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Prescription Medication Addiction Treatment

No doctor prescribes medication with the intention of their patients becoming ‘hooked’. However, with a general lack of addiction education and experience this is sadly the reality for many patients who have developed either a physical or psychological dependency on prescription medications. From opioid painkillers like oxycodone, to stimulants such as adderall, there is a wide variety of potentially addictive medications that are commonly used in general medicine. However, recovery from these dependencies is more than possible, and Clinic Les Alpes is here to support you in this journey. 

Why Choose a Prescription Medication Rehabilitation Centre in Switzerland

Your medication was most likely prescribed to you by a medical professional, and as such, it is likely that you have some co-occurring illness or complaint that originally this medication was supposed to help you with. Stopping is therefore not as simple as going ‘cold turkey’, as you may find your previous symptoms flaring up again, in addition to prescription medication is typically quite strong, making the withdrawal process potentially dangerous. These are just two of the reasons why attending an inpatient facility with 24/7 medical care is an excellent option to ensure that you start your recovery journey in as much safety and comfort as possible. 

Not only does Clinic Les Alpes offer an exceptional standard of care in accordance with strict regulations from the Switzerland Health Department, but we also employ a multidisciplinary team of world-class experts. This means that you can feel secure in the knowledge that you are receiving fully holistic care to the highest possible medical standards. All of this whilst also being cared for in a luxurious environment surrounded by unsullied nature in the Swiss mountains overlooking Lake Geneva. 

What Does “Prescription Medications” mean?

This is a general term to refer to any medication that may be prescribed to you by a doctor, psychiatrist, or other medical professional. While some people who develop addictions may be buying these medicines ‘off the streets’ or ‘on the black market’, most people find themselves developing a dependency accidentally through their legal prescriptions. This is most common in people taking medicines for pain control or anxiety relief, as unpleasant sensations often drive people to take more medicine more often than what is prescribed. 

Are All Prescription Medications Addictive? 

No, not all prescription medications are addictive. There are, however, a few that tend to be more addictive than others. Some examples of prescription medications that are quickly habit-forming include, but are not limited to: 

  • Opioid Painkillers:
    • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
    • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
    • Morphine
  • Benzodiazepines:
    • Alprazolam (Xanax)
    • Diazepam (Valium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan, Temesta)
  • Stimulants:
    • Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta)
    • Amphetamines (Adderall)
  • Sleep Medications:
    • Zolpidem (Ambien)
    • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • Muscle Relaxants:
    • Carisoprodol (Soma)

What Are the Signs of Prescription Medication Addiction

  • Do you ever find yourself taking more of your medicine or for longer than you intended to?
  • Have you made attempts to stop or cut back on using but haven’t been able to?
  • Do you spend a lot of time either getting, using, or recovering from using your prescribed medicine?
  • Do you find yourself having cravings or urges to take it?
  • Have you ever struggled to fulfil your responsibilities or obligations because of your medication, like at work, at home, or at school?
  • Are you continuing to use, despite it causing problems in your friendships and relationships? 
  • Have you given up any important activities because of prescription medication use, like work activities, social activities, or even hobbies? 
  • Do you keep using your prescribed medication, even though you know that it puts you at risk? 
  • Have you kept using your prescribed medication even though you know it’s causing or aggravating any physical or psychological problems you might have? 
  • Have you noticed that your tolerance is increasing? That is to say, you need to take more than you used to in order to get the same effect? 
  • Have you ever felt withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, agitation, racing heart, paranoia, bad mood, nausea etc) and then felt much better once you took some more of your prescribed medication? 

If you have said ‘yes’ for yourself, or someone you know, for any of the above points, it may be time to seek professional help and support. Attending a rehabilitation centre can be a great way to start your recovery journey by addressing not only your prescribed medication use, but also the root causes of why prescribed medicine use can get so out of control for each unique person.

Prescription Medication Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Detox and Withdrawal

Because ‘prescription medication’ as a term refers to so many different types of medication it is difficult to outline one specific detox or withdrawal experience. One aspect of withdrawal that is common among most habit-forming medications is that they are not typically safe to stop without medical supervision. Abruptly stopping, or too quickly weaning off from, certain medications such as opioids or benzodiazepines can lead to severe symptoms such as seizures, cardiac arrest, and even death. If you are looking to stop using prescription medications, it is essential to do so under strict advice and oversight from an experienced medical team.

Assessment

Once you have completed the physical withdrawal and detox, you undergo an assessment period of between 5-10 days. This is typically when you will complete assessments with a variety of professionals to establish your health needs, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, general doctors, nutritionists and complementary care providers. This ensures you receive a holistic care experience that can address all aspects of your wellbeing. 

Treatment

The complexities of drug dependency and its impacts on mental and physical well-being requires a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment that is led by a multidisciplinary team. Addiction is profoundly personal, affecting each person uniquely, emphasising the importance of custom-tailored treatment plans and durations. During your time in treatment, you will be exposed to a variety of therapies, both individual and in groups, as well as experiencing complementary therapies that offer more of a somatic experience to support your recovery. 

Aftercare

During the final week of your treatment, you'll collaborate with your lead therapist to develop a customised Relapse Prevention Plan, tailored to assist you in avoiding relapses and establishing a robust strategy for your ongoing recovery. Additionally, you'll be provided with a personalised aftercare plan, ensuring you receive ongoing world-class professional support throughout your wellness journey.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Why Do Prescription Medications Get Prescribed If They’re Addictive?

The answer to this question is twofold. Firstly, these medications do exist to serve a purpose, and when prescribed properly, and used as directed, can be very helpful in addressing a wide variety of issues and illnesses. Secondly, many general practitioners or internal medicine doctors do not have education or experience specific to addiction; this means that they may overprescribe, and not know to warn patients about the addiction potential of certain medications. 

How Long Do Prescription Medication Withdrawals Last? 

The duration of prescription medication withdrawals and recovery can vary significantly depending on the specific medication, the duration of use, individual factors, and the presence of any co-occurring conditions. Typically the most acute withdrawal symptoms resolve within one to two weeks. However, post-acute withdrawal symptom (PAWS) can last for several weeks or even months. Getting professional support during this time is crucial to protecting your long-term sobriety and preventing relapse. 

How Long Does Prescription Medication Recovery Take?

Every individual has their own unique timeline for recovery. This will depend on a variety of factors including support systems, mental health, relapse prevention work, and medical supervision. Most individuals who are seeking recovery from addiction will start with a 28 day treatment programme, as research indicates this to be within the framework of efficient treatment for dependency issues. However, it is important to remember that many people in recovery consider it the work of a lifetime to remain sober and on their recovery journey. 

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