Addiction to prescription pills is not just limited to opioids and pain medications. Prescription pills can be broken down into four broad classes – opioids, benzodiazepines, sedatives, and stimulants. Although there are many people who properly use their prescription medication, there are still people who misuse them.


What are the Types of Prescription Pills?

The rate of prescription drug abuse in the United States is worsening with time. While prescription drug use may begin for a legitimate reason, it can still turn to abuse. So, what are the types of prescription pills?

  • Opioids: Opioids are prescription pain killers that are used to treat severe or chronic pain. These are the most prescribed of the four medication classes. Some common opioids are: Oxycontin, Lortab, Morphine, and Percocet.
  • Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are depressants that are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. The most common benzodiazepine are Xanax and Valium.
  • Stimulants: The most common prescribed stimulant is Adderall. Adderall is typically used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Similar medications are Concerta and Ritalin.
  • Sedatives: Sedatives and tranquilizers are very similar. They generally produce a similar feeling of intoxification. Sleeping pills are common prescription sedatives.


How Do You Get Addicted to Prescription Medication?

Prescription medication is prescribed for people who need it. And while it may be beneficial for some people, they have an extremely high potential for abuse and addiction. But why is it that some people develop an addiction and others do not?

There are many factors that can go into substance abuse and addiction – family history and environmental factors are the big ones. Those who have a first-degree relative who struggled with substance abuse are significantly more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. Peer influence and family dynamics are the environmental factors that play into it.

While there are factors that play into substance abuse, the most common reason for addiction is the medication itself. Often, prescription medication is prescribed for those with chronic pain, and one will take the medication for an extended period of time. Eventually, the dosage is no longer sufficient to mitigate the pain and higher doses are consumed. This is called “developing a tolerance” and this is one of the most common ways addiction develops.


What are the Signs of a Prescription Pill Addiction?

Signs and symptoms of a prescription pill addiction varies based on the specific type of pill. But, here are the most common behavioral signs that indicate addiction:

  • Doctor shopping
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Asking for refills more often than necessary
  • “Losing” prescriptions and looking for replacements
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Demanding more privacy


Treatment at Holland Pathways

Here at Holland Pathways, we provide individualized treatment plans. We believe that everyone is different, and one treatment won’t suit everybody’s needs. Therefore, we work with each client to create a treatment program for them.