The opioid epidemic has taken thousands of people’s lives and has sparked an increasingly high rate of concern for children and families affected by it, yet many Americans hold the belief that prescription medications are “less dangerous” than illicit drugs. Prescription medications are, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the third most commonly abused category of drugs behind alcohol and marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The reality is that they’re both dangerous – and becoming addicted to prescription medication compared to illicit drugs doesn’t make it any safer.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment indicated that prescription medication abuse may reap different demographical considerations than illicit drugs; for example, those who abuse prescription medications are more likely to be:

  •    Native American or Caucasian
  •    Younger
  •    Less likely to be married
  •    Using alongside a psychiatric illness or with another substance use disorder (SUD)

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that prescription medications are considered safe when taken directly as prescribed, but when they are abused and addiction occurs, overdose, death rates and health complications place an individual at great risk. In fact, prescription medications can be dangerous because of how easily accessible they are to take from a friend or family member; unfortunately, loved ones may believe that lending their loved one some prescription medication is helping them, but it could very well be fueling a rising addiction.

If you or a loved one are concerned about substance abuse – whether from prescription medication or from illicit drugs – speak with a professional from Alta Loma today. There are a number of treatment interventions that can be used to help individuals restore their mental, physical and spiritual health – and the sooner help is sought, the greater the chances of recovery.

If you’re ready to begin taking great strides towards your health and wellbeing, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today. Mental illness should be taken seriously and, if not treated early on, more severe conditions can arise. The best way to promote happiness and health is to seek help – and to begin using effective interventions for treating the problematic symptoms a person is experiencing. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need. Please call Alta Loma today – and you’ll be surrounded by a healthcare team who truly cares about your recovery. 866-457-3843