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Doctor Shopping: The Trend Opioid Addiction Created

Millions of Americans use prescription drugs every day to treat conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety. Unfortunately, for many people, what begins as an innocent solution for relief becomes a relentless, destructive, and life-threatening habit. Here’s what you need to know about doctor shopping and why prescription drug abuse is a serious threat to your loved one’s life.

What It Is

When your loved one first received a prescription painkiller, his or her physician likely provided instructions for safe use. Those who suffer from chronic pain, depression, and anxiety often receive refill prescriptions. Because the human body develops a tolerance over time to these medications, more and more must be consumed to achieve the same effect; ultimately, in a desperate attempt to continue feeling good—even when the original symptoms have abated—a dependent person secures multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors in a practice known as “doctor shopping.”

The Statistics

Unfortunately, taking repeated, higher-than-recommended doses of prescription opioids can lead to chemical dependence, addiction, and even death. In fact, reported deaths from prescription opioid overdose increased fourfold over 11 years up to 2011. Although many people consider street drugs such as heroin and cocaine more dangerous than prescription drugs, opioid overdose accounts for more than twice the number of heroin and cocaine overdose deaths combined. Finally, although the general population increased by 16 percent between 1997 and 2011, sales of oxycodone—a dangerously addictive prescription drug—increased by 1259 percent.

Prescription Drug Dependence and Treatment

Many chemically dependent prescription drug users refuse to accept they are addicted to drugs because their drug of choice comes from the doctor. When they try to cut back or stop using, they suffer from very real and painful symptoms of withdrawal. The Ranch PA is a prescription drug addiction rehabilitation center that is adept at treating clients who are suffering from prescription drug dependency, and we help many addicted clients return to healthy, pain-free lifestyles without dangerous prescription medication. We provide a range of treatment modalities that address the physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms of addiction. Our caring and empathetic staff treats clients with cutting-edge therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, fitness therapy, music and art therapies, acupuncture, and more. When inpatient care is complete, our clients then participate in our comprehensive aftercare program that helps provide the support a recovering addict needs. If you believe someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, contact The Ranch PA for a confidential assessment now. Photo: Adrian Clark

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