It is important to understand that each substance abused does require a different approach in terms of the interventionist. Each intervention is handled according to what substance your teen or young adult is addicted to and what type of detox and treatment will be required for recovery.
Prescription pills include a variety of substances, each of which has different effects. However, the majority of prescription pills fall into one or more of the following categories. Understand that there can be overlap, with one substances falling into several categories.
Opiates: Generally referred to as narcotics, these include Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Demerol. Opiates are extremely physically addictive and are usually prescribed to handle pain. Benzodiazipenes: Generally referred to as tranquilizers, these include Xanax, Valium and Klonipin. Benzo’s are considered neural supressors and are used to handle anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. Withdrawal off of Benzo’s is considered extremely dangerous. Sedatives: Generally prescribed to handle sleep disorders, Sedatives included Remeron and Trazadone. Stimulants: Sometimes called “uppers” and are usually only prescribed to those Attention Deficit (ADHD) disorders. Adderall is the most commonly abused prescribed stimulant. However, many over-the-counter stimulants do exist such as ephedrine, ephedra, or psuedoephedrine designed for “increased energy and weight loss”. Overuse of stimulants causes paranoia, obsessive compulsive behaviors and delusional thinking. Psychiatric Medications: It would be impossible to list all of the different psychiatric medications and the various disorders they are designed to handle. However, the most common psychiatric medications include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor’s (SSRI’s) such as Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro and Paxil. It is important to note that some psychiatric medications can actually cause or create mental aberrations such as suicidal or homicidal ideation.
It is also important to note that withdrawing abruptly off of some psychiatric medications can actually cause severe mental disturbance and sometimes psychoses. With some substances, acute withdrawal results in death.
In considering a prescription pill intervention for your loved one, perhaps the biggest obstacle so far has been in the realm of strong denial systems. Oftentimes a person using prescription pills will become addicted but refuse to acknowledge his addiction because his “medicine” is prescribed by a doctor. In more acute cases, the addict tends to “doctor shop”, or use a variety of different doctors prescribing different substances so as not to alert any professionals to the degree of his problem. Unfortunately for the addict, in most states this is quite illegal and does eventually result in arrest and prosecution.
When thinking about a prescription pill intervention, our certified addictions specialists will help you to determine the severity of the substance abuse and the dangers involved. Essentially each intervention is unique and after proper analysis and guidance your intervention specialist will help you to determine when and what is the best approach in dealing with an intervention for prescription pills.