Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction DangersThere are many medications distributed in the U.S. that are not usually associated with drug addiction. However, drug addiction has proven to be a problem in many unexpected circumstances. Drug addiction refers to the loss of control in regards to the use of a medication or drug.

A person with drug addiction continues the usage of a substance despite clearly noting the deleterious effects caused by the substance. The most common medications associated with drug addiction are prescription opioids. Other medications that are known to cause problems include sedative/hypnotic anxiolytics, sleeping pills, and antidepressants.

Opioid Addiction

Drug addiction to opioids is a common subject in the social sphere. Opioids are the type of drugs that people usually think of being associated with drug addiction. While opioids are not the only drugs that cause drug addiction, drug addiction to opioids is considered one of the most difficult drug problems for a person to deal with. This is mostly because opioids induce a very pronounced physical dependency compared to most other drugs. Opioids are said to present the most severe withdrawal symptoms out of almost every type of drug.

Like other substance dependency issues, drug addiction to opioids is likely to solicit a substantial decrease in a person’s well-being. Drug addiction impacts nearly every aspect of a person’s life and can be very costly for patients. In many instances, the patient is not to blame and the problems were the result of their doctors prescribing medication without adequately informing the patient of risks.

Some of the most common opioid medications that cause problems in patients are OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Demerol, Darvocet, and Dilaudid. While it is possible for a patient to undergo a short opioid regimen without problems, they are more likely to develop drug addiction if prescribed for extended periods of time. Chronic pain conditions can often lead to an opioid dependency or drug addiction since the medication becomes necessary for the patient to function. However, chronic opioid usage will be a problem for a patient if dependency and drug addiction becomes too severe.

Drug Addiction and Sleeping Pills

drug addiction sleeping pillsSleeping pills are a relatively new type of medication from a group of compounds known as the “Z drugs.” These include medications such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata. This class of drugs has a mechanism of action similar to many anxiety medications. This may partly explain their tendency towards causing dependency and drug addiction.

Z drugs affect GABA receptors and benzodiazepine sub-receptors. GABA medications, like Z drugs, control a person’s state of arousal and level of awareness so abuse of these medications tends to cause reckless and sometimes destructive behavior. Research has indicated that patients prescribed to Z drugs have an increased risk of death due to drug-related hazards.

Antidepressant Drug Addiction

While antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are not as explicitly addictive in a clinical sense, the widespread usage has caused antidepressant dependency in many patients. In some cases, antidepressants can cause addiction but they do not fit into the typical model of drug seeking and addictive behavior. Although, there are several incidences of uncontrollable and violent behavior being caused by antidepressants like SSRIs.

Problems can become more evident when doctors attempt to utilize antidepressants for “off-label usage.” This term mean that doctors may prescribe medication in a way that is not currently accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Doctors have permission to apply medical treatment however they see fit, but off-label uses of antidepressants can be more likely to cause adverse issues like dependency and drug addiction.

Drug Addiction and Anxiety Medication

Anxiolytics are drugs used to treat anxiety. The most common medications prescribed for anxiety are GABA medications like the benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan. SSRIs are also frequently prescribed for anxiety. Both have to potential to cause health complications, however, benzodiazepines are reputed to be as severe as or possibly more severe than drug addiction to opioids. Drug addiction to benzodiazepines can become severe enough to cause death in patients.

View Sources
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