Prescription drug abuse and addiction is currently on the rise in the U.S.  According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 20 percent of people in the nation have abused prescription drugs by taking them for non-medical reasons.  The ease of obtaining prescription drugs and the common misconception that they are less harmful than illegal street drugs has led to a casual attitude on the part of many when it comes to these powerful drugs.  As a result, a growing number of people are becoming addicted to narcotic painkillers including OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall and sedatives and tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax.

Dependence on prescription drugs has a devastating effect on the addict.  It can also be damaging to the lives of family and friends who feel helpless in stopping the addict’s risky behavior.  If you suspect that a friend or loved one has become addicted and is in denial about the seriousness of the problem, the time has come to bring in an interventionist and plan an intervention.  A professionally-guided intervention will help an addict understand the damage caused by his or her behavior.  Successful interventions result in the addict accepting treatment and taking the first steps on the road to recovery.

When an intervention is staged without the guidance of an experienced interventionist, there is a risk of alienating the addict and worsening the addiction problem. The interventionist will ensure that the intervention includes a plan for treatment, preferably in a supervised treatment program.  Many addicts’ first reaction to an intervention is denial of the problem, followed by promises to handle their prescription drug problem on their own.  A professional interventionist understands this mindset and will work to convince the addict that his or her problem requires a treatment program.  An interventionist will also work with family and friends whose emotions may get the better of them during the intervention process.

Before an intervention is held, arrangements for treatment must be in place.  When the intervention has been completed, the addict should begin treatment immediately.  A residential rehab treatment facility is the best alternative for treatment, especially since the addict may experience physical withdrawal symptoms without access to prescription drugs.  A residential program will provide a structured environment and 24-hour care.  Once detoxification has taken place, the patient should be provided with behavioral therapy that will replace negative behaviors with life-affirming ones.  A quality residential program may also provide group therapy, meditation and yoga as part of the healing process.