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Prescription Drug Addiction in Wisconsin


Many residents of the state of Wisconsin think that the use of illegal, street drugs is the most serious substance abuse problem in the region, but in fact prescription drug addiction in Wisconsin is just as serious a problem. In many parts of the state, addiction to prescription drugs is an even bigger problem than the abuse of heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances.

The problem of prescription drug addiction in Wisconsin has become so concerning that government officials throughout the state have been reporting all kinds of complications related to the abuse of these substances. Emergency room doctors and personnel are struggling to care for their drug addicted patients and get them the help they need to take back control of their lives. Government officials are struggling to find the most effective forms of treatment for residents of their state. Health officials are looking for ways to minimize the long term impact that prescription drugs can have on residents of Wisconsin.

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

The abuse of prescription drugs is an epidemic, not only in Wisconsin but throughout the rest of the country as well. The reasons behind the rise in prescription drug abuse are numerous, and a multifaceted approach to treating the problem is often recommended.

Prescription drug abuse runs the gamut, from the misuse of legally prescribed drugs to treat anxiety and depression, to the development of an unwitting dependence on prescription painkillers, to the illicit purchase of prescription drugs on the street. Each one of these areas of prescription drug abuse is as serious as it is dangerous, and it is important for those with substance abuse problems to seek the help they need and do it as soon as possible.

What Are Some Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs?

While in theory just about any kind of prescription drug could be abused, in Wisconsin and elsewhere some drugs are more likely to be abused than others. It is important to understand how the abuse of prescription drugs impacts the residents of Wisconsin, whether or not you or a family member are personally impacted by that abuse.

Opiates are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs, not only in the state of Wisconsi, but throughout the rest of the country as well. The use of opiate based prescription painkillers has increased sharply over the last couple of decades, and that increase is somewhat of a double-edged sword.

For many years the medical community was accused of undertreating pain and not taking it seriously enough. That in turn gave rise to an increase in the use of powerful painkillers, including prescription opiates. While those opiate based pain medications were very good at treating pain, their addictive nature created a whole new class of addicts.

It is easy for those being treated for pain to develop an addiction to the painkillers they have been taking. That addiction can develop slowly over time, and once it is established it can be very hard to overcome.

Even worse, some people who are addicted to prescription opiate painkillers turn to heroin as an alternative when they have problems obtaining addiction prescriptions. The rise in heroin use throughout the state of Wisconsin can be traced back, at least in part, to the rise in addiction to prescription opiate painkillers.

Of course opiates are not the only prescription medications that can be abused. Sedatives are commonly abused and misused in the state as well. These sedatives may be prescribed for a host of health problems, and when used properly they can be very effective.

When misused or not used as prescribed, these prescription sedatives can quickly lead to addiction and dependence. If someone you care about has been taking sedatives for anxiety or some other health problem, it is important to get them the help they need and to do it without delay.

On the other side of the spectrum are stimulants, another frequently prescribed drug that is just as frequently abused. Some people turn to prescription stimulants in an attempt to lose weight or treat legitimate medical conditions, but when misused those medications can be very addictive.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse?

Whether you are taking prescription drugs yourself or you suspect a family member is developing an addiction, it is important to watch out for the early warning signs. The first symptoms of prescription drug abuse can be subtle and easy to miss, so it is important for family members and friends to be vigilant.

One of the most common signs of prescription drug abuse is an increase in the number of pills the individual takes. If a member of your family has been prescribed painkillers, stimulants, sedatives or other kinds of medication, it is important to monitor their use and watch for the early warning signs.

If you notice that a prescription that once lasted a month now lasts only three weeks, you could be looking at a budding addiction. If the individual has been seeking medication and looking for additional prescriptions, the addiction may have already advanced. Staying aware and asking questions is the best way to get a handle on what is going on and get your loved one the help they need.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

Addiction to prescription drugs is a serious problem throughout Wisconsin and across the country, but the good news is that this addiction can be successfully treated. Like any other form of drug addiction, it is important to tailor the treatment to the needs of each individual. Everyone has different needs and a unique history, and the best drug rehab centers work hard to design a tailor-made treatment program for each patient they serve.

In many cases the drug rehab will begin with a course of medical detox, designed to clear the body of the substance and mute the impact of withdrawal symptoms. The presence of withdrawal symptoms can be a real problem for individuals trying to quit on their own, but medical detox can make the process easier and less painful.

No matter what the approach to getting better, it is important to address a prescription drug addiction as soon as possible. These types of addictions only get worse over time, and the sooner you seek help the more effective that drug rehab treatment can be. Pick up the phone today, speak to an addiction specialist, and take the necessary steps for a lasting recovery.