When Does Prescription Drug Addiction Require Rehab?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as of 2021 more than 14.3 million Americans abused prescription drugs within the past 12 months. There’s no question prescription drug addiction is a big problem in the U.S. and it has been for decades.

Alarmingly, a large percentage of adults and even minors use and abuse these prescription drugs unrelated to health conditions. Unfortunately, this type of drug use almost always leads to a dangerous addiction, leaving people in need of professional substance abuse treatment.

One of the common statements made by people undergoing prescription drug addiction treatment is that they did not recognize the moment in time when it shifted from recreational drug abuse to full-blown drug addiction.

This is one of the hardest realities of prescription drug addiction. Once you have crossed the line and become physically dependent on prescription medication, it becomes very difficult to stop. In some cases, like with benzodiazepines, it can even be dangerous to quit suddenly without medical support.

Why Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment is Necessary

For individuals with health issues, prescription drugs can provide much needed relief. However, prescription medications which fall under the category of controlled substances must be used with great care. In fact, people with a history of addiction should avoid them if it at all possible.

Many people have the mistaken notion that because a drug is prescribed that somehow makes it inherently safe. But, all medications have side effects and risks associated with them. Addictive prescription drugs have more side effects and risks than most other drugs.

Quitting prescription drugs once you’re addicted to them can be incredibly difficult. Even a person with substantial willpower and discipline in every other area of their life can meet their match in an addictive prescription drug. Whether it’s Percocet or Adderall, prescribed by your doctor, or from another source – if you use it regularly for long enough, there is an excellent chance you will become physically dependent on it and perhaps even addicted.

Professional medical care is simply the safest, most effective and most comfortable way to get off of an addictive prescription drug. It’s that simple. It makes little sense to torment yourself by trying to quit “cold turkey” and it can even be dangerous or deadly with some drugs, like benzodiazepines.

There is no shame in asking for treatment for prescription drug addiction. It is a medical condition like any other and you or your loved one deserve the best possible help available for it.

Seeking Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment?

Prescription drug abuse or addiction is a medical condition that has many obstacles while seeking drug addiction treatment. This is largely due to the fact that it requires a substantial amount of work from the addict to overcome their addiction.

Recovery from drug abuse takes a lot of perseverance and dedication from the individual in order to fully recuperate from the illness of addiction. To further assist in the addiction treatment process, it is important to find the right treatment center. The facility should provide a complete process of prescription drug addiction treatment for recovery.

There are typically three different levels of patient care in an addiction treatment program: medical detox, addiction therapy, and aftercare. These are the standard options of a comprehensive prescription drug addiction treatment program.

Step One: Detox

The first part of our prescription drug addiction treatment method is called detoxification (detox). This initial step of drug addiction treatment is vital. That’s because it allows the individual to withdraw from substance use without life-threatening concerns. It also keeps people comfortable and in the proper mental state to continue with proper addiction treatment.

North Jersey Recovery Center works closely with New Jersey’s best dedicated medical detox centers and will arrange detox for patients, if necessary, before they move on to partial care and other phases of treatment. We also provide our clients with medically assisted treatment (MAT) as another option to help them get through this first phase of addiction treatment.

Withdrawal symptoms will vary based on the kind of prescription drug a person was using, but they can be well managed using detox medications or MAT.

The most common withdrawal symptoms from prescription drug addiction include but are not limited to:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Sleep disturbances and/or insomnia
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety

Step Two: Inpatient Rehab vs. Outpatient Rehab

One of the first steps you can take before entering a prescription drug addiction treatment program is to get a mental health assessment. North Jersey Recovery Center has trained medical professionals who can help you navigate what is the best treatment facility for you. After you complete a inpatient medical detox, if necessary, you will have the option of continuing your treatment in our partial care program. Partial care or PHP is technically outpatient treatment, because you do not sleep in a medical facility overnight. But it offers many of the same benefits as a residential rehab in that you receive a full day of treatment, 5 days a week.

Some of the aspects of your prescription drug addiction treatment assessment may include but are not limited to:

  • Relapse History (if any)
  • Physical and mental reliance on prescription drugs
  • Willingness to change (behavior modification)
  • Homelife and/or healthy/positive living situation
  • Co-occurring mental health conditions

Partial care prescription drug addiction treatment is generally where most individuals will go when they are entering into our addiction treatment program.

Many choose this route because they fear the commitment that is required with the inpatient level of care. But others may do so because inpatient treatment is often more costly than outpatient rehab. In other cases, people may opt for outpatient treatment because they have personal responsibilities that prevent them from attending an around-the-clock substance abuse treatment.

Some people who might benefit from attending an outpatient prescription medication addiction treatment program typically have a less severe addiction or have a strong external support system. This level of prescription drug addiction treatment and care is for those who have a very strong desire to modify their destructive behavior and do not have a long history of prescription drug abuse and/or relapse. Most commonly, outpatient prescription drug addiction treatment programs are for individuals who are transitioning from inpatient to outpatient treatment.

Step Three: Aftercare

The recovery process from prescription drug abuse does not end once the individual finishes an inpatient and/or outpatient program. Prescription drug addiction aftercare should be recognized as a vital step in ongoing addiction treatment since the desired result is always lasting sobriety and lasting and improved mental health.

Behavioral therapies are generally an ongoing treatment approach for anyone that previously dealt with addiction issues. People struggling with prescription substance abuse should develop a strong treatment plan to manage cravings once leaving a rehab program. Therapy can provide important emotional support for anyone overcoming substance use disorders.

The kinds of aftercare for prescription drug addiction treatment options include:

  • Outpatient Substance Abuse TreatmentThe individual remains in their home while continuing prescription drug addiction therapy numerous times per week set by a confirmed treatment schedule.
  • Group Therapy – The individual will work in small groups and be taught to listen and communicate with others that share similar life experiences that are related to prescription drug addiction while working to build coping and social skills.
  • Individual Therapy – The individual continues to meet with a professional therapist(s) once or even several times per week; virtual and/or in-office therapy sessions.
  • 12 Step Program(s) – These types of aftercare programs are fellowship-based; the most common programs are either Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These programs offer a process for recovery and a system for living sober that really works.

Aftercare is designed to reduce your time requirements during initial treatment whilst still providing a strong support system to help foster lasting sobriety and overall, improved mental health.

Learn More About Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

North Jersey Recovery Center is dedicated to helping men and women overcome addiction to prescription medications, one day at a time. You and the people you love deserve recovery, but recovery requires action.

If you or someone you love could benefit from the quality addiction treatment in New Jersey that is found only at NJRC, give us a call at (877) 632-5541. We are available around the clock to answer any and all of your questions.

Clinically reviewed by Dr. Suzanne Salamanca, PhD., APN, PMHNP-BC