What Is Prescription Pill Addiction?


Prescription pill addiction has skyrocketed in the United States over the past three decades, mostly due to an over-prescription of pain medication and anxiety medication. Another factor in the rise of prescription pill addiction is the use of ADHD medication such as Ritalin and Adderall in college as a recreational drug, or as a wonder drug that helps them study and focus during their exams. While all these medications have a legitimate purpose and can have great benefits when taken at the right dosage, when abused many of these medications carry a high potential for addiction.

Many people who develop an addiction to prescription medications such as xanax, percocet, hydrocodone, vicodin, ritalin or other commonly abused prescriptions often develop a tolerance to the drug from having it prescribed to them. In many cases individuals will try to wean themselves off the drug, or will find themselves in a situation where they can no longer afford the drug, and their body has already developed a dependence to it. This dependence causes a person experience withdrawal effects, often making them crave their substance of choice even more. When this occurs, a medical detox is necessary to decrease the painful symptoms of withdraw.

Long Term Effects Of Prescription Pill Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription pill addiction, it is important to know what the tell-tale signs are to look for, but it also important to note that the symptoms can vary greatly depending on what sort of drug you are on. Adderall and Vicodin can cause most people to act in very different manners, since one drug is a stimulant and the other is an opiate. Here are some common side effects and symptoms of long term use with these different families of prescription drugs:

Opiates (Painkillers)

  • Frequent doctor shopping
  • Dramatically changing moods.
  • Extra pill bottles turning up in the trash.
  • Social withdrawal/isolation.
  • Sudden financial problems

Barbiturates (Sedatives, Anti-anxiety)

  • Difficulty thinking.
  • Poor judgment.
  • Slow and shallow breathing.
  • Slow talking.
  • Lethargy.
  • Extreme sleepiness or even coma.
  • Poor coordination.
  • Inability to walk properly, staggering or stumbling.


Stimulants (Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder)

  • Dilated pupils.
  • Restlessness.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Sweating.

How We Can Help


The staff at Pathfinders Recovery Center understands what it is like to struggle with addiction. We have all been there, and we have found a way out out! We are here to show you the way by giving you the right tools to grow with strength and courage.

Our clients learn to work through their emotional barriers and past trauma by participating in addiction treatment through individual and group therapy, trauma therapy, Somatic Experiencing, The Daring Way™, CBT and DBT, while also being involved in 12 Step based meetings and service work in the local recovery community. Our approach is simple, yet effective and compassionate.


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  • Mon-Sun: 24x7

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