Topsail Addiction Treatment

Prescription Pill Addiction Treatment

What is a Prescription Drug Addiction?

Statistics suggest more than 18 million Americans aged 12 and above have abused prescription drugs in the past 12 months. The American Medical Association states, “an estimated 3 to 19 percent of people who take prescription pain medications develop an addiction to them.”

A prescription drug addiction, also known as a prescription medication addiction, is a complex health issue that revolves around the compulsive use of prescribed medications – in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor. This type of addiction can find its roots from legitimate medical use, but can evolve over time into a physical and psychological dependence in nature.

The medications most commonly associated with prescription drug addiction fall into three main categories: opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants. Opioids are particularly notorious for their highly addictive potential due to their powerful pain-relieving and euphoric effects.

An addiction to prescription medications is typically developed over a period of time, where the individual’s tolerance to the medication increases. This results in higher dosages and altered usage patterns. This escalation often results in the individual using the medication achieving a psychological or physical effect rather than for its intended medical purpose.

Prescription drug abuse can be impactful in various ways. Not only can it affect the individual’s physical health – increasing the possibility of an overdose or other health complications – but also their mental health, relationships, careers, and overall quality of life. Aside from the United States, it is a global concern, one that significantly contributes to the burden of drug abuse.

Due to the widespread nature of substance abuse with prescription pills, it has become a necessity for specialist treatment program solutions to be created. These are able to help with prevention, early intervention, and develop effective treatment strategies.

Treatment for prescription pill addiction

Prescription Pill Addiction Treatment in MA

At TOPSAIL, we specialize in intensive outpatient programs. This includes our prescription drug rehab program, which offers a structured yet flexible approach to rehabilitation. With our drug addiction treatment program, we provide a vital middle ground between inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment, allowing individuals to receive intensive care while maintaining their daily responsibilities.

Our supportive environment in Massachusetts includes a multi-faceted approach to treatment. This includes support groups, individual counseling, medication management, and educated sessions about addiction treatment and the recovery journey. Sessions take place over several days each each week. With this comprehensive structure in place, it addresses not only the physical aspects of addiction, but also the psychological aspects and social factors contributing to the disorder. With the development of coping strategies, life skills, and relapse prevention techniques, we give patients the platform to successfully achieve long-term recovery.

Additionally, you will find a supportive community environment at TOPSAIL. Our prescription drug addiction treatment center enables participants to share experiences and offer mutual support. This sense of community is invaluable in reducing the stigma associated with drug addiction and promoting recovery.

After meeting with one of our medical professionals, each patient is thoroughly assessed to see which treatment options best fit with their prescription pill addiction. There are three general categories these fall under the following.

Overview of Topsail's Prescription Pill Treatment Programs

Full-Day treatment programs, sometimes called “partial hospitalization programs” or “PHP,” is the highest level of drug and alcohol treatment in an outpatient setting. Consisting of 5 to 6-hour sessions 5 days a week, the intensive Day program at Topsail Addiction Treatment has been created to help patients with significant addiction, and substance abuse issues. It is well suited for individuals who are either beginning their rehab journey or as a transition for people who have recently completed inpatient addiction treatment (PHP is usually the next step after detox and/or residential treatment is complete).

An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is an immersive treatment program that helps individuals with substance abuse and addiction or alcohol problems while they live at home. IOPs are programs designed so the patient can live in their own residence or a sober living home and take part in an immersive program of continuing treatment at the facility

Weekly Outpatient addiction treatment (OP) tends to be more flexible and less restrictive than inpatient programs. Outpatient recovery programs usually require a specific number of hours and days per week spent visiting a local treatment center.

During these treatment sessions, patients will focus on drug abuse education, individual and group counseling, and learning coping strategies for living with addiction.  Outpatient alcohol rehab can be an excellent standalone option or part of a long-term treatment program. Outpatient addiction treatment can last three to six months — something similar to inpatient treatment — or for longer if required.

With this full range of treatment options, we are able to give the best help to those that have developed a prescription drug dependency. As one of the leading medical centers in Massachusetts, we are committed to helping local residents receive the professional substance addiction services they need to successfully recover and enjoy long-term recovery.

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Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

When talking about commonly abused prescription drugs, they generally fall under three categories. These are:

Opioid painkillers

Opioids, like oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and morphine, are prescribed medication for pain relief. Their high potential for addiction and abuse stems from their powerful euphoric effects and pain relief. Opioids are the most commonly abused prescription drugs.


There are various stimulants available. For example, amphetamines like Adderall help to treat ADHD. These stimulants are used to enhance focus and energy. Abuse of these drugs can result in heightened alertness and an increased heart rate.


Depressants, including benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium, are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Abuse of depressants can lead to drowsiness and dependence.

Each of these drugs produce a different impact on the user. However, these medications all have something in common: if they are abused or used improperly, they all pose a danger to the user.

Prescription Medications Abuse Symptoms

Recognizing the symptoms of medications abuse is critical for early intervention and effective prescription drug addiction treatment. While symptoms can vary depending on the type of prescription being abused, they generally cover behavioral, physical, and psychological changes.

Physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms

When an individual stops taking their prescription drug, it can result in them experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These can include physical issues such as nausea, shaking, and sweating. In terms of physical dependence, this can increase their tolerance levels, leading to higher doses required to achieve the same effect as when they first started taking their pills.

Changes in sleep patterns

With prescription drug abuse, this can result in notable changes in sleep patterns. This could cause excessive sleepiness or, at the other end of the scale, persistent insomnia. Stimulants, for example, may lead to prolonged periods of wakefulness, whereas depressants and opioids can result in oversleeping or unusual feelings of drowsiness. As a result, prescription pills can be the cause of sleep disorders.

Mood changes and mental health disorders

As noted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, excessive use of prescription pills can be detrimental to the mental state of addicts. It may lead to unexplained anxiety, agitation, or depression. This mental illness could also manifest as impaired cognitive functions, where a person struggles to concentrate and make decisions. It is known that various mental health conditions can develop or be exacerbated due to prescription drug abuse.

Neglect of responsibilities

When an individual is addicted to consuming prescription drugs, it can see them neglect various responsibilities in their daily life. This can include decreased levels of performance at work or school. They could also develop a disregard for social and family obligations, where they begin to withdraw from family and friends, resulting in an isolated situation without a supportive environment around them.

Physical health issues

Physical health issues associated with prescription drug addiction can include noticeable weight fluctuations, whether this is weight loss or gain. Additionally, abusers may experience health complaints such as gastrointestinal problems or persistent fatigue. If the drug addiction is allowed to persist, this can result in more severe pain and physical health issues. For instance, chronic abuse can cause severe damage to vital organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart.

The Dangers of Prescription Pill Addiction

Aside from the side effects listed above, there are other dangers associated with abusing prescription pills. For instance, reports state that over 50% of individuals misusing their prescription pills are:

  • Stealing additional medications from a friend or family member.

  • “Doctor shopping”, which involves getting multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors.

  • Filling out prescriptions at different pharmacies. By doing so, the intention is that nobody notices how many pills they are receiving each month.

As these drugs have been prescribed by a medical professional, it can be easy for users to overlook the dangers of using the likes of opioids and benzos. However, once the consumption of these drugs extends beyond the prescribed level, it can result in a wide assortment of mental health disorders and physical issues.

Prescription Pills as a Gateway Drug

It is not uncommon for prescription pills to be used as a gateway to more dangerous, illicit drugs. Their misuse can see people experiment with and depend on more dangerous substances. This transition typically occurs when a user develops a tolerance for their prescription medication. They seek stronger effects or alternative highs as the initial drug, even in higher doses, no longer delivers the desired effect.

Opioids, for example, are well-known for their role in leading individuals to heroin. Not only is it cheaper, but heroin is a more accessible alternative that produces similar effects. With prescription pain relivers becoming more regulated – which drives up the prices and reduces supply in the process – addicts will turn to illicit drugs for their fix.

The gateway effect also extends beyond the physical to include psychological and social factors. Drug misuse has been normalized in certain social circles. Consequently, this lowers inhibitions towards dabbling in other substances. Moreover, underlying mental health issues may drive individuals to seek various forms of self-medication.

With these points in mind, it is essential to address prescription pill addiction early. Without doing so, it can lead users down a road towards more severe substance use disorders.

Prescription Drug Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

When it comes to treatment for a prescription drug addiction, this should begin with a medically-supervised detox. However, this detox will typically come with notable withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms vary depending on the specific medication being abused, but they typically incorporate a range of physical and psychological effects. They can range from uncomfortable to dangerous, which highlights the need for supervision and medication-assisted treatment during detoxification.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

Anxiety and agitation

Withdrawal from prescription pills often causes heightened anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. As a result, it can make it a challenge for individuals to feel calm or relaxed without taking their usual level of prescription drugs.

Mood swings

Another common withdrawal symptom is emotional fluctuations. These mood swings can go from sadness to anger or euphoria. Aside from being extreme in how they can change, they can do so at a rapid pace.

Insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns

As spotlighted above, prescription drug abuse can result in insomnia or oversleeping. Prescription opioids can contribute to the latter for example. However, when an addict ceases to consume their prescribed medication, this can also lead to disturbed sleep patterns. It can see them finding it difficult to fall or stay asleep, causing notable sleep disturbances in the process.

Flu-like physical symptoms

While getting off a prescription drug won’t lead to someone developing the flu, it can see them encounter flu-like symptoms. The likes of body aches, headaches, fever, and sweating are common symptoms, and these can be reminiscent of a severe flu.

Nausea and vomiting

Depending on the prescription drug that a person is withdrawing from, they can be in line to suffer from gastrointestinal distress. The likes of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are notable physical responses to withdrawal.

Tremors and seizures

With certain types of drugs like benzos, withdrawal can result in tremors or even seizures. While not entirely common, these symptoms usually only crop up in severe cases of withdrawal.

Drug cravings

Cravings are often a persistent symptom of prescription drug withdrawal. They provide the user with an intense, overpowering desire to return to the drug, and this can lead to challenges in maintaining abstinence.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment with TOPSAIL

An addiction to prescription drugs can be damaging both mentally and physically. The quicker you are able to stop this addiction, the more likely you are to enjoy long-term wellbeing without health complications.

If you need help with managing your prescription pill withdrawal symptoms, we are here to offer a supportive environment. At TOPSAIL, we can assist with managing your situation in a safe, controlled manner, reducing the risk of relapse and ensuring your recovery journey is a successful one.

Drug Abuse Treatment in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire

Even with stricter guidelines for physicians, an aging generation of baby-boomers and new drugs coming to market ensure the potential for prescription drug abuse will continue to rise. Topsail Addiction Treatment offers clinically proven Addiction Outpatient Programs and is located centrally for people living in Greater Boston, the North Shore, Metro-North, the South Shore, Metro-West and Southern New Hampshire. 

The dedicated, caring, and professional TOPSAIL staff can help you overcome your addictions and take back control of your lives. 

Helping People Conquer Addiction in Massachusetts

Start your journey to recovery today with Topsail Addiction Treatment — reach out now and take the first step towards a healthier, substance-free life.
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