Anti-depressants, opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines are all common prescription drugs, used to reduce and manage physical and psychological pain.

Over 11.5 million people, in England alone, averagely receive prescriptions and regularly consume them. Perceived as harmless, down to the fact that they are prescribed by medical professionals, many individuals believe that addiction rates are low across the prescription field.

Yet, while prescription guidelines for individuals are safe, the misuse of prescription drugs can be as harmful as illegal substances.

For some, this is how addiction can begin, down to excessive use of drugs, falling way beyond those guidelines. For others, without a prescription, drugs are used down to their accessibility, cost and the possible highs that they offer.

Down to their risk-free image, consumption of prescription drugs is commonly taken lightly, especially in comparison to illicit substances.

This is where significant risk is present, as we appreciate the addictive characteristics of many prescription drugs. Yet users usually lack this awareness, believing that the effects of each drug are normal, are improving illness/pain, and are safe.

This is why we must look into consumption rates, and whether as a nation, are we hooked on prescription drugs?

Here’s all you need to know about the abuse of prescription drugs, risks of addiction, addiction rates, and interventive steps to overcome their misuse. For support with the latter contact our team at Ocean Recovery.

 

Highly addictive prescription drugs

Down to complex and wide-spanning conditions, mental health issues and pain disorders, significant variations of prescription drugs are available. Yet, those which are the most prescribed are also identified as the most addictive.

Unfortunately, while some individuals follow consumption guidelines, others struggle, down to extreme side effects, down to withdrawal symptoms and down to the development of addiction.

For individuals who commonly abused illegal drugs, prescription drugs and also desirable, down to their lower cost, down to easier accessibility and down to the highs that can be experienced through both assets.

Some of the most highly addictive prescription drugs include benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed for mental health issues, anti-depressants to manage mood disorders, and opioid drugs as effective pain relief.

All rank highly addictive down to their effects, from offering respite from psychological struggles to providing pain relief from physical conditions or injury.

Commonly, for those with prescriptions, medications can become addictive down to the fact that tolerances build up over the long-term, where greater dosages are necessary to offer relief.

However, for those who abuse prescription drugs from the offset, striving for greater effects will likely be the case.

Unfortunately, prescription drug addictions can easily develop if enabled, which carry significant risks. The concern is, are we hooked on prescription drugs as a nation down to their accessibility and long-term usage?

 

Abuse of prescription drugs and the risk of addiction

Prescription drugs may initially be used by following dosage guidelines. In this instance, they will more than likely offer their desired effects. Yet, one issue which is seen across many cases is that consumption becomes for the long-term, where those effects soon dwindle.

In order to achieve similar effects, whether for medical purposes or euphoric highs, greater quantities of prescription drugs will be consumed.

Over time, this action can increase the risk of addiction, as both the body and brain will begin to crave and require the presence of prescription drugs, helping to function optimally and comfortably.

Commonly, the risk of addiction will be overlooked by users, again down to the harmless image of prescription drugs. Yet, like any other drug, consistent, long-term misuse can result in an addiction diagnosis, difficult to withdraw from.

Addiction risks are therefore likely down to the long-term use of prescription drugs, which ranks beyond clinically guided recommendations.

However, another issue is that alternatives to prescription drugs are rarely considered or on offer, through the NHS, placing demand and pressure on the ongoing necessity of prescriptions.

Users do not know any different and can unknowingly develop an addiction down to neglect of control, down to long-term enablement and down to unsuitable alternatives to improve quality of life.

Down to the abuse of prescription drugs and the risk of addiction, greater awareness needs to be shared to the hooked nation of the UK, as any degree of addiction can result in mental health issues, dual diagnoses, and severe health problems.

Common negative impacts of addiction can also be experienced, no matter whether medically prescribed drugs are abused or not.

 

Are we hooked on prescription drugs?

Down to a lack of research, answering ‘are we hooked on prescription drugs?’ can be very difficult. However, down to the rise of drug abuse, and considering that 1 in 4 people consume highly addictive prescription drugs, a degree of addiction diagnoses is likely.

Unfortunately, many individuals do lack awareness around the damages of the misuse of prescription drugs. In tandem with this, as mental health issues are also becoming prevalent, where more individuals now suffer from the likes of depression or anxiety, more individuals are consuming anti-depressants or tranquillizers, increasing risks of addiction in the long-term.

If you’re personally misusing prescription drugs, if you’re struggling with withdrawal symptoms, or if you’re experiencing prescription drug addiction symptoms, such as the need for ongoing consumption, sourcing support should be your next step.

Check out our investigation on how the media influence drug use »

 

Overcoming prescription drug abuse

For individuals who knowingly misuse prescription drugs, support is available to overcome their addictive effects, while also finding positive coping strategies. Combating this alone can be very difficult, which is why here at Ocean Recovery, we are here to help.

Through a range of prescription drug addiction treatment services, withdrawal can be aimed for, recovery can be aimed for, relapse prevention can be aimed for, and long-term coping can be aimed for.

Concerningly, for some individuals, the enablement of drug misuse may lead to even more addictive substances. For others, mental health issues can develop or intensify.

And for others, even greater pain and worry will be experienced through prescription drug misuse.

Avoid all possibilities by placing trust in healthy and positive ways to manage pain, to manage cravings and to manage sobriety.

Unfortunately, a degree of the nation is hooked on prescription drugs. Boost your awareness to avoid this likelihood, commonly developed on an unknowing basis.

 

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prescribed-medicines-review-report/prescribed-medicines-review-summary

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dependence-on-prescription-medicines-linked-to-deprivation

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49639914

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/

John Gillen - Director at Ocean Recovery
John Gillen

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.