US Prescription Drug Addiction Facts: How Does Canada Stack Up?

The development of prescription drugs and medications is, was and will continue to be developed by humans for specific uses in mind.

Such uses include treatment of sickness, illness, ailment and pain felt by individuals needing medical assistance.

However, due to the situation that a patient taking the prescription drug becomes more tolerant and immune to the drug, there is a high tendency for an increased dosage. This then can lead to prescription drug addiction.

Addictive as Illegal Drugs

When abused, some prescription drugs can be as addictive as illegal drugs. The most common addictive prescription drugs are opiate based pain relievers such as ocycontin. In the United States, addiction and abuse of prescription pain killing drugs now ranks second (only behind marijuana) as the most prevalent illegal drug problem.

3 Categories

There are three main categories of commonly abused prescription drugs. The first one is the Central Nervous System Stimulants which are mainly used to treat sleeping disorders, narcolepsy and attention deficit. Prolonged addiction of this drug may lead to CNS damage.

The second category is the Central Nervous System depressants which are commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorders. Prolonged abuse may also lead to physical dependence and addiction however over dosage may occur.

The third one is the Narcotic Analgesics which is the most commonly abused prescription drug. It is usually used for pain killing or to relieve pain. Prolonged use may lead to addiction and physical dependence but it may also lead to an overdose.

Treating Prescription Drug Addiction in Canada

There are two main categories to treat prescription drug addiction.

Behavioral treatment teaches people how to function without drugs. This is done through several methods such as counselling, contingency management, and behavioral therapies.

Pharmacological Treatments are treatments that require medications. These drugs counter the effects of the prescription drug in which the person is addicted to and where addiction can inflict upon the brain and behavior.

Studies are further being conducted for the improvement of the treatments for prescription drug addiction.

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