The Creeping Addiction To Drugs & Medications

According to experts at the Addiction Treatment Phoenix AZ, 1.4 to 1.9 million people in the United States are dependent on drugs – more than on alcohol. Addiction on prescription is particularly difficult for those affected and for medical staff to recognize. Drug withdrawal on your own can be dangerous. But there are numerous offers of help and advice for those affected.

In 70 percent of all drug addiction cases, those affected take sleeping pills and sedatives from the group of so-called benzodiazepines. But pain relievers such as opioids and amphetamines also have a particularly high potential for addiction. Even steroids have shown records of potential addiction.

Addiction Triggers

The vast majority of those affected do not want their medication to cause intoxication. Rather, they use them to combat chronic ailments such as pain, sleep disorders, or states of tension. These symptoms often hide mental disorders such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Many patients suffer from stress – for example because they are under enormous pressure to perform at work. Often they feel overwhelmed in social relationships or suffer from stressful life events such as bereavement or other trauma. If the causes of these symptoms remain undetected and untreated, the risk of addiction increases.

More than two-thirds of drug addicts are women, mostly middle-aged and older. More often than men, they suffer from depression, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain. In addition, women are more likely to see a doctor if they have symptoms and are therefore more likely to receive medication. In addition, they prefer to take the medication in psychologically stressful situations – while men tend to try to combat their worries with alcohol.

Older people form another risk group. More than half of all medicines prescribed annually are given to people over the age of 60. They often even suffer from several chronic diseases. In addition, people over the age of 60 are particularly likely to have sleep disorders. Studies show that around eight percent of women over the age of 70 are prescribed sedatives (benzodiazepines) on a permanent basis. Almost a quarter of men and women over the age of 70 receive psychoactive substances. Even in low doses, these active ingredients can be addictive.

Appetite suppressants also have a high risk of addiction. Women in particular use them to meet social ideals of beauty. These drugs contain amphetamines, among other things. They inhibit the appetite and at the same time have a stimulating effect. Amphetamine-containing drugs with the active ingredient methylphenidate, which are used against attention deficit disorder (ADD) / attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are also often misused. Many consumers want to use it to increase their mental performance.

Even over-the-counter drugs, such as some pain relievers, can be addictive. In rarer cases, alcohol or drug addicts replace their addictive substances with drugs and thus find themselves in a new addiction.