How Do Prescription Drugs Become a Problem?

Prescription medications are a common part of the American health care system. Medical professionals prescribe drugs to tackle specific health issues — some pills reduce pain after an injury, while others help people sleep, for example. The longer you use a drug, however, the more accustomed your body becomes to the ingredients. As you build a tolerance, it takes a higher dose to achieve the same effects. Our prescription drug rehab in Phoenix, AZ, can help you on the road to sobriety.

Prescription drug addiction can develop in a few ways:

  • Exceeding the recommended dose or frequency
  • Taking prescription drugs for longer than needed
  • Ingesting drugs using alternative methods (snorting or injecting)
Medicinal bottles in a row, representing the cause of addiction and the need for prescription drug rehab Phoenix AZ

With many prescription drugs, it doesn’t take long to develop a problem — opioids in particular. According to the Mayo Clinic, just five days of opioid use increases your risk of addiction. Overdose deaths are also a concern; taking too much of a drug can reduce breathing, heart rate and blood pressure to fatal levels.

Prescription drug abuse is one of the top public health issues in Arizona — it kills thousands of people every year. Here at Camelback Recovery in Arizona, we offer professional, medically supervised rehab programs to help you overcome drug addiction and promote long-term transformational changes to help you return to your normal life. Whether you or a loved one is struggling with prescription opioids, stimulants or depressants, early intervention can be a lifesaving option.


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Not all prescriptions lead to addiction — the most common culprits are painkillers, depressants and stimulants. Opioid painkillers are highly addictive, producing a marked feeling of euphoria. Depressants, which create a sense of well-being and relaxation, are often prescribed to ease anxiety or help people sleep. Stimulants boost energy and exhilaration; doctors prescribe them for conditions such as ADHD or narcolepsy.

A few of the potentially problematic prescription drugs include:

  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Sleeping pills
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Amphetamines

Risk Factors for Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction can happen to anyone, but certain factors may increase the risk of developing a dependence:

  • Past struggles with substance abuse
  • Mental health conditions
  • Pattern of addiction in the family
  • High-stress conditions
  • Environments with recreational drug abuse
  • Ignorance about the effects of prescription medications

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

It can be challenging to identify the signs of prescription drug abuse in yourself or another person, in part because every prescription drug creates different symptoms. Here are some things to watch out for.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

  • Nausea
  • Depressed breathing
  • Constipation
  • Lack of coordination or focus
  • Failure of doctor-prescribed dose to ease pain
  • High sensitivity to pain with continued use
  • Euphoric high

Signs of Sedative Addiction

  • Persistent sleepy feeling
  • Inability to walk or speak normally
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Reduced breathing rate

Signs of Stimulant Addiction

  • Unusual levels of agitation, anxiety and paranoia
  • Extreme alert feeling
  • Increased temperature and blood pressure
  • Inability to sleep
  • Heart arrhythmia (irregular beat)
  • Alert high
 Distressed businessman with hands on his head, losing focus, symbolizing the struggle of medication addiction and the necessity of Rehabilitation centers for medication in Phoenix

As an addiction progresses, it’s not uncommon for a person to start exhibiting unusual behaviors. Illegal activity is a red flag — after a doctor stops prescribing the problematic medication, the person may turn to stealing pills, buying illegal drugs or trying to forge a prescription. If you suspect a loved one is dealing with addiction, look for these additional signs:

  • Unusual changes in mood
  • Different sleeping patterns
  • Poor judgment at home or work
  • Changes in overall energy
  • Lying about prescription drug use

Statistics About Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is rampant in the United States. In 2020, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 16.1 million people admitted they’d used a prescription outside of a doctor’s recommendations. Prescription painkillers are the biggest problem — 9.3 million people struggle with them each year.

Kids are also prone to drug abuse, in part because prescriptions are relatively easy to access. In fact, more than 4% of high school seniors have abused prescription medication. Amphetamine use is the most common in kids in grades 8-12.

Prescription Drug Abuse in Arizona

Drug addiction is on the rise in Arizona. As with many places in the country, opioids are the biggest problem; overdoses kill five people in Arizona every day. In 2021, there were 3,379 non-fatal overdoses and 1,917 overdose deaths.

Young lady engaged in an individual therapy session as part of a drug addiction treatment program at a rehab in Phoenix, Arizona

Prescription Drug Rehab and Addiction Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona

If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription medication, it’s important to get addiction treatment. With the help of medical and psychiatric professionals, it’s possible to recover and reduce dependence on drugs.

Here at Camelback Recovery, our treatment programs use a combination of counseling and medication-assisted treatment methods. The exact process varies based on the drug in question, the severity of abuse or addiction, and the individual’s mental and physical health. In some cases, we may recommend starting with a residential inpatient drug addiction treatment program and medical detox. Our two main drug rehab programs are:

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Sometimes, it’s impossible to enter full-time residential addiction treatment centers. That’s where the Camelback Recovery partial hospitalization program comes in. You’ll visit our treatment facility in Phoenix, Arizona five days a week, usually for 4-6 hours at a time. Each session is structured and personalized to your needs and typically includes:

  • One-on-one and group therapy
  • Support group meetings
  • Training in stress management
  • Medication-assisted treatments
  • Community support

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

After you finish PHP, we often recommend entering the Camelback Recovery IOP rehab. You’ll visit our Phoenix addiction treatment center for a few hours three days a week. The intensive outpatient treatment program usually continues the therapies you started in the PHP. The goal of our outpatient programs is to help you combat the addiction both mentally and physically. Over time, you’ll learn how to resume a normal life without the interference of the problematic drug.

Find Addiction Treatment for Prescription Drug Disorders in Phoenix, Arizona

Are you ready to get help with prescription drug abuse or addiction? Learn more about the substance abuse treatment process.

Camelback Recovery, the leading mental health and addiction treatment center,  provides prescription drug addiction treatment programs to residents across the state of Arizona and the greater Phoenix area, which includes Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Glendale. Contact us today or call 602-466-9880 to learn more about our therapy options.

Our caring, experienced team can help find the right program; we’ll also help you navigate the insurance and financing process.