learn about your options.