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Prescription Drug Abuse – Trenton, NJ

Prescription drug abuse occurs when a person becomes addicted to a prescription drug and/or uses a drug that is not prescribed to them as a means to get high.

Statistics for Prescription Drug Abuse in Trenton

Of the top drug threats identified in New Jersey, pharmaceuticals ranked number one on the list, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prescription drug abuse, particularly for opioids, such as morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone is very high.

In Trenton’s Mercer County, there were 31 overdose deaths from prescription opioids in 2012, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prescription drug abuse remains a problem in Mercer County. From the time period of 2009 to 2012, treatment admissions for prescription opioid abuse increased by 121 percent, but slightly decreased (6 percent) by 2013.

Common Drugs of Abuse

There are a number of prescription drugs abused in the Trenton area.  Examples of drug categories and drugs that fall under these categories include:

Examples of drugs that are abused in this category include.

  • Opiates, such as morphine, codeine, vicodin, OxyContin and fentanyl. Doctors typically prescribe these medications to relieve pain.
  • Sedatives, such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium and Klonopin. These medications may also be called tranquilizers and they are commonly prescribed to relieve anxiety.
  • Stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin. These medications are prescribed to improve concentration in those who experience attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse can overtake a person’s life and cause him or her to become singularly focused on using and obtaining the particular drug. Examples of symptoms a person may be addicted to a particular substance include:

Appearing high, sedated or unusually energetic when in public

  • Depression
  • Lack of coordination
  • Restlessness
  • Stealing or selling prescriptions
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Taking higher dosages of medications than is prescribed to the person
  • Unexplained drowsiness
  • Unsteady walking

Additional symptoms can depend upon the particular drug type abused.

Why Are Prescription Drugs So Addictive?

Prescription drugs can be addictive because they are created to cause changes in the brain that can produce pleasurable responses, including pain relief, anxiety reduction and feelings of euphoria. A person can quickly become addicted to these sensations a person may experience when taking a prescription drug. For this reason, addictive medications are often prescribed on a short-term basis.

When used long-term, health risks can result from prescription drug abuse, including the possibility for overdose, which can be deadly.

Treatment Options/Withdrawal from the Substances

If a person is addicted to a particular prescription drug, he or she will likely experience some withdrawal symptoms when no longer using the drug. Examples of withdrawal symptoms a person can experience due to prescription drug abuse include:

Adderall: Major symptoms associated with Adderall withdrawals include extreme fatigue and difficulty sleeping. The higher the dosages a person takes, the more likely a person is to experience significant withdrawals.

Ambien: Ambien withdrawals symptoms can occur after taking the medicine for only a few weeks. Withdrawal symptoms can include stomach cramping, anxiety, fear, nausea, nightmares, panic attacks and shaking.

Hydrocodone and other opiates: Opiate withdrawals can cause symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, panic attacks, muscle pain and flu-like symptoms. Doctors can prescribe medications to help a person break an addiction to opiates. Examples include methadone, which is commonly prescribed to break an addiction to heroin, and Suboxone, which is prescribed to treat opiate addiction.

To learn more about prescription drug abuse treatment at Drug Treatment Centers Trenton, call 609-770-6140.

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