Ambien is one of the medications prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. The drug is safe and non-addictive—when used as instructed. However, there are many people who abuse Ambien and take it for non-medical purposes. As a result, they become dependent and addicted to the drug.
Ambien is just one of the many prescription drugs being abused. For you to prevent or address prescription drug addiction, you must know key information about this growing problem.
How Prescription Drug Addiction Starts
Prescription drug addiction begins with prescription drug abuse, which is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as the use of medication without a prescription, for purposes other than prescribed or to induce certain feelings, such as euphoria. Prescription medications are more accessible than illicit drugs, since they can be obtained from the medicine cabinet at home. Frequent prescription medication abuse can lead to tolerance, dependence and addiction. Addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by compulsive drug use.
Prescription Drug Addiction Health Effects
Continuous misuse of prescription drugs results in serious medical complications. According to Mayo Clinic, abuse of opioid painkillers can lead to depressed breathing as well as loss of menstrual periods and fertility. Sedatives and tranquilizers can result in increased body temperature and memory problems. Meanwhile, stimulants can cause seizures or hallucinations. Overdose of prescription medications can lead to coma or death.
When To Get Help for Prescription Drug Addiction
Help must be sought as soon as the the signs of prescription drug addiction become apparent. Signs include taking more doses than prescribed, continuous use of the drug after the improvement of the medical condition, doctor shopping (seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor) and the frequent loss of prescriptions (‘losing’ drugs as an excuse to ask for more). Other signs to watch our for include changes in sleep habits and personality, mood disturbances, poor performance at school or work, and lack or interest in personal appearance, among other things.
If you or somebody you know is hooked on prescription medications, get help immediately. Call our toll-free number and talk to one of our qualified counselors.