Learn More About Prescription Drug Rehab in Colorado
If you struggle with prescription drug addiction in Colorado, it's easy to convince yourself that these legal drugs are less dangerous than alcohol or street drugs. But cough and cold medications, stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin, Oxycontin, Xanax, Percocet, Ambien, Lunesta, Valium, Zoloft, Fentanyl, and a host of other drugs can be deadly when they become addictive. Prescription drugs are now the leading cause of drug-related overdoses. These dangerous drugs can kill you, destroy your life, and wreck your relationships. AspenRidge is Colorado's premier prescription drug treatment center. We offer affordable, luxurious treatment in a safe and serene setting. We help you get sober even when you think the journey is too long, too difficult, or too painful.
Prescription Drug Addiction's Effects on Colorado
Prescription drug addiction in Colorado is on the rise, with far-reaching effects that extend well beyond the individual addict. Prescription drug rehab in Colorado is a necessity. In 2000, prescription drugs killed 298 people, but by 2008, that figure had almost doubled. Overdose deaths have increased to an all-time high of 6 deaths per 100,000 people, and this figure shows no signs of changing any time soon. These figures just scratch the surface of Colorado's prescription drug problem. Check out these statistics from the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health:
- Deaths related to opioid drugs have tripled over the last decade, with 36% of drug-related deaths caused by opioid analgesics such as Fentanyl. These drugs account for more than 20% of all drug-related hospitalizations.
- More people died from prescription drug overdoses in 2012 than from drunk driving accidents.
- In spite of the increase in prescription drug addiction, doctors show no signs of decreasing their reliance on these drugs. In 2007, use of Oxycodone alone increased 54%.
- Five percent of Coloradans have abused a prescription drug in the last year alone.
- Young people remain the most vulnerable to prescription drug abuse and addiction, with more than 12% of 18 to 25-year-olds reporting misusing a prescription drug in the past year.
- Thirty percent of 12th grades report taking a prescription drug without a doctor's permission.
And yet, in spite of these statistics, survey after survey shows that people believe prescription drugs to be safer than other drugs. This belief is especially prevalent among teenagers, who report that their most common source of these drugs is a parent or grandparent's medicine cabinet.
But what about how prescription drug abuse affects Colorado as a whole? Colorado residents turn in 40,000 pounds of unused medication each year, which suggests that there may be many times this number circulating on the black market.
Colorado prescription drug addicts may steal prescriptions from people who need them, or rely on drug dealers to get their drugs. In both scenarios, prescription drug abuse can inhibit the ability of sick people to get treatment, since prescription drug abuse leads to increasing suspicion between doctors and their patients. In some cases, patients who legitimately need prescription drugs may not get them because doctors are steadily working to prescribe fewer and fewer prescription painkillers.
The black market in prescription drugs contributes to a less safe environment in Colorado. Drug addiction is a leading cause of violence, and more than half of people incarcerated in Colorado jails and prisons have some form of drug addiction. The omnipresent urge for drugs can drive even good people to do terrible things, including steal from or injure others. That is why finding the right drug treatment in Colorado is so important.
But the effects of prescription drug addiction don't end there. Prescription drugs' toll extends well beyond national borders. Drug manufacturers abroad are steadily working to provide a constant stream of illegal prescription drugs, and this illicit manufacturing contributes to a host of crimes and human rights abuses. Some synthetic prescription drugs may even be linked to international wars and terrorism.
How Prescription Drug Addiction Affects your Life
Prescription drug addiction is a disease, not something anyone willingly chooses. When you're blinded by a haze of prescription drugs, though, it's easy to be blinded to the effects these drugs have on your life. No matter which drugs you use in Colorado, you expose yourself to a number of problems, including:
- The risk of being victimized by violence or becoming a perpetrator. Drugs color your judgment, interfere with your ability to think clearly, and can encourage you to do things you'd never otherwise consider doing. Some drug users steal from their family members. Others spend time around dangerous drug dealers.
- A deterioration in the quality of your closest relationships. You may behave cruelly toward those you love, neglect your most important relationships, or lie about your drug use.
- Harm to loved ones. The people you love the most may endlessly worry about you, how your addiction is impacting your life, and whether you'll ever choose to pursue sobriety. This worry can be all-encompassing, and is especially damaging for addicts' children.
- Sidelined career and educational goals. Prescription drugs inevitably compromise your skill-set, interfering with your work or school performance. Eventually, the need for prescription drugs can become so strong that you stop expending any effort at all in school or on the job.
- Financial catastrophe. The premium you pay for illegal prescription drugs, the costs of legal fees if you're caught illegally using drugs, and similar costs can all lead to intense financial challenges.
- Legal issues. Doctor-shopping to get prescription drugs is illegal, as is ordering these drugs online without a prescription. If you purchase directly from a drug dealer, your risk of legal issues increases even further. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs can land you in jail, as can possessing a drug for which you do not have a valid medical prescription. About half of all prescription drug addicts are eventually arrested. An arrest can cost you lots of money, interfere with your job, and even lead to long-term incarceration.
- Health problems. Virtually every prescription drug exposes you to serious medical risks. Organ failure, brain damage, decreased intelligence, and prolonged mental illness are among the most common risks.
Though every prescription drug is unique in its own right, similar drugs come with similar side effects. For instance, Adderall and Vyvanse are both stimulants, and while Adderall is more likely to trigger a manic episode, both drugs can lead to rapid heart rate and compromised judgment. The most common prescription drug families in Colorado – and their side effects – include:
Stimulants, commonly prescribed for ADD and ADHD, and less commonly used to treat narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and other sleeping issues, activate your central nervous system. These drugs, which boost energy and can help you feel more confident, include medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine. Some of the most common side effects of stimulant drugs include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased pulse
- High energy
- Feelings of invincibility
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight loss and malnourishment
- Difficulty staying awake with prolonged use
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Brain damage
- Skin problems
- Sudden death
Sleeping Pill Addiction Treatment in Colorado
Sleeping pills, which include drugs such as Lunesta and Ambien, slow down activity in your brain and spinal cord, allowing you to sleep. These drugs are so addictive that many users develop an accidental addiction after receiving a valid medical prescription. Some of the side effects of sleeping pill use include:
- Dementia-like symptoms
- Short-term memory difficulties
- Trouble finding words
- Slowed or labored breathing
- Sudden death, particularly while asleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- The inability to sleep without the use of pills
Painkiller Addiction Treatment in Colorado
Painkillers, the most popular of which are opioid drugs such as Fentanyl, Morphine, and Oxycodone, offer relief from pain, but also get you high. Painkiller rehab in Colorado is available. These drugs are intended to be used on a short-term basis, but prolonged use can result in serious side effects, including:
- Apathy and depression
- Slowed cognitive processing
- Mental illness
- Sudden death
- Disturbed sleep or eating; weight-loss is common
- Changes in your physical appearance, including hollowed-out eyes
- Slowed breathing
- Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
- Sudden heart failure
Cough and Cold Medication Addiction Treatment in Colorado
Cough and cold medications such as hydrocodone can produce a powerful high on their own. Some addicts blend these medications with other ingredients to get a more pronounced high, and cough and cold medications can also be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Cold medicine rehab in Colorado is available! Some of the effects you can expect with these drugs include:
- Racing heart
- Heart attack
- Manic episodes
- Increased energy, agitation, anxiety, and aggression
- Difficulty concentrating or sitting still
- Weight loss
- Changes in your appearance, most notably problems with your skin and hair
- Loss of teeth
- Mental illness
Antidepressant Addiction Rehab in Colorado
Antidepressants don't get you high, but they can become addictive, especially used in conjunction with other drugs. Zoloft, Paxil, Cymbalta, and Prozac are among the most popularly abused drugs in this class. Antidepressant drug rehab in Colorado is available. The effects you can expect when you abuse antidepressants include:
- Increased depression; a disorder called serotonin syndrome creates a reverse effect wherein antidepressants actually increase, rather than decrease, depression.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in cardiovascular function
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction and infertility
- Sudden death
- Decreased immunity
- Paranoia, aggression, and anger
- Loss of cognitive function
- Difficulty finding words
- Increased sleepiness, disturbing dreams, or other changes in sleep patterns
- Suicidal thoughts or feelings
The precise way any drug will affect you is a complex cocktail of your age, health, lifestyle, the quantity and quality of drugs you use, and whether you mix drugs. Over time, though, symptoms tend to worsen, so if your prescription drug addiction symptoms aren't particularly severe yet, rest assured that they eventually will be – potentially even turning fatal. Now is the best time to seek the drug rehab in Colorado you need to recover from your prescription drug addiction.
Understanding the Disease Model of Prescription Drug Addiction in Denver
It's easy for outsiders to write prescription drug addiction off as a personal choice or a behavioral problem, particularly when the addict is a child or teenager. But addiction is no choice. A number of factors – age, stress, health status, genetics, family history – can make you more vulnerable to the disease of addiction. People predisposed to addiction become prescription drug addicts more quickly, but anyone and everyone can become an addict with prolonged use.
The process of addiction begins with chemical tolerance. From the moment you first use prescription drugs, your body subtly changes the way it responds to these substances in an attempt to mitigate their health effects. You'll quickly find that you need larger quantities of the same drug to get the results you once got with a smaller dose. This process continues for the life of your addiction, such that a daily pill habit can morph out of control till you're consuming 10, 20, 30, or more pills each day. The process of tolerance is a major contributor to drug overdoses. Though you might not feel as high as you once did, the drugs still profoundly affect your body, rendering you vulnerable to accidental overdoses and a host of other health issues.
As your body nurtures a physical tolerance, it also begins building a chemical dependency. Chemical dependency makes drugs feel less dangerous because they affect your body less severely. The problem is that this process causes your body to begin treating drugs like water or food. You become convinced that you need them to survive. And when you try to quit or seek prescription drug rehab in Colorado, you can experience an array of withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Depression, psychosis, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Disturbing dreams
- Night sweats
- Night terrors
- Hot flashes
- Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
In some cases, the symptoms of withdrawal can even kill you. Thus addiction is not a choice, but rather a reaction to the potentially lethal consequences of suddenly quitting a drug. Moreover, the longer you use, the more your mind becomes addicted to the drugs. Many prescription drug addicts believe they won't be able to function without drugs, insisting that they feel more normal and more like themselves while under the influence.
For some prescription drug users in Colorado, this process is a terrible accident. If your doctor doesn't properly monitor your dosage or behavior, it's easy to become accidentally addicted. And if you have a history of addiction or take a dose that's too high, you may find yourself steadily taking more and more prescription drugs until you have a nasty habit you cannot seem to kick.
It doesn't matter how you became an addict. The end result is the same. There's no good or safe addiction, and if you're physically dependent on prescription drugs, you will need professional help to get clean. The first step is to tell the doctor who prescribed the drugs about the problem. But if you're stealing another person's drugs or never had a valid medical prescription, it's time to take a long, hard look at how your continued abuse of prescription drugs is affecting your life.
Mental Health Issues and Prescription Drug Addiction in Colorado
About half of all prescription drug addicts in Colorado also struggle with a mental health issue such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you struggle with both an addiction and a mental illness, the odds that you'll be able to get clean on your own are vanishingly slim. Both are serious medical conditions that demand intensive professional treatment. Without such treatment, your life can be thrown into disarray and you may find yourself spiraling deeper and deeper into addiction and mental illness.
Some people with mental illness develop prescription drug addictions as a direct result of their attempts to treat their mental illness. Many mental illness medications, including many sleeping pills, antidepressants, and stimulant drugs, are potentially addictive. With prolonged use, your odds of becoming an addict increases, and some people find themselves struggling with addiction after finally finding what they thought was a solution to their mental illness. This can be a profoundly demoralizing process, but the good news is that rehab can help you regain control.
In other cases, prescription drug addiction is a way of coping with mental illness. Prescription drugs can help you self-medicate, and may also work as a way to mask symptoms. Unfortunately, symptoms tend to get worse over time, encouraging many people with mental health issues to continue abusing prescription drugs. Life with mental illness is challenging, and prolonged stress is a significant risk factor for drug use, so it's no wonder so many people who struggle with mental illness also find themselves struggling with prescription drug addiction.
Sometimes prescription drug addiction is the triggering event for a mental illness. Addiction changes your brain chemistry, and some drugs have the capacity to trigger mental illness. Recognizing the signs of mental illness is key for getting proper treatment, so if you think you might have a mental illness, check out these common mental health issues and their symptoms:
- Depression – characterized by sadness, anger, moodiness, hopelessness, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
- Generalized anxiety disorder – characterized by chronic anxiety with no clear source or cause. The anxiety may be psychological, or may be experienced as physical symptoms, such as stomach aches.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – A disorder triggered by a traumatic event, symptoms include depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and persistent avoidance of places and people associated with the trauma.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – An anxiety disorder characterized by engaging in compulsive behavior – such as counting or hand-washing – to alleviate anxious thoughts.
- Bipolar disorder – Characterized by alternating between periods of intense depression and periods of intense happiness known as manic episodes.
- Eating disorders – Can include a host of disordered eating patterns, including starvation (anorexia), binging and purging (bulimia), and eating large quantities of food in a single sitting (binge eating disorder).
If you think you might have a mental illness, it's possible to get excellent treatment without taking potentially addictive drugs. Rehab is your best option for long-term recovery, but in the meantime, your doctor can begin helping you sort through your treatment options.
Signs You Might Have a Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription drug addiction is characterized by two overarching symptoms. First, you experience signs of physical dependency, including psychological or physical withdrawal when you have to go for extended periods without using prescription drugs. Second, you continue using prescription drugs in spite of negative consequences, such as relationship problems or being arrested.
Denial is powerful, though, and some addicts don't realize how badly they are affected until they attempt to quit using. Of course, the nature of addiction encourages addicts to avoid quitting, so you might be truly oblivious to how severe your addiction is. You may, in fact, need to seek drug treatment in Colorado to get help. Some other common symptoms of addiction include:
- Lying to others to get access to drugs; for instance, you might fake symptoms you don't actually have to get your doctor to write you a painkiller prescription.
- Getting into legal trouble because of your addiction. You might be arrested, face lawsuits after getting into a car accident, or be facing a drug test you know you'll fail.
- Engaging in doctor shopping to get drugs. It's common for prescription drug addicts to consult with several doctors until they get the prescription they want, or to get several different prescriptions from several different doctors.
- Experiencing relationship difficulties due to your addiction. Some addicts mistakenly blame their loved ones for their problems. You may end a relationship, mistreat your loved ones, or hear from loved ones that they cannot continue a relationship with you if you do not seek help.
- Endangering loved ones because of your addiction. Examples include driving while under the influence or allowing drug dealers to come to your home.
- Structuring your day according to drug use. For instance, you might use your lunch break to use drugs or worry about whether you'll have enough time for drugs in between meetings with clients.
- New or worsening mental health symptoms. It's common to experience depression, anxiety, anger, and other intense emotions, particularly when you cannot use drugs.
- Experiencing job, career, or educational difficulties due to prescription drugs. Your addiction might convince you it's a good idea to drop out of school even when you know it's not.
- Feeling like you can't be yourself without prescription drugs. It's common to believe that prescription drugs increase your productivity, intelligence, or likability. And it may be true that, when you're going through withdrawal, you experience a temporary decrease in these traits. With proper treatment, though, you'll be back to yourself – and even better! – without the use of prescription rugs.
It's tempting to write off your symptoms as the product of a bad mood or a rough day. Addiction, though, encourages you to deny what's right in front of your face. Think honestly about your symptoms before dismissing them outright. You may be surprised to realize how truly severe your addiction really is. Addiction is a chronic illness that only gets worse over time, but with drug treatment in Colorado, you can feel better – often much more quickly than you anticipated.
Addiction Treatment Options for Prescription Drug Addiction in Colorado
Addiction, like any other disease, necessitates professional treatment. Like most other diseases, though, there's more than just one treatment option. Inpatient rehab is the most effective and intense treatment option, making it an ideal choice for addicts who are unconvinced they'll ever be able to get sober. But rehab isn't right for everyone. Cost can be an issue, as can time constraints. Some combination of the following treatment options in Colorado may help you to get sober, or offer you the assistance you need as you save up the money you need to fund inpatient rehab. You can continue with many of these treatment protocols even after you get sober, making it easier to resist temptation and protect your achievement of sobriety.
Prescription Drug Addiction Therapy in Colorado
There's a story behind every addiction. Every addict develops an addiction for a reason. Maybe it was your abusive childhood, the pressure to fit in with other people at school, or the challenges of going through a divorce. Whatever keeps you using prescription drugs, your therapist will help you find healthier ways of coping. Your therapist will also collaborate with you to design a long-term sobriety plan, offer tips on how to resist the temptation to use, and help you deal with anxiety, depression, and other common withdrawal symptoms. If you have an underlying mental illness, your therapist can help you find safer and more effective ways to cope.
Medical and Drug Detox Treatment
The journey to sobriety begins with drug detox in Colorado. As your body withdraws from prescription drugs, though, you may experience painful symptoms. Your doctor will asses your overall health to determine whether you can safely go through prescription drug detox in Colorado. She will also offer options for coping with the symptoms of detox, and may be able to prescribe medications to reduce your withdrawal symptoms.
If you became addicted to prescription drugs after using them to treat a mental or physical health condition, your doctor will help you explore less addictive treatment options. And because addiction can yield long-term health problems, your doctor can work with you to ensure your long-term health. She may prescribe medications, request regular check-ups, or recommend lifestyle remedies that can help reverse or reduce the effects of a life of addiction. Another option is to find a licensed drug rehab in the Denver area.
Colorado's Addiction Support Groups
Support groups come in all shapes and sizes, but the most popular is Narcotics Anonymous (NA). NA also sponsors a spin-off program for prescription drug addicts known as Pills Anonymous, in addition to family support groups. As you work through the program's 12 steps, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your addiction, make amends to people you've hurt, and commit to a life of sober living. The program is free and accessible, not to mention completely anonymous. You don't even have to give your real name if you don't want to. And if you need additional support, you can work with a sponsor.
Of course, Colorado's 12-step programs aren't for everyone. These programs are loosely religious, based on non-denominational Christian theology. Some people prefer entirely secular drug rehab programs in Colorado. If that sounds like you, consider SMART Recovery or Rational Recovery instead. These programs build upon the same principles, but without any reference to a “higher power.”
Lifestyle Changes Needed to Beat Prescription Drug Addiction
A few tweaks in the way you live won't change the fact that you have the disease of addiction. But just as a healthy lifestyle can help you fight arthritis or diabetes, it can also make recovery easier. Some helpful lifestyle changes you can make include:
- Getting plenty of aerobic and strength-based exercise.
- Committing to at least eight hours of sleep each night.
- Maintaining a regular and healthy routine.
- Staying in touch with people you love, and scheduling time for social outings.
- Picking up a new hobby.
- Eating a balanced, healthy diet.
- Seeking help if you get depressed or experience symptoms of a relapse.
- Avoiding other addicts, in addition to avoiding the use of any potentially addictive substance.
- Telling your doctors about your history of addiction so that they can make good medical decisions in consultation with you.
- Spending time with people who support your recovery.
- Learning as much as you can about the disease of addiction.
- Finding new ways to relax; yoga and meditation are especially effective in the fight against addiction.
Support from Loved Ones
No person is an island, and while many people recover even without supportive loved ones, it is impossible to recover from addiction if you have no support at all. Whether it's your family, your sponsor, other residents at a rehab program, or a group of new friends, you need help to get clean. The people who love you the most can hold you accountable, offer a distraction, remind you of your deep worth as a human being, and give you the strength to carry on when the going gets tough.
If you don't have supportive people in your life, finding a drug rehab in Denver, Colorado may be your best option for getting the help you need. Take time to cultivate close relationships, as these relationships could save you from your addiction, thereby saving your life.
Colorado Drug Rehab for Prescription Drug Addiction
If you're ready to pursue rehab for prescription drug addiction in Colorado, you're taking a bold step toward your own wellness and recovery. At AspenRidge, we offer comprehensive care that includes therapy, support groups, medical assistance, and detox care. But inpatient prescription drug rehab is different. When you live at a treatment center, you get additional support, including:
- A safe environment that can help alleviate the stress of a challenging home life or lots of peer pressure.
- A drug and alcohol-free environment that makes it more difficult to give into your cravings.
- A community of like-minded people, each committed to your sobriety.
- 24/7 support no matter when things get tough.
- A break from the chaos of daily life.
- A chance to “practice” sober living before you have to do it in the real world.
- A group of people who can help keep you safe when withdrawal gives rise to painful or frightening symptoms.
Addiction carries a relapse rate of 40% to 60%. So common is relapse, in fact, that many addiction experts assert that ti's actually a part of the recovery process. No one wants to go through the pain of quitting twice, though, so preventing a relapse should be a key goal of your recovery journey. Long-term recovery planning is a daily part of life in rehab, so if you're worried about relapsing, rest easy. People who check into inpatient programs are significantly more likely to get sober, with a relapse rate that's almost half that of people who pursue other treatment methods.
Choosing AspenRidge for Your Prescription Drug Addiction in Colorado
At AspenRidge, we know that many addicts are trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of guilt and shame. You may feel so bad about your addiction that you think you're incurable. Or maybe you're ashamed and afraid to admit you need help. Perhaps seeking help feels like giving up control. But the day you walk through our doors is the day you take your first step toward yet again controlling your own life and your own destiny. We can help you take back control. Our sacred promise to each and every person who walks through our doors is that we will listen to you, tailor our approach to suit your goals, and never give up on you – even when you're ready to give up on yourself.
Our skilled team of compassionate and knowledgeable addiction experts have helped thousands of addicts like you. We know addiction is deeply isolating, but we work to connect you with a community of people who are fully and permanently committed to recovery. When you join our Colorado drug rehab program, you become part of the AspenRidge family for life. We'll work with you to develop a plan not just for getting sober, but for living the life you've always dreamed about. We'll help you devise a long-term sobriety plan that can help you resist temptation, but we'll always be here if you need help again. You deserve it – even if you have trouble believing you do.
In a society where addicts are the subject of derision and contempt, it's easy to fall into self-loathing. Addiction, though, does not have to ruin your life. No matter how bad things are right now, treatment can help your life look much different in just a few short months. You wouldn't avoid treatment for another medical illness, so why delay treatment for addiction? You didn't ask for this, but it's up to you to ask for the help you need. Don't suffer needlessly for another day. We're ready to help, but you have to take the first step. Call us now!