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Mississippi Prescription Drug Addiction


A wide array of psychoactive substances are capable of causing problems, including alcohol, prescription medications and illegal street drugs. Mississippi prescription drug addiction is a major problem, with the misuse and overuse of medications leading to a number of health and social problems. Professional drug treatment is often needed to help people who are struggling with prescription drugs, including medical detox and rehabilitation regimes. If you know anyone who is living with Mississippi prescription drug addiction, it’s important to find specialized help as soon as you can.

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription medications include all pharmaceutical drugs that are sold with a medical prescription. These medications contrast with over-the-counter drugs that can be sold without a medical prescription. Prescription drugs are sold for a range of medical conditions, with different regulation schemes used to enforce the manufacture and supply of these substances and make sure access is granted to the right people. Prescription drugs are abused whenever they are taken in a way that was not intended by a doctor or medical professional. While a wide range of prescription medications can potentially be abused, the vast majority of real-world abuse occurs with three classes of medications: opioids, sedatives and stimulants. Opioids include morphine, codeine and oxycodone. Sedatives include Valium, Klonopin and Xanax. Stimulants include Adderall, Concerta and Ritalin.

How are Prescription Drugs Abused?

Prescription drugs can be misused and over used in a variety of different ways. Generally speaking, legal medications are abused whenever people taken them recreationally or medically in a different way than originally intended. Common methods of abuse include combining medications in a dangerous way, taking a larger dose than prescribed, using medications intended for another person, and crushing up pills in order to snort or inject them. Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in Mississippi and across America, with medications made available through the medical system and also sold on the black market. Some people visit more than one doctor to obtain drugs in a practice known as “doctor shopping,” with others borrowing or buying drugs from friends and family members. In some situations, prescription medications are sold as an alternative to street drugs like heroin and methamphetamine.

Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics in Mississippi

The United States consumes more than 75 percent of the world’s prescription medications, despite accounting for just 5 percent of the global population. This is an incredible statistic that highlights the severity of prescription drug abuse in the United States. According to Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), Mississippi has the 30th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the country, with 11.4 deaths per 100,000. The majority of these deaths come from prescription drugs, including opioid and benzodiazepine-related overdoses. While Mississippi is doing better than many other American states, overdose fatalities have tripled since 1999. Treatment statistics in Mississippi are among the lowest in America; however, with only 80 recovery centers in the state offering specialized treatment for drug or alcohol dependence according to the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.


Opioids are the most widely abused class of prescription drugs. Taken medically for pain relief purposes, opioids are abused to induce euphoria and sedation. Commonly abused opioid medications include the naturally occurring opiates codeine and morphine and a number of substances derived either from them or thebaine. Semi-synthetic opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone. People abuse opioids in a variety of ways, with some people overusing existing medical prescriptions and others obtaining prescription specifically for recreational purposes. All of these drugs are highly addictive in nature and are known to produce a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use.

Treatment for opioid abuse depends greatly on the substance and extent of addiction, with typical treatment methods including medical detox, opioid replacement therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational therapy, family therapy, relapse prevention and 12-step facilitation. Treatment centers can be found across the state of Mississippi, including residential and outpatient facilities. Opioid abuse is capable of causing major problems if left untreated, including overdose and addiction. Treatment should be found as soon as possible to break the bonds of addiction and help the affected person get on the road to recovery.


Sedative medications are the second most widely abused type of legal drugs, including the entire benzodiazepine range of medications. Commonly abused sedatives include Valium, Klonopin and Xanax. These drugs are taken medically for anxiety-related conditions, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. They may also be prescribed for insomnia and other sleep disorders due to their sedative and hypnotic properties. While benzodiazepine drugs are the most widely prescribed and abused sedatives, barbiturates also fall into this category. Like opioid medications, sedatives are physically addictive and often depend on medication treatment to break the bonds of addiction

A medical detox period is typically recommended for sedative addiction, including a gradual dose reduction of sedative drugs. Rehabilitation measures are also important, with different programs utilizing cognitive, behavioral and motivational methods to address the issues that underpin addiction. While different psychotherapy programs look at the issue of drug addiction from various angles, they all attempt to recognize emotional and cognitive problems in order to alter compulsive behavioral patterns.


Stimulants are the third most widely abused class of prescription drugs, including the brand names Concerta, Ritalin and Adderall. These medications are typically prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and sometimes used to treat extreme cases of obesity. Stimulants are often abused in a recreational context by people who want to access more energy and improve their mental focus. These may also be abused as a performance enhancement tool by people who want to work or study for a long period of time. Unlike opioids and benzodiazepines, stimulants are not physically addictive and do not produce a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use. Instead, addicts are likely to experience motivational and emotional symptoms upon drug discontinuation. Treatment for stimulant addiction includes a combination of behavioral therapy and aftercare support programs.

Addiction treatment centers in Mississippi can help you fight your condition and lead a happier, drug-free life. Contact a specialist today to get started!