Prescription Drug Abuse in Vineland, NJ

Cumberland County has one of the highest rates of addiction treatment admissions in New Jersey, with heroin and prescription opioid painkillers accounting for 42 percent of admissions, according to the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Prescription drug abuse in Vineland and greater Cumberland County is a major problem, and in fact, Cumberland County has the highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the state.

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is the use of any prescription medication for non-medical purposes, taking a prescription drug that doesn't belong to you, or taking a prescription drug in a way other than as prescribed. Prescription drugs are abused in the U.S. more than any other category of drugs except marijuana, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

One reason for the high prevalence of prescription drug abuse in Vineland is the common misconception that prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs, since they're prescribed by a physician. But the truth is, prescription drug abuse is incredibly dangerous, accounting for 51 percent of all drug-related visits to the emergency department in the U.S. Still, over 14 million people over the age of 12 abused prescription medications in 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, representing a 132 percent increase from 2004.

The Most Common Prescription Drugs of Abuse

Although the U.S. accounts for just five percent of the world's population, we use 75 percent of its prescription drugs.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs include:

  • Opioid painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin, which are prescribed for pain.
  • Central nervous system sedatives, like Xanax or Valium, which treat anxiety disorders.
  • Central nervous system stimulants, like Adderall or Ritalin, which are used to treat ADHD and some sleep disorders.

The Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse causes devastating, long-term health problems for scores of Americans.

Opioid abuse can cause sexual dysfunction, brain damage, organ failure, blood infections, and an increased risk of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Sedative abuse can lead to permanent memory problems, dangerously low blood pressure, respiratory problems, and depression. Stimulant abuse can permanently damage the blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, and it can cause liver, kidney, and lung damage.

Overdose is a major concern when it comes to prescription drug abuse in Vineland. Heroin addiction in Vineland and other opioid overdose deaths alone have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and New Jersey is one of the hardest-hit states for opioid overdose.

Addiction and dependence are another major concern for those who abuse prescription drugs. Prescription drug addiction is a serious medical disease that typically requires professional treatment.

How Abuse Transitions to Addiction and Dependence

When you abuse drugs, the memory, learning, and pleasure centers of the brain are affected. The brain makes intense connections between the drug and the pleasure it produces, and the result is intense cravings for the drug. This leads to compulsive drug use despite the negative consequences it causes, and this is the defining characteristic of addiction.

Additionally, using drugs changes the way your brain functions chemically as it tries to compensate for the presence of the drug. Over time, with chronic abuse, these brain changes may reach a point at which the brain operates more comfortably when the drug is in your system than when it's not. Then, when you try to quit using, brain function rebounds, and withdrawal symptoms set in. This is the defining characteristic of dependence.

Addiction and dependence often occur together, and prescription drug abuse treatment is essential for ending the dependence and treating the addiction.

How Prescription Drug Abuse in Vineland is Treated

Addiction treatment programs in Vineland start with medical detox if dependence has developed. Medical detox is supervised by medical personnel, who administer medications as needed to alleviate the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and shorten the duration of the detox process. Medical detox ends the physical dependence on drugs.

Treating the addiction is more complex and requires delving into the underlying causes of the addiction, which often includes a history of trauma, chronic stress, family dysfunction, or mental illness. A variety of therapies are used in our programs for relapse prevention in Vineland to address the underlying issues and help you develop a toolkit of skills and strategies for coping with cravings, stress, and other powerful triggers.

Treatment Works

Prescription drug abuse treatment works. By addressing the issues underlying the addiction, learning how to cope with triggers, and replacing self-destructive thought and behavior patterns with healthier ways of thinking and behaving, you'll leave treatment with the skills you need to end the addiction for good and enjoy a higher quality of life and better sense of well-being for the long-term.

Call us now for help (856) 506-3270.

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