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Prescription Drug Addiction in New Mexico


Prescription drug addiction in New Mexico is a rising concern throughout the state. Most prescription drugs that are habit forming aren’t necessarily supposed to be prescribed to manage long term illnesses. Those who are taking prescription medications should be under the strict supervision of their physician. Prescription drug addiction can begin with an actual prescription to medication, but many times can begin when an individual begins using prescription drugs recreationally, and obtains these illegally. Regardless of how prescription drug addiction forms, anyone that is seeking out treatment for this should be able to find the help and support that they need to recover

Prescription Drug Addiction Statistics in New Mexico

A good way for treatment centers to understand the needs of their patients is through studying trends and statistics within New Mexico and also the nation. This will give those who hope to provide care the ability to reach out to demographics that need the most help. Treatment programs can also help put together specific treatment plans when it comes to prescription drug addiction.

New Mexico has the second highest overdose mortality rate in the country, which means that New Mexico’s population is at risk of prescription drug abuse and addiction. The number of drug overdose drugs was primarily from prescription drugs, and has increased 59% since 1999.

The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) reports that prescription drug abuse is becoming a public health concern as well. They also found that only one in ten individuals seek out treatment for substance abuse disorders. There may still be a stigma attached to abusing drugs and having an addiction. If individuals within New Mexico that think they might have a prescription drug addiction want to find help, treatment centers are ready to provide this.

Commonly Prescribed Drugs

While there are plenty of prescription drugs that aren’t habit forming or addictive, there are a few drugs that individuals can begin to abuse. These can be prescribed at some point, or obtained illegally. If drugs can cause a secondary high, most likely this will be used recreationally by drug abusers. The three main types of prescription drugs that can be abused are opiates, sedatives, and stimulants. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that prescription medications are the second most commonly used drug in the US. This show the growing trend of access and use of the specific type of drug.

Opiates are usually prescribed for acute pain that is monitored by a physician. Opiates might be prescribed in extreme heroin addiction cases to help wean an individual off of this drug slowly. Opiates are addictive in their own right, and need to be taken seriously. Commonly prescribed opiates are codeine, Vicodin, and fentanyl. Opiates can cause a euphoric side effect that can be addicting after the first few times an individual takes this form of drug.

Sedatives are commonly prescribed to help calm an individual either from an event or possible anxiety issues. This is supposed to be administered in smaller doses over a short period of time, and aren’t meant for long term use. Benzodiazepines and barbiturates are commonly prescribed sedatives, but aren’t a common as other types of prescription drugs, and are often taken incorrectly or illegally.

Stimulants that are commonly prescribed are amphetamines and Adderall. These types of drugs can be useful in helping with focus and weight loss. These can work very well at first, and can lead an individual to want to take more of this medication for faster effects. This can lead to trouble over time, and motivation and clarity will be replaced with adverse reactions such as extreme anxiety and confusion.

Drug Abuse Patterns

Those becoming addicted to prescription drugs will begin to show signs of their addiction over time. These drugs can have devastating mental and physical ramifications. Opiate dosages are usually upped quickly over time, and individuals become physically dependent on this. Opiate users might lose weight, look tired, and will begin to show flu-like symptoms when they are coming down off of this drug. Those trying to stop taking sedatives will have opposite reactions will will become agitated and won’t be able to sleep. Those addicted to stimulants will show extreme weight loss and will be anxious and confused.

Of the two types of drug categories, Schedule I drugs don’t serve a medical purpose and are therefore illegal. Schedule II drugs are commonly prescribed, but can be habit forming and addictive. Those with addictive tendencies might gravitate towards Schedule II prescription drugs because these aren’t illegal in the medical world, can can be easier to obtain. Prescription drug addicts can convince themselves that they aren’t necessarily addicted to a drug, since this is technically a medication. This can cause an individual to engage in risky drug use for a long period of time. This can form a physical dependency that will need to be assessed and dealt with in a medically supervised environment before long term treatment can begin.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment and Care

Treatment for prescription drug addiction must be tailor-made to the individual that is seeking out care in New Mexico. If a secondary illness such as chronic pain or a mental issues is uncovered in treatment, this needs to be assessed and cared for as well. Many times addiction rehab for prescription drug abuse must begin with detox, and then move on to other forms of treatment such as therapy, rehabilitation, and support. If other illnesses are uncovered, making sure that restorative therapies are in place for this and possibly other non-habit forming prescriptions.

Get Professional Treatment

Regardless of how an individual became addicted to prescription drugs, inpatient and outpatient treatment care must be available for those seeking out help. Once an individual has worked through the first steps of prescription drug rehab, aftercare and a plan for the future will be important as well. Learning how to be in the world without an addiction will involve education on avoiding triggers and cravings. Having a support group and a sponsor to call on will be important to avoid relapse in the long term as well.