According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug. From asthma inhalers to antidepressants and beta-blockers, medications play an important role in keeping us healthy. But many people are also prescribed powerful opioids, stimulants and other drugs with a high potential for abuse, putting them at risk of addiction and dependency. While doctors take certain measures to limit this possibility, prescription drug abuse has increased dramatically in the past decade, and more people than ever are entering rehab for drugs like Adderall, Vicodin or Xanax.

At Detox Center of Colorado, we know how serious a prescription drug addiction can be. Although prescribed by a doctor, pharmaceuticals carry many of the same risks as illicit drugs like cocaine or heroin and affect the body in similar ways. And when addiction sets in, the results are just as devastating, requiring the same level of care and compassion to help individuals with a prescription drug addiction become happy, healthy and whole again.

If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, the first step to recovery is a medically-supervised detox that helps rid the body of harmful substances. The most frequently abused prescription drugs include painkillers, stimulants and benzodiazepines, but our detox and recovery services in Centennial, Colorado, can help individuals struggling with any kind of addiction. Our comfortable, 8-bed facility provides the support and guidance needed to detox safely while eliminating uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, increasing the chances of success and laying the groundwork for lifelong recovery.

Although each individual is different, we’ve provided an overview below of the most commonly abused prescription drugs and what clients can expect while detoxing from these substances.

Detoxing from Painkillers

Detoxing from Painkillers

Detoxing from Painkillers

Painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin and morphine are powerful opioids similar to heroin. They work by activating opioid receptors within the brain to relax the body and relieve pain, making them effective at reducing the discomfort associated with injuries, cancers and other conditions. But painkillers also produce a euphoric high that causes sedation and a sense of well-being, and are often abused for this reason. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), almost 30 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic or persistent pain misuse them at one point. Unfortunately, abusing painkillers can lead to physical dependency and withdrawal, quickly trapping individuals in a cycle of addiction.

Painkillers and opioids are notoriously addictive, and the withdrawal symptoms are part of the reason why. Not only do users want to repeat the experience of a calming, euphoric high, but after a while, they have to keep taking opioids to function and feel normal. Without them, flu-like withdrawal symptoms start to develop and avoiding this becomes a top priority. If you’re struggling with a painkiller addiction and are ready to take your first steps toward recovery, overcoming the withdrawal process is often the first hurdle you’ll face.

Some of the symptoms of painkiller/opioid withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Yawning and tearing
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Intense cravings

At Detox Center of Colorado, our medically-supervised detox program can help reduce these symptoms and make the withdrawal process as smooth as possible. Opioid withdrawal can last between four and 10 days, and quitting “cold turkey” leads many people to relapse within this timeframe. By providing a holistic approach to recovery that considers your physical, emotional and mental health as you detox, our clinical team can help you get through the worst of it while ensuring a safe, comfortable experience.

After detox, we can help you transition into either a residential or outpatient rehab program, depending on what fits best with your needs and lifestyle. Our goal is to help each client prepare for the road ahead and find a newfound sense of purpose, wellness and balance in a life of recovery.

Detoxing from Benzodiazepines

Detoxing from Benzodiazepines

Detoxing from Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines include prescription drugs like Xanax, Valium and Klonopin. Most often used to treat anxiety disorders, seizures or insomnia, benzodiazepines have a high potential for abuse and are used recreationally to achieve a sense of calm and relaxation. When taken as prescribed, these drugs are effective for panic attacks and anxiety disorders but are intended for short-term or occasional use, usually as needed to control symptoms. Regular use (and abuse) comes with some serious risks, including addiction, physical dependency and a deadly withdrawal.

Benzodiazepines work by acting on your gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that keeps your central nervous system in check. By increasing the amount of GABA within the brain, benzodiazepines create a calming effect that helps relieve the symptoms of anxiety, but the body can become dependent after just four weeks of daily use. Abruptly stopping benzodiazepines can leave you with dangerously low GABA levels, increasing the risk of seizures, tremors, rebound anxiety and psychosis. Unlike detoxing from most other drugs, which is uncomfortable but not dangerous, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be deadly if not managed properly.

Some of the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms and tremors
  • Sweating
  • Hypersensitivity to stimuli (light, sound, touch, etc.)
  • Hallucinations
  • Hyperventilation
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Racing pulse
  • Seizures

Symptom severity may vary among individuals, but withdrawal can be dangerous for anyone that’s developed an addiction. A medically-supervised detox is usually required to ensure a safe experience, where a highly trained clinical team can expertly manage the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. In most cases, detoxing from benzodiazepines involves a gradual taper, which helps prevent seizures and other life-threatening complications from occurring.

At Detox Center of Colorado, your detox and taper plan will depend on the severity of your benzodiazepine addiction, but you can expect the process to last at least 10 to 14 days. Our number one priority is to keep clients safe and comfortable, so this timeline can be adjusted to meet your individual needs. After detox, our team will help you transition into the recovery program that’s right for you, ensuring that you have the guidance and support you need to achieve lasting recovery.

Detoxing from Stimulants

Detoxing from Stimulants

Detoxing from Stimulants

In the United States, stimulants are one of the most abused prescription drugs. Often prescribed to treat conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, stimulants are used by a wide range of people for increased energy, focus and productivity. But as students, professionals and partygoers abuse the drug, they might begin to chase the euphoric high and require more to achieve the same effects. Eventually, they may become dependent and need stimulants to get out of bed in the morning, finding it hard to function without them.

Prescription stimulants include drugs like Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse — pharmaceutical-grade amphetamines that have powerful effects on the brain and are highly addictive when abused. Although stimulant withdrawal isn’t as intense as other drugs, detoxing from amphetamines can disrupt your mood, thinking and behavior and greatly impact your mental health.

Some of the symptoms of prescription stimulant withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Body aches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Drug cravings

For some people, these symptoms can linger for months, making it hard to get sober without professional help. Healing from the neurological effects of stimulant abuse takes time, but a medically-supervised detox will provide a good start and help manage your symptoms in the early stages of recovery. As you progress through treatment, you’ll learn new coping skills to maintain your sobriety and overcome any obstacles you face as you work toward a life free from addiction.