The good news is that prescription drug addiction can be effectively treated. However, there isn't any one treatment that is effective for all prescription drug addictions. Treatment will be dependent on the type of drug used, the length of time the person has been addicted, and the characteristics of the individual herself.
Because of the severity of withdrawal symptoms with many prescription drugs, detoxification under medical supervision is often necessary for a safe start to recovery. Some prescription drug addictions can be treated medically. For example, opiate addiction can be treated with naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine.
Naltrexone blocks the effects of opiates and is used to treat conditions of opiate overdose as well as the addiction itself. Methadone is a synthetic opiate that blocks the effects of opiates, treats withdrawal symptoms, and helps curb cravings. Buprenorphine was approved by the FDA in 2002. It is also an opiate, but in low doses can be used effectively to discontinue addictive use without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment for CNS depressant addiction must be medically supervised. Dosages must be reduced gradually to avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Don't assume that prescription drug addiction can't happen to you or someone you care about. An estimated 20 percent of the American population has acknowledged using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at some point in their lives.
At this time, there are no approved medical treatments for stimulant addiction. As with other addictions, behavioral and/or cognitive-behavioral therapies have been demonstrated to be effective. Recovery support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are also helpful. Therapy and support groups for family members may also be beneficial. Addictions are not a solitary affliction. They affect the lives of many who care for the addicted person. The stronger the support system, the more successful it is in helping the addict gain strength for recovery.