Each year millions of American's take prescription pills for pain management, otherwise known as opioids. They take antidepressants for depression, anti-anxiety medications for anxiety, and stimulants for ADHD in children, teens, and adults. While these various pills are viewed as habit forming, in reality, no drug is addictive based solely on its pharmacology. Yes, physical dependence can occur with opioids as a result of consistent use, but this physical dependence does not change the content of one's thoughts or drives or motives. Rather, the beliefs the person holds in regards to the substances and their "addictiveness" is what drives the heavy fear ridden usage of these substances. In truth, anyone can truly break free of a prescription pill addiction.
While our society and media play up prescription pill abuse, the true problem found around the country today is that traditional drug rehabs and detox centers are using replacement therapy to help their patients as a long term solution to addiction. Replacement therapy is replacing one drug habit for another, but this form of therapy is ineffective and can lead to a second addiction problem, and furthers the myth that drugs contain addictiveness like an apple contains vitamin c.
Due to the high ineffectiveness of replacement therapy for a prescription pill addiction, an estimated 8 million people a year abuse prescription medications. Some people end up "abusing" prescription pills even though they initially attended a program for a different substance addiction. Take for example a person who came to detox for an alcohol problem, and was given xanax, ativan, klonopin or valium during detox. Many times they are given long term prescriptions for these drugs to take home with them to combat anxiety issues. It is thought that without the anxiety the individual is more likely to not drink. This person, according to treatment's standards, may be "successful" at not consuming alcohol but many then begin abusing their prescription medications, and once again in need of prescription drug rehab. And many actually do resume alcohol use combined with the prescription pills leading to higher rates of substance abuse, accidental overdose and even death. This leads to a vicious cycle of repeated detox and drug rehab stays. We once again see the addiction and endless recovery cycle take form.
Some prescription pill users legally take pain killers, but then begin relying on them for complete pain management. An example of this would be a patient taking vicodin for back pain after surgery, but due to the excessive pain, the patient is now habitually using vicodin and then needs detox. While in detox, the patient is given methadone to help with the withdrawal effects. The detox center, like many, fails to properly wean the patients off of methadone and may even tell the patient they will need to be on methadone long term. Thus they are now using methadone on a regular basis. Replacement therapies will keep anyone in a revolving door to drug rehab because using one drug to stop another drug habit is completely illogical and ineffective.
While many people begin their habits legally through a prescription by a doctor, there is also a high street market for illegal use of these drugs; most commonly, Ritalin, Vicodin (hydrocodone), methadone, oxycodone, xanax and valium. Individuals using these pills can administer them through snorting, injecting, swallowing, smoking, chewing or entering them as suppositories.
The Freedom Model does not support replacement therapy, and can recommend a few different detox centers around the country for those who may need medical detox services prior to attending the retreat. These detox centers successfully wean patients off of their drug use properly and safely. While many drug rehab centers claim that a prescription pill addiction is a true disease, Freedom Model's helps people realize that addiction is nothing more than a habitual way of thinking and behaving. Freedom Model's provides outstanding services to each and every guest at our retreats.