Prescription drug abuse or prescription drug misuse is defined as the use of prescription medication in one or more ways not intended by the prescribing physician. Prescription drug addiction includes everything from taking a prescription painkiller prescribed to someone else to ease pain to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high. Three classes of medication most commonly misused and from which drug dependence occurs include:

  • Opioids, which are usually prescribed to treat pain conditions;
  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including tranquilizers such as hypnotics, used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety; and
  • Stimulants, which are typically prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders.

Prescription drug addiction involves individuals building dependence on prescription pharmaceutical medications. When individuals seek the effects of these drugs, they often misuse them by taking higher amounts than prescribed. Consistently taking the drug over a long period of time or increasing dosage often creates a tolerance. Tolerance often minimizes the effectiveness of the drug, requiring a larger amount to achieve the same high or result. Once tolerance is built, resisting the drug becomes more difficult as the body becomes used to the drug’s presence. Once addiction sets in, misuse can become compulsive and difficult to overcome and can have serious, long-term consequences, including physical injury and mental illness, while also affecting personal and professional relationships.

The misuse of opioids is one of the largest and most widespread problems affecting individuals throughout the U.S. right now. As someone takes higher doses of an opioid painkiller, they can experience more pain, which opioids are intended to treat. The following include withdrawal symptoms characteristic of opioid use:

  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Slowed Breathing
  • Confusion
  • Lack Of Coordination
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Involuntary Movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain
  • Restlessness
  • Flashes Of Cold
  • Seizures

Sedatives, including anti-anxiety prescription medications, can lead to a number of physical symptoms including sleepiness, slurred speech, problems with concentration, memory issues, slowed breathing, difficulty walking, dizziness, and involuntary movements or tics. The following includes a number of sedative withdrawal symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Muscle Shaking
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Seizures

Indication of stimulant use includes a sense of anxiety, jitteriness, agitation, loss of appetite, raised body temperature, irregular heartbeat, unexplained weight loss, and even seizures in some people, among a number of additional symptoms. The following comprises symptoms of withdrawal from stimulants:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss Of Physical & Mental Energy
  • Depression
  • Anhedonia
  • Limited Interest In One’s Surroundings
  • Unpleasant Dreams
  • Inability To Sleep Or Excessive Sleep
  • Increase In Appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Chills
  • Cravings
  • Impaired Memory
  • Dulled Senses

Yes, a person addicted to prescription drugs can overdose from consuming too many or too high an amount of prescription drugs. Overdose from prescription drugs can happen suddenly or over the course of a few hours. It may happen to anyone either after short-term use or long-term use of the medication.

Overdose risks increase with multiple substances. Using combinations of prescription drugs or using alcohol with medication can increase the risk of negative drug effects, including accidental overdose. Using opioids and benzodiazepines in conjunction is incredibly dangerous — approximately 30 percent of opioid overdoses involve the use of benzodiazepines, as both of these drugs have sedative effects that can slow breathing, cause overdose, and death.

Signs of prescription drug overdose include:

  • Shallow Breathing
  • Pinpoint Pupils
  • Cold Or Clammy Skin
  • Convulsions Or Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Unresponsiveness


If you believe someone may be experiencing a prescription drug overdose, call 911 immediately.

For many patients, prescription drug misuse leads to addiction, which is a type of substance use disorder. Depending on the type of drug, the effects of prescription drug addiction and withdrawal and the risk of overdose are severe. While a person who misuses prescription drugs may stop using the drug on their own, the safest way to stop is by tapering off the drug, using smaller amounts over an extended period of time.

For those with substance use disorders, such as prescription drug addiction, their sense of control and decision-making ability is impaired. Those dependent on prescription drugs, such as opioids, require assistance from experienced addiction specialists and physicians, who often recommend a dual-pronged treatment approach comprising buprenorphine medication as well as a form of counseling or therapy. For those with opioid dependence, buprenorphine doctors administer SUBOXONE, a prescription medication used to treat those addicted to opioids, which offers positive outcomes to patients committed to recovering from their addiction.

At Lake Substance Abuse Solutions, we approach treating prescription drug dependence as we would any other medical condition. Those with addiction are affected by a chronic disease, which may be a result of certain genetic factors or behavioral triggers. Prescription drug addiction can be caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors, which include the following:

  • Misuse Of Prescription Opioids, Sedatives, Or Stimulants
  • Family History Of Substance Use Disorders Or Addiction
  • Experimentation Or Personal Experience With Drug Use
  • History Of Mental Health Disorders, Such As Depression Or Anxiety
  • Thrill-seeking & Risk-taking Behaviors
  • Severe Stressors Or Pressures At Home Or Work
  • Emotional Trauma Or Abuse
  • Stressful Life, Family, Or Relationship Situations


Through medicated assisted treatment, outpatient therapy, and several additional types of beneficial treatment methods, Lake Substance Abuse Solutions helps patients regain control over their lives through multi-pronged addiction treatment and recovery.

Substance use disorder is a highly complex disease that typically affects each patient in a unique way. With the help of prescription drug addiction treatment, individuals can learn how to stop using prescription drugs and reclaim control over their life. For those with prescription drug addiction, a combination of medicated assisted treatment and intensive outpatient therapy prove to be most effective for recovery.

Our multi-pronged approach includes medications to treat alcohol or opioid dependence and services, including mental health assessments, physician visits, targeted case management, individual and family therapy, peer counseling, and educational support services. To learn more about our available treatment options for overcoming prescription drug addiction, please contact Lake Substance Abuse Solutions.

There are a multitude of signs and symptoms that can suggest addiction to prescription drugs has taken hold of an individual. Addiction indications may include an unexpected change to social and personal values, thrill-seeking behaviors, an obsession with or extreme need to consume these drugs, or the deterioration of close connections and personal relationships, among other signs. Coming to terms with one’s own substance use disorder can be one of the most difficult tasks a person can experience.

Those with prescription drug addiction may likely struggle to ask for help, even when their addiction produces extreme, negative consequences that are evident to everyone else. For those struggling with addiction, support from family members, friends, and peers can go a long way with regard to encouraging those with addiction to seek and pursue treatment. Contact Lake Substance Abuse Solutions for more information about assisting another individual with a substance use disorder.

In treating those with prescription opioid addictions, SUBOXONE is the most commonly used drug. As the main ingredient in SUBOXONE, buprenorphine is a partial agonist that produces only a fraction of the side effects produced with agonist opioids. Side effects from this ingredient may include nausea, dizziness, and sedation. Naloxone, a secondary ingredient in SUBOXONE, is used to block the brain’s opioid receptors and may cause side effects that include headaches, lightheadedness, and difficulty sleeping. If SUBOXONE is taken in conjunction with another opiate, naloxone can cause severe feelings of withdrawal. But in most cases, any side effects produced from taking SUBOXONE typically dissipate once the patient adjusts to the drug.

Since SUBOXONE is a partial agonist opioid, it has limited psychoactive effects. When taken as prescribed or when administered by a medical professional, SUBOXONE provides just enough pain relief to mask withdrawals and cravings from prescription opiate drugs. As such, SUBOXONE has significantly lower rates of addiction and abuse than other forms of opiates in drug addiction recovery and treatment. To learn more about substance abuse treatment in Franklin, KY, and Jeffersonville, IN, please contact Lake Substance Abuse Solutions.