Prescription Drug Detox

Detoxing from prescription drugs can be complicated. Depending on the substances of abuse, the withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox can be severe. Some may continue to abuse prescription drugs to avoid feeling the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The best way to avoid this issue is with the help of a medical detox program, where these symptoms can be identified and responded to immediately.

Detox Programs

Prescription Drug and Pain Pill Abuse Symptoms

When someone abuses prescription medications, they are not following the intended use of the drugs. There are many different types of prescription drugs. The most common are: opioids or pain pills, depressants, and stimulants.

Each person will have their own experience with withdrawal symptoms depending on:

  • The length of substance abuse
  • The severity of prescription misuse
  • The number of prescription drugs taken together

It is not uncommon for friends and family who abuse prescription drugs to visit more than one doctor’s office to obtain more than one prescription for a medication at once to support their abusive behaviors.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Opioids and Pain Pills:
  • fentanyl: a highly potent opioid used to treat chronic pain conditions.
  • codeine: a pain medication used to treat mild to moderate pain levels; it often comes in as a cough syrup.
  • methadone: pain medication used to treat moderate pain and opioid withdrawal.
  • morphine: is typically used to treat severe pain in a hospital setting and is at high risk for abuse. Morphine can be fatal when combined with a depressant such as alcohol.
  • oxycontin: the brand name for oxycodone, this drug is an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain.
  • hydrocodone: is another commonly abused opioid that is prescribed to treat severe pain.
  • benzodiazepines: also known as benzos are used to treat anxiety disorders. Common benzos include Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. 
  • barbiturates: another type of depressant that is used to treat migraines, insomnia, and seizures. Common barbiturates include Nembunal, Seconal, and Amytal.
  • sleeping medications: also known as z-drugs, are used to treat sleep-related disorders such as insomnia or night terrors. These include Lunesta, Ambien, and Sonata.
  • amphetamines: used to treat concentration-related disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The most frequently abused amphetamines include Adderall, Dexedrine, and Biphetamine.
  • methylphenidate: also used to treat (ADHD). The most commonly abused include Ritalin and Concerta.

Pain Pill and Prescription Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical Withdrawal symptoms of Prescription Drugs include:

  • constipation & cramping
  • nausea
  • anxiety and depression
  • watery eyes
  • excess sweating
  • runny nose
  • diarrhea
  • muscle aches

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms:

  • sleep disturbance
  • irritability
  • increased tension and anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • hand tremor
  • sweating
  • difficulty in concentration
  • dry retching and nausea
  • some weight loss
  • palpitations
  • headache
  • muscular pain and stiffness

Barbiturate withdrawal symptoms:

The first 48 hours is known as the acute withdrawal phase. This is usually when the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur, such as:

  • anxiety
  • restlessness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • abdominal Cramps
  • resting tremors
  • myoclonic jerks (uncontrollable movements)

Sleep medication (z-drug) withdrawal symptoms:

  • trouble Sleeping
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • shivering or circulation problems

Stimulant withdrawal symptoms:

  • muscle aches
  • increased sleeping
  • increased appetite

This is not an inclusive list of symptoms but a reference. Each person will experience withdrawal differently. A good rule of thumb is that withdrawal symptoms are often the opposite of the effects of the abused prescription.

Behavioral Symptoms of Prescription Drugs:

Some physical withdrawal symptoms are often accompanied by behavioral health symptoms. There are an array of psychological, behavioral, and emotional withdrawal symptoms anyone abusing prescription drugs may experience, including:

  • stealing, forging, or selling prescriptions
  • taking higher doses than prescribed
  • excessive mood swings and hostility
  • changes in sleeping patterns
  • poor decision-making
  • appearing high, unusually energetic, or sedated
  • requesting early refills or continually “losing” prescriptions, so another must be written
  • seeking the same prescriptions from more than one doctor at a time

Medical Detox Programs for Prescription Drugs and Pain Pills

Detoxification is the first phase of recovering from prescription drug abuse. A medical detox treatment program can often provide the support and resources needed to recover from a prescription use disorder.

Many prescription drugs have a high risk for abuse. If you or a loved one believe you may have an issue with prescription abuse, contact a trusted medical professional today. The sooner the issue is dealt with, the easier it is to manage. Generally, the more severe the addiction, the more extended treatment is needed to recover fully.

Find Help For Prescription Drug Abuse at Southeast Addiction

There are a lot of options for prescription drug detox. Including Southeast Addiction Center in Georgia or Tennessee. Contact our treatment helpline 24/7 for assistance at (888) 981-8263.



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