Drug & Alcohol Detox Services

Prescription Drug Detox

Prescription drug abuse is when someone misuses their prescription medication in an unintended way. Prescription drug abuse affects all age groups, including teens. And can range from taking a prescription medication not intended for you to snorting and injecting ground-up pills to achieve a high.

Early identification of prescription drug abuse and early intervention may prevent the problem from turning into a full-blown substance use disorder (SUD). A detox program is the best place to start taking your life back from prescription medication abuse.

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Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

The most abused prescription drugs include opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medication, sedatives/depressants, and stimulants.

Most frequently abused prescription opioids and morphine derivatives include: 

  • codeine 
  • morphine
  • methadone
  • fentanyl 
  • oxycodone
  • hydrocodone
  • oxymorphone
  • meperidine 
  • propoxyphene

Most frequently abused anti-anxiety medications include: 


  • Amytal 
  • Nembutal 
  • Seconal 
  • Phenobarbital


  • Ativan 
  • Halcion
  • Librium
  • Valium 
  • Xanax
  • Klonopin

Sleep Medications: 

  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Sonata (zaleplon)
  • Lunesta (eszopiclone) 

Most frequently abused prescription stimulants include: 


  • Biphetamine 
  • Dexedrine
  • Adderall


  • Concerta 
  • Ritalin

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Prescription Drug Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms  

Like most substance abuse, prescription drug abuse manifests in physical and behavioral symptoms. Each class of prescription drug has its own symptoms due to the unique way it affects the body. 

But the mechanism for withdrawal onset is the same across drug classes. Once someone stops taking the substance they’ve been abusing, the detox process will begin, and withdrawal symptoms will appear. 

Physical Prescription Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical symptoms of prescription drug withdrawal can include: 

Opioid withdrawal symptoms:

  • constipation & cramping
  • nausea
  • anxiety and depression 
  • watery eyes 
  • excess sweating 
  • runny nose 
  • diarrhea 
  • muscle aches

Barbiturate withdrawal symptoms: 

  • anxiety, restlessness
  • nausea, vomiting 
  • weakness, fatigue 
  • abdominal cramps
  • resting tremors
  • myoclonic jerks (uncontrollable movements)

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms:

  • sleep disturbance
  • irritability
  • increased tension and anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • hand tremor
  • sweating
  • difficulty in concentration
  • dry retching and nausea
  • some weight loss
  • palpitations
  • headache
  • muscular pain and stiffness

Sleep medication (z-drug) withdrawal symptoms:

  • trouble sleeping
  • restlessness, anxiety
  • shivering or circulation problems

Withdrawal from prescription drugs can be complicated because many withdrawal symptoms are the opposite of the effects of the drugs being abused. So many people will continue to take the substance to avoid these unwanted symptoms, leading to a vicious cycle of addiction. 

Behavioral Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Although physical symptoms are unavoidable, some common behavioral changes also occur in people abusing prescription medications. 

These can include but are not limited to: 

  • stealing, forging, or selling prescriptions 
  • taking higher doses than prescribed 
  • excessive mood swings and hostility 
  • changes in sleeping patterns 
  • poor decision-making 
  • appearing high, unusually energetic, or sedated 
  • requesting early refills or continually “losing” prescriptions, so another must be written 
  • seeking the same prescriptions from more than one doctor at a time

Choosing the Right Substance Abuse Treatment 

Due to the high risk of dependence on most prescription drugs, treatment should always start with detox. A detoxification program can help remove substances from the body safely while also helping to control uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that may keep someone from quitting. 

Talk with a trusted medical professional if you think you or a loved one may have a problem with prescription drug abuse. The sooner the issue is addressed, the easier it can be to manage. Letting abuse slide into a full-blown addiction can extend the recovery process and the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that come with it. 

Prescription Drug Detox Questions

Consider the following questions when considering a medical detox program: 

1. Are you abusing more than one substance?

It’s relatively common for someone abusing prescription drugs to use more than one substance at once. A typical combination with prescription drugs is alcohol. This can make detoxing more difficult and dangerous to do alone. When reaching out to various detox centers, be sure their program can help you or your loved one detox from more than one substance. 

2. Do you have a co-occurring mental health disorder?

Mental health disorders are frequently tied to prescription drug abuse. Often it is an unaddressed mental health disorder that encourages the misuse of prescriptions. But mental health disorders can go undiagnosed if the detox center isn’t trained to look for them. Causing the individual to miss the root source of their addictive behaviors. Double check the detox program you’re interested in has a way to evaluate your mental wellbeing during treatment to ensure this doesn’t happen.

3. How severe is substance use disorder (OUD)?

Depending on which prescription drug is abused and how long, the severity of the addiction can vary greatly. Those with moderate to severe substance abuse problems will need a complete length of treatment (detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment) for the best chance of a successful recovery. 


Finding a Prescription Drug Detox Program

Desert Rose Detox is a judgment-free zone. Our addiction specialists work hard to lift up our clients and support them throughout their recovery. Stop letting prescription drug abuse dictate your life. Take back control today. Call us at (844) 427-3509 or requesting information online.









Trusted Addiction Treatment

At Desert Rose, drug and alcohol detox is only the beginning. We offer a complete addiction treatment program here. Unlike most Florida rehabs, we feature all 5 primary ASAM levels of care you need within a single program.

Desert Rose Detox has earned Joint Commission Accreditation. We also enjoy membership in NAATP, state licensing and are associated with certified recovery residences (FARR).

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