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How Detox and Rehab Works for Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription pill addiction presents itself as a devious entity. What begins as a recreational, occasional activity – ingesting prescription drugs stolen from parents’ medicine cabinets – slowly and insidiously transforms into a full-blown drug addiction. Detox from prescription pill abuse is recommended under medical supervision. In a drug rehab center, staffed professionals are well versed in the physical and emotional ramifications of addiction. Rehab staff members understand the unique and powerful nature of drug addiction. Thus, a rehab center is the ideal place for a prescription drug abuser to receive help for their disease. Within a safe, drug-free setting, the prescription pill addict can undergo detoxification from prescription drugs, engage in deep emotional work, and connect with fellow clients.

What does a detoxification from prescription drug abuse involve? The exact detoxification regimen is tailored to the individual client’s needs. Factors to consider are:

  • Type of drug ingested (did the addict abuse a stimulant? Benzodiazepines? Opiates? And so forth)
  • Length of time the addict has been abusing drugs and the frequency with which the abuse occurred
  • Family history of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence
  • Current medical condition, such as physical health, underlying mental illness, and/or genetic diseases present if applicable
  • Age and gender

Upon entering the rehab center, the prescription pill addict undergoes an “intake assessment”. The intake process is fairly simple – routine paperwork, urine and blood samples, and interviews with staff members take place. The addict is introduced to the facility and given a tour of the premises. Once the addict has formed a relationship with the drug rehab clinicians with whom the addict will work with, the treatment regimen begins. Clinicians at drug rehab centers are keenly aware of the unpleasant withdrawal effects associated with cessation of prescription pill use. Withdrawal effects commonly experienced from cessation of prescription pill use include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating and/or trembling extremities
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Depression and/or anxiety

Thus, clinicians will prescribe counter-indicative medications to help combat the side effects of drug withdrawals. This ensures that every patient detoxifies from prescription pills as painlessly and comfortably as possible. In many cases, addicts in early sobriety will begin taking prescription antidepressant medication. Antidepressants help addicts adjust from a life of drugs and drinking – if that is the case – to a sober life. The brain is undergoing neurological shifts, particularly within the brain’s reward system. Using drugs damages the brain’s natural ability to create endorphins and “feel-good” chemicals. Through detoxification and antidepressants, addicts slowly heal and return back to a healthy neurological state over time. A rehab center ensures that the process occurs in a safe, drug-free setting – away from temptations.

What’s next after detoxification from prescription pills? Following the commencement of the detoxification process, prescription pill addicts undergo deep-seated emotional work. They engage in group therapy sessions, discussing relevant issues with fellow clients. All clients exchange stories, anecdotes, and helpful tips to others who may be experiencing similar struggles. Although addiction crosses lines of gender, race, and age, many addicts share the following characteristics:

  • Low self-esteem
  • A strong desire to please others, even to the individual’s personal detriment
  • Compulsive tendencies
  • Gravitating toward external forces in an effort to fill an intrinsic void
  • Lack of communication skills, such as being able to express one’s needs

Regardless of how clients arrive at a treatment center, members of early sobriety traverse a similar and significant path toward a meaningful, fulfilling life. Prescription drug abusers experience:

  • Detoxification from drugs
  • Therapy on an individualized level
  • Emotional work conducted in group therapy settings
  • Exposure to 12-step anonymous fellowship meetings
  • Self-discovery
  • Enlightenment
  • Life skills and communication lessons

Through drug rehabilitation, many addicts find peace in a renewed sense of spirituality. A life of abusing drugs is narrow, empty, and robs an individual of their connection with a power greater than themselves. Through 12-step meetings, therapy, and holistic approaches, addicts in early sobriety slowly learn to reintegrate themselves into society as a sober, clean citizen.

Addiction is too powerful of a demon to be tackled alone. In virtually every case, the addictive nature of prescription drugs requires prescription drug addicts to seek treatment. Together, addicts can achieve long-term sobriety and learn valuable life tools and lessons. Alone, addicts tend to trudge a path of increased self-destruction, eventually leading to death, incarceration, or institutionalization.



Our mission at The Hills Treatment Center is to offer a unique combination of educational and therapeutic drug and alcohol rehabilitation. In that spirit we present answers to some frequently asked questions. However, don’t stop here. Our knowledgeable and compassionate admissions specialists are available to speak with you personally 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I know if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Diseases of drug and alcohol addiction are complex and impactful. We encourage you to speak with your physician, or refer to the symptoms checklists offered by respected agencies in the field of addiction research and treatment like The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA .
What drug and alcohol treatment choices do you offer?
At The Hills, we offer a wide variety of treatment choices ranging from residential drug and alcohol treatment to intensive outpatient treatment, each applying the latest and best addiction treatment therapies. Plus, at every level there are counseling and support groups from which to select to maximize the process of recovery.
Is detoxification a painful experience?
Not if you’re detoxing from drug or alcohol addiction in a residential setting at The Hills, where you’re given round the clock care and attention every step of the way, safe and secure in a private room with counselors, message therapists, and world class chefs to aide and advise you in comfort.
What if your detox program doesn’t work for my needs?
That’s not possible at The Hills Treatment Center because all of our treatment plans are personalized to specifically support the rehabilitation and recovery of each individual client.
Can I receive treatment for more than one addiction?
Yes. The Hills recognizes that many people suffer from multiple addictions compounded by mental and emotional health issues. Our Dual Diagnosis program addresses all of these compounding issues.
Won’t drug and alcohol treatment put me behind at school?
We understand how important it is to achieve your academic goals, but that will not be possible without addresses the challenges of addiction. Through our Young Adults program we will develop a rehabilitation schedule that allows you to continue your education.
What happens to me after detoxification is complete?
You are not left alone after drug or alcohol detox. We offer a myriad of counseling and educational programs to support your rehabilitation and recovery including Relapse Prevention, Sober Living and Sober Companions, Family Outreach, and New Lease on Life.
Who comprises your staff?
The staff here at The Hills is led by eminent addiction expert, Dr. Howard C. Samuels; columnist, published author, television talk-show guest on the leading edge of drug and alcohol treatment modalities. Our team of experienced professionals and paraprofessionals often know first – hand what drug and alcohol treatment and recovery are all about. Our team is here to assist and support you at all times.


A guide to locating appropriate treatment, entering a rehab and more. Includes questions and answers, and a California Drug Rehab Guide.

• Family Involvement • Specific Drugs • Treatment Facilities • Financial Issues • Before Entering Rehab • After Drug Rehab • California Drug Rehab • Legal Issues

About Dr. Howard Samuels

Howard C. Samuels, PsyD is a leading drug and alcohol addiction expert. He is a licensed therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with years of experience running two successful treatment centers, and is the founder of The Hills Treatment Center.

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