Prescription drug abuse and addiction have become an epidemic in the United States. With prescriptions more available than ever, countless Americans are becoming addicted to prescribed drugs every day.

While a number of prescription medications are abused, the most common are opioids, stimulants, and central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Opioids, which are pain killers, account for more overdose-related deaths each year than any other prescription drug.

Many people who take prescription medications don’t do so with the intent to become addicted to them. However, some people can fall prey to dependence and addiction simply by taking a drug for an extended period of time. Once dependence on a substance occurs, a person may have a hard time functioning without the drug. This can ultimately lead to abuse and addiction.

Additionally, several individuals take prescription medication that is not theirs or they take it in a way that is considered abuse. An estimated 20 percent of Americans admit to taking prescription medication for nonmedical purposes. Using prescription drugs for reasons other than what they are prescribed for can significantly increase the risk of addiction.

Regardless of how a person becomes addicted to medication, seeking treatment is the best decision that can be made to overcome a substance use disorder. Vertava Health offers comphrensive treatment programs for individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction.

Commonly Abused Prescription Medications

The prescription medications that are most commonly abused are the ones that provide euphoric and powerful effects. Drugs that most often elicit these feelings include opioids, stimulants, and depressants. Individuals may become addicted to these substances even when they are taken as prescribed due to the drugs’ intense and addictive natures.


Opioids are one of the most popularly abused prescription drugs in the nation. This type of medication is most commonly used in the treatment of mild to severe pain. People who are prescribed opioids are often instructed to only take them for a short period of time to avoid dependence and addiction.

Common prescription opioids include hydrocodone, codeine, oxycodone, and fentanyl. All of these drugs are extremely potent and should be taken with caution. Opioids have one of the highest addiction rates among prescription medications, and individuals who become dependent on opioids may eventually transition to heroin abuse.


Stimulants are most often prescribed in the treatment of conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They may also be used as a weight loss agent for some individuals. The most commonly prescribed stimulants include amphetamine (Adderall), dextroamphetamine, and methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Stimulants provide an intense and euphoric high that often leaves people feeling more energetic, focused, and sociable. People who abuse stimulants may snort or swallow the drug. Some individuals may transition to using illicit stimulants like cocaine.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

Central nervous system depressants are used in the treatment of a number of conditions, including anxiety and sleep disorders. This type of prescription medication works by slowing down the body’s central nervous system and causing feelings of relaxation.

Common prescription CNS depressants include Xanax, Valium, and Ambien. These drugs can become quickly addictive and can be dangerous when mixed with other substances like alcohol. Taking these medications for an extended period of time only increases the risk of dependence and addiction.

Treatment For Prescription Drug Abuse And Addiction

Prescription drug abuse affects every demographic and can be devastating to a person’s personal and professional life. Individuals who are addicted to prescription medications are at an increased risk of health problems, self-destructive behavior, and overdose. Luckily, there are a number of different treatment options available for those looking to reclaim their lives from prescription drug addiction.

Vertava Health and several other rehab facilities offer a variety of approaches to treating prescription medication addiction. The most common types of treatment include medically supervised detox followed by inpatient or outpatient care. The ideal treatment option for a person will depend on his or her condition and needs.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is one option for those struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs. This form of treatment is typically only recommended for individuals with a less severe substance use disorder or people who cannot get away from daily responsibilities for an extended period of time.

An outpatient program may consist of meeting with a therapist several times a week for various types of therapy. Individual and group therapy are the most common forms of treatment used in outpatient programs.

People who pursue outpatient treatment should have a stable and drug-free home environment. Having a reliable support system is also key to ensuring that someone in outpatient therapy experiences the most success possible. For individuals without a stable home and family life, inpatient treatment will likely be recommended.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is often considered the most successful approach to drug abuse and addiction. This form of treatment requires patients to live residentially at a rehab facility for several weeks or months and undergo intensive and daily addiction treatment.

During an inpatient program, patients participate in various treatment methods to overcome their substance use disorders. These methods may include counseling, therapy, 12-step programs, and relapse prevention education. Many treatment facilities provide patients with customized plans of recovery to suit their specific needs and condition.

Types Of Treatment Used In Prescription Drug Addiction Programs

There are several different methods of treatment that can be used to help someone overcome an addiction to prescription drugs. Each rehab facility will vary in the forms of treatment offered. Vertava Health offers a variety of the treatment methods discussed in this section.

The most common types of treatment used to treat prescription drug addiction include:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)Medication-assisted treatment is when a safer and less addictive substance is used in replace of the abused drug. Currently, there are medications that can be used to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. There are also medications used to help ease the withdrawal symptoms of many drugs. Common medications used in MAT include methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate.
  • Counseling And Behavioral Therapies — Counseling and therapy are integral parts of treatment programs for prescription drug addiction. Common types of counseling used include group, individual, and family counseling. Various therapies may also be incorporated into a program of recovery. Behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavior therapy have proven highly successful in treating substance addiction.
  • Alternative Therapies — Many rehab facilities, including Vertava Health, offer alternative therapies to support patients’ treatment plans. Alternative therapies commonly used in addiction treatment include massage therapy, animal therapy, acupuncture, and physical exercise.
  • Support Groups — Support groups are often integrated into a treatment program for overcoming addiction. Many treatment centers will introduce support groups like Narcotics Anonymous to patients and encourage them to continue participating in the groups after treatment.

Most prescription drug abuse and addiction programs will provide customized treatment plans for each patient. This ensures that each person’s needs are being met and that he or she has the best chance at recovery.

Finding A Prescription Drug Abuse And Addiction Rehab Program

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, you are not alone and there is help available. Speaking with your doctor or a trusted medical professional can help you determine which type of treatment is right for your condition. Vertava Health has several facilities throughout the nation, all of which offer specialized programs for prescription drug abuse and addiction.

To learn more about prescription drug addiction treatment, contact an Vertava Health’ treatment specialist today.