Prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication without a prescription or in a way other than prescribed because of the experience or feelings that the medication elicits. Powerful medications can create dependence because of the way they affect the brain, and people who have used them may experience withdrawal symptoms whenever they don’t have their medication. Individuals who would never think of themselves as “addicts” can find themselves almost helplessly dependent on drugs—especially pain-killing medications—they may have begun to use while under the care of a physician.
Different parts of the brain are targeted by different prescription drugs and any two individuals may respond differently to the same medication. Therefore, each resident must be approached individually based on their own needs.
There are several different therapies that may be used to treat prescription drug abuse. Behavioral therapy is very effective for treating stimulant addictions and can be given on an out-resident or in-resident basis. Motivational interviewing can be very beneficial for individuals who are in denial about their addiction or if their treatment is not voluntary. These and other therapies–sometimes used in combination—work to overcome the challenges facing addicted individuals and lead to successful recovery.
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