Prescription drug addiction has lead to the launching of many new rehab treatment centers, especially for women.
Your doctor prescribed it, so it can’t be addictive, right? Wrong. Medically prescribed drugs like tranquilizers and painkillers are as much a threat to women as drugs that are sold on the street, such as heroin and cocaine. Prescription drug addiction in women is even more common than illicit drug abuse, because it’s legal and there’s less of a stigma associated with it. Never the less, these legal drugs can lead to a stint for addiction treatment.
Women tend to get addicted to prescription drugs like sedatives and tranquilizers more often than men do because doctors prescribe them to women more freely. It is estimated that 70 percent of prescribed tranquilizers and sedatives are given to women. Women have long been seen by the medical profession as hysterical and anxious–so rather than listening to the woman’s problem, some doctors will just write a prescription for medication. If they’re not familiar with pharmacology, these doctors may not even recognize it when their patients later become addicted to the drugs and end up in addiction treatment.
The prescription drugs most commonly abused by women are tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium. Tranquilizers are almost chemically identical to alcohol–they both suppress the functioning of the central nervous system, but they are also physically and psychologically addictive. Their effects can range from sedating to exhilarating, depending on the drug and on the person taking it.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to prescription medication, talk to your doctor or call the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at (800) 622-2255.
The Warning Signs of Drug Addiction that May Need Rehab Treatment
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), all of the following are signs you may be addicted to drugs:
- You believe that you need drugs to be able to enjoy yourself.
- You frequently feel overly miserable, scared, or depressed.
- You turn to drugs after having an argument or when you’re alone.
- You have to use more and more drugs to get the same effect.
- You have trouble at work or school because of your drug use.
For more information about drug addiction or a referral for drug rehab treatment, contact The National Women’s Resource Center at (800) 354-8824 or The National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information at (800) 729-6686.