One of the biggest problems facing Southern California is the epidemic of prescription drug addiction in LA County. One Los Angeles County Health Survey showed that more than 5% of adults in the area were abusing prescription drugs. Their use obviously played a major role in the county’s overdose rate. Explaining the rise of prescription drug addiction in LA County isn’t so easy, but several factors contribute to the epidemic.
Prescription Drugs: the Modern Drug of Choice
Drug abuse is far from a new problem in locally or nationally, but prescription drugs have become increasingly popular. In Los Angeles County alone, more than 14 million prescriptions are written per year for opiate-based medications. Although drugs like heroin and cocaine are still problematic, it’s prescription medications that pose the biggest concern to lawmakers and individuals in the area.
Understand How Prescription Drug Abuse Affects The Body
Opioid depressants, a key driver of prescription drug addiction in LA County, affect a particular neurotransmitter in your brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA decreases brain activity and causes drowsiness. When used as prescribed, opioids help deal with chronic pain. However, their effectiveness in pain management is the root of their addictiveness as well. Common opioids include:
While some signs of abuse may be difficult to recognize, some are more obvious. If you believe someone you love is struggling with prescription drug abuse, pay close attention to see if he’s taking larger than recommended doses. This can be as simple as taking a medication one additional time per day than the prescription calls for.
Combining Prescription Drugs
Another worrying fact about the rise of prescription drug addiction in LA County is the prevalence of mixing or combining drugs. For instance, someone who already uses one drug may begin to supplement it with a prescription medication. Not only does this result in a dual diagnosis and multiple addictions, but it can create medical complications. There are strong contraindications for taking drugs or alcohol with prescription medications. Consequently, fatalities and serious health risks are real possibilities for users in LA County.
Ease of Acquiring Prescription Drugs in LA County
One of the most worrying aspects about the surge is how easy it is to obtain these drugs. Even though doctors legally prescribe medications, prescription drugs aren’t protected or monitored effectively.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for kids, teens or adults to simply take prescription drugs right from bathroom cabinets. This makes dangerous prescription medications inexpensive and readily accessible in LA County and beyond.
Misunderstanding the Impact of Prescription Drug Addiction in LA County
Prescription drug addiction in LA County isn’t somehow less dangerous just because the drugs can have a legal medical purpose. In fact, the nonchalance that some people have about recreational use of medical drugs just makes it more worrying. Prescription drug addiction can wreak havoc on the body, relationships and a person’s happiness, but treatment can be effective and help those struggling with addiction to turn their lives around.
Located 90 minutes from LA County, Serenity Lodge can provide the right treatment for those struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs. Call 866.379.4365 for more information on how you can transform your life for the better through addiction treatment.