Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

Drugs work by changing the brain. For an addict to return to a healthy life, the brain disorders created by drugs need to be dialed back. This is possible with the help of medication and therapy.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


Treating prescription drug addiction is similar to treating illicit drug addiction.

Treatment has the best chance of success when a combination of medication and therapy is reinforced by a drug-free social environment. Having supportive friends and family can make a huge difference to your recovery journey.

Let’s have a look at the different kinds of treatment available for prescription drug addiction.

Prescription Drug Detox

Before moving on to other stages of treatment, harmful substances have to leave your body. Detox is essential for making sure that patients are in a stable physical condition. Withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant and dangerous. Having medical help during this process keeps patients safe. And it goes a long way in preventing relapse.

You can detox using outpatient services if your condition is not severe. If your case is complex, a residential setting with 24/7 monitoring is the best option.

Prescription Drug Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is not as expensive as inpatient treatment because it does not involve round-the-clock care. With outpatient services, you can still go to your job and maintain your daily routine. Of course, this is not suitable for people whose daily routines involve drug-taking.

Outpatient services can act as a bridge between residential rehab and normal life. They’re also a cost-effective option for patients who have access to a sober living environment and help from loved ones.

Services differ from one treatment center to the next. Some offer basic drug education. Others offer intensive day treatment or may be able to help those with co-occurring conditions.

Prescription Drug Residential Treatment

Inpatient rehab services differ too. There are long-stay rehabs where treatment programs last for six months to a year. These programs aim to re-socialize patients. When you enter a therapeutic community (TC), you are signing up for a lifestyle change. Sobriety becomes a habit. Patients have enough time to do the mental work necessary to prevent relapses when they leave.

TCs can cater to specific groups such as young people or women. They may offer job training or other services as well.

Short-term residential programs are intensive stays of about six weeks. They tend to be followed by a few months of aftercare services and therapy.

Therapy Approaches

There are various types of counseling just as there are various types of patients. Your therapist has to tailor treatment so that it works for your personal needs.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a lot like you would imagine. It’s a series of private one-on-one sessions with a counselor. In these sessions, you discuss your feelings. You talk about the factors that led you to misuse prescription drugs.

Your therapist will help you work on techniques to use when cravings are strong. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) provides strategies for dealing with negative thoughts and stress. Drugs are often used as a negative coping mechanism. Therapy’s goal is to replace drugs with a solid mental toolkit.

Your therapist may use Contingency Management principles. This strategy is effective for people who are addicted to prescription drugs. It offers incentives as a reward for positive behaviors. You can get vouchers for passing drug tests. Often, the longer you abstain, the better the rewards.

Group Therapy

Group therapy in a rehab setting is useful because it gives patients an idea of what to expect outside of treatment. For many people, addiction is a life-long challenge. 12-Step support group meetings and touching base with a sponsor are important.

Sponsors have been through what you have been through and their support can deescalate a moment of crisis. This is often key to avoiding a full-blown relapse and allows you to stay sober in the long run.

Family Therapy

Family therapy helps patients to fix broken bonds. It’s an outlet for people who are close to the user. They can share how his/her drug misuse affected them. If family dynamics are the cause of prescription drug misuse, therapy will address this. It also trains loved ones to see the difference between enabling and supporting. Family counseling sets up goals and these are reviewed on a regular basis.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

There are a number of drugs that can help you with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. There are maintenance drugs that help with an addiction to prescription opioids. These include methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.

It’s worth noting that maintenance drugs aren’t a matter of replacing one addiction with another. They have been a lifeline for many addicts who thought there was no way back from addiction.

At present, there are no FDA-approved medications for treating addiction to CNS depressants or prescription stimulants. But a doctor who specializes in addiction will be able to taper your dosage and select meds that can ease your symptoms.

Get Help For Prescription Drug Misuse Today

Prescription drug addiction can lead to fatal overdoses. If you or someone you know are struggling to escape the cycle of addiction, Bedrock Recovery Center can help. We use evidence-based methods to ensure you get optimal treatment and the best chance at a new life. Contact us for more information about the services we offer.

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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