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Prescription drug addiction

Despite the fact that prescription drugs might sound somehow ‘safer’ than illegal substances, they are no less addictive. If prescription drugs have become a problem for you or someone you care about, you’ll be well aware of how quickly dependency can arise and how concerning the consequences can be.

At Delamere, the UK’s only purpose built behavioural wellness and addiction treatment centre, we can help. Our team have years of experience in successfully treating prescription drug dependency and we’re here to help you and your family move beyond addiction. Our resource and expertise includes a medical team who can help you safely withdraw and break the cycle of addiction. We also offer residential programmes to help you work through the causes and conditions of addiction.

Male psychologist therapist speak at group therapy session helping those addicted to prescription drugs


Signs & symptoms of prescription drug addiction

Like all addiction symptoms these vary from person to person. Unlike some substances though, a problem with painkillers or medication can be difficult to spot at a first glance. Usually, if someone is struggling or if you yourself are struggling you will observe a change in behaviour and mood over a period of time. These symptoms will likely include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness / Insomnia

As with any drug addiction, behaviour and relationships are also often affected. Specifically to prescription drug abuse and addiction, these include the forging of or theft of prescriptions and visiting numerous doctors in an attempt to obtain more prescriptions. Where a physical dependency is apparent, it is difficult to reduce or stop prescription drug use and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or cut down can feature. You may have to use more to get the same effects and if you are honest about what’s really happening it may be the case that you are using the drugs for their effects (ie to get high, depress your appetite, work longer and so on).

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Which ‘prescribed’ substances become a problem?

As you might expect, those drugs which tend to be abused and have the potential to become a serious problem are pain killers. Examples of these include opiate based prescription medications containing oxycodone.

When we consider that at the route of all addiction is often some sort of physical or psychological pain, it is not surprise that painkillers, literally become a problem for some

Sleeping pills, weight loss pills and medication for depression and anxiety are also commonly abused. Popular names for these include Xanax, Diazepam and Valium.


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Prescription drug addiction is a terrifying problem; one that spirals quickly without professional help

In the UK, prescription drug abuse and dependency is becoming an ever- increasing problem. One of the reasons why dependency on a medication can feel so terrifying is that prescription drug use often starts under the guidance of a trusted doctor. When prescribed drugs are abused, however, the body becomes accustomed to a regular and often hazardous amount of the substance and those with a propensity toward addiction can find themselves acquiring a tolerance and using over and above the prescribed amount. This is when a problem can spiral, often over time. It usually isn’t until prescription medication has become a serious issue that people seek help or recognise the extent of their addictive behaviour.

Because of the availability of commonly abused prescription drugs, they are relatively easy to obtain illegally and are often cheaper and more potent than illicit alternatives. The internet and the rise of prescription drugs on the street and in the hands of dealers has no doubt influenced how wide spread the prescription drug problem has become.


How can Delamere help?

If prescription drugs have become a problem for you or someone you care about, Delamere can help. Most people who stay at Delamere with a dependency on prescription drugs need help initially with the physical aspects. Withdrawal from prescription medication that has been abused can be dangerous and a safe detoxification is often the first step. At Delamere this is facilitated in our clinical detox unit with the support of our 24 hour medical team. Once you have safely stopped, treatment is focused around the psychological aspects of the dependency.

Here, we help you work through some of the reasons why medication became a problem in the first place and help you future proof your abstinence with our unique set of tools and techniques.

You can read more about our approach here.





Frequently asked questions

The physical aspects of a prescription drug problem can be complex and depending on the severity of your dependency, you may need a clinical detox initially. This be the case, our clinical team will ensure a safe and comfortable medically assisted withdrawal.

Many people who struggle with prescription medication often worry that when it comes to treatment, they mightn’t identify with someone for whom alcohol or cocaine has been a problem. When they start exploring how their addiction has affected their life, however, many come to realise that everyone, regardless of the substance is in a similar boat.

If you are concerned about your relationship with prescription medication or are acquiring and abusing prescribed drugs illegally, you may need a detox. By calling our assessment team we will take time to get a sense of what is happening for you and what treatment is appropriate.

Detox at Delamere is the first phase of treatment for many of our clients. We employ some of the most skilled, respected and experienced practitioners in the UK in order that you feel safe and comfortable at all times while you are with us. Our purpose-built retreat is complete with its own up-to-the-minute clinical detox facility that provides 24 hour medical care. You benefit from round the clock supervision from our nursing team, and most participants have reported that it is much easier and less intimidating than they feared. You have the option to engage in some light therapeutic work and if you feel up to it make use of the activities on offer, but fundamentally the detox it’s about helping you settle in and start to feel like yourself again.




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