What is prescription drug abuse?
Prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication not prescribed for you, in a way other than prescribed or to get high. When abused, prescription drugs can be as dangerous as “street” drugs, with similar effects on the brain, including the possibility of addiction.
Prescription drug abuse is illegal, even though most abusers get them from friends and family. Almost 2.2 million people 12 and older abused prescription opioids, including pain relievers, stimulants, and sedatives, for the first time in 2009.
* From the National Institute on Drug Abuse
Commonly Abused Prescription Medications
- Stimulants – Includes drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and sleep disorders (ie. Ritalin)
- Depressants, Sedatives and Tranquilizers – Includes drugs such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan)
- Opioid Painkillers – Includes drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Do I have a problem with prescription drugs?
If you think you may have a problem with prescription drug abuse, you can take the following assessment. The assessment is anonymous and is intended to provide insight to your own level of prescription drug use. Prescription Drug Abuse Assessment
If you believe that you may need treatment, understand that you are not alone. The Council on Chemical Abuse can assist you in determining your next step towards recovery. Click here to contact us and request more information, or call The Council at (610) 376-8669.
Does someone I know have a problem with prescription drugs?
Educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse may lead you to question someone’s physical and behavioral characteristics. You must note that each type of prescription drug will present different symptoms. Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
If you think someone is abusing prescription drugs see Intervention to look consider various ways to discuss your concerns. Addiction affects the entire family unit and can extend past the family into friends, co-workers, etc. There are many emotions that surround someone’s prescription drug abuse: guilt, shame, rejection, resentment, and anger. Getting a person to recognize that treatment is necessary is the first step towards recovery. Realize that you can provide support and encourage treatment, but the disease of addiction is something one has to commit to treating on their own terms.
Where can I get help?
Prescription drug treatment options depend on the specific type of medication being abused.
- Reading Health System 24 Hour Addiction Hotline (484) 628-8186
- Treatment Access and Services Center, Inc. (TASC) (610) 375-4426
- Drug Abuse Treatment Hotline 1-866-949-7195
Support Groups- Twelve Step Meetings
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Reading Area of Narcotics Anonymous (610) 374-5944 or Find a Meeting
- Pills Anonymous
For Family and Friends
- Al-Anon Pennsylvania Area (610) 373-5237 Berks County Meeting Schedule
- Al-Anon/Alateen 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) Mon- Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Berks County Meeting Schedule
- PA Stop
- Medicine Abuse Project – From Rx to Heroin Infographic
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: Prescription Drugs and Cold Medicine
- National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence
- NIDA for Teens: Prescription Pain Medications (Opioids)
- Office of National Drug Control Policy
- MAYO Clinic
- The Center for Rural PA, Heroin: Combating this Growing Epidemic in Pennsylvania
Clergy, Employee Assistance Programs, Family, Friends, Physician, School Personnel, etc.