Are Addictions to Controlled Substances More Prevalent Than Addictions to Banned Substances?

While most people might think that addiction affects all communities in the same way, several studies show otherwise. To put this into perspective, a study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a United States federal government research institute based in Bethesda, Maryland, revealed that prescription opioids, such as Oxycontin, Oxycodone, and Methadone, contributed to over 46,000 overdose deaths in America in 2018. Meanwhile, overdose deaths linked to heroin, the street-level variant of prescription opioids, accounted for about 15,000, according to a separate study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In total, substance abuse has led to more than 700,000 deaths in America since 2017.


While the number of Americans addicted to drugs and alcohol is seemingly on the rise, many individuals have come to recognize the devastating toll that abusing these substances can have on their lives. As a result, many individuals are turning to the more than 14,000 rehab facilities across the country for help in breaking the cycle of addiction and getting their lives back on track. And whether they choose to go to a private or state-funded rehab facility, they can be assured that they are in good hands. After all, most facilities offer inpatient and outpatient programs as well as access to physicians, medications, and mental health professionals, all of which can help make the journey toward sobriety that much easier.


Addiction recovery treatments at most rehab facilities can vary depending on the type of addiction an individual is trying to overcome. While some of the mainstays, such as addiction counseling, access to support groups, and addiction education, for example, can help most individuals, they may not be enough for those with severe addictions. Some individuals may also need medication-assisted detox to help them move past their addiction. For those who are not familiar with medication-assisted detox, they are substance abuse treatments that include round-the-clock monitoring by a licensed doctor or nurse as well as access to prescription medication to help combat the severe withdrawal symptoms often associated with abrupt drug or alcohol cessation. Some of these severe withdrawal symptoms include the following:


  • Anxiety
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting


  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

It is important to note that the withdrawal symptoms listed in this article do not represent all of the symptoms associated with abrupt opioid or alcohol cessation. Moreover, they are some of the ones commonly reported by patients and rehab facilities across America.


Considering that opioids, both prescription and street-level, and alcohol are among the most commonly abused substances in America, let’s take a look at some of the medications that can help combat the severe withdrawal symptom associated with coming off of these drugs:


Suboxone – For many rehab facilities, both private and state-funded, Suboxone is a go-to prescription medication for helping to ease withdrawal symptoms that individuals may be experiencing as they work toward ending their relationship with opioids. As a short-acting opioid, Suboxone can also reduce or eliminate cravings due to how it interacts with opioid receptors in the brain.

Methadone – Unlike Suboxone, Methadone is a long-acting opioid. However, it is commonly used in many rehab facilities to help individuals overcome withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid cessation. Similar to Suboxone, Methodone works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain. It is also worth noting that it a go-to for rehab facilities treating individuals needing help overcoming an addiction to heroin.


To help individuals with an alcohol use disorder overcome challenging withdrawal symptoms, many rehab facilities, along with round-the-clock monitoring, will provide the following prescription-based medications:

Acamprosate – This medication is often prescribed by rehab physicians to ease withdrawal symptoms and to help reduce or even eliminate alcohol cravings.

Naltrexone – Similar to Acamprosate, Naltrexone also helps reduce alcohol cravings; however, it can prevent feelings of intoxication if one chooses to consume alcohol while taking the medication.

Disulfiram – This medication deters individuals from drinking by triggering stomach upset and other side effects. And when combined with Naltrexone or Acamprosate, it can go a long way toward helping individuals abstain from consuming alcohol long-term.


All in all, a significant percentage of the U.S. population is abusing alcohol as well as prescription and street-level drugs. Fortunately, there are plenty of rehab facilities that these same individuals can turn to for help when they are ready to break the cycle of addiction and better their lives. To learn more about substance abuse treatments for overcoming an addiction to opioids, alcohol, or any other substance, consider speaking with one of our friendly associates today at 772-266-5320.

Related Posts

About Us

Essentials mission is to renew lives impacted by addiction through personalized and complete behavioral healthcare. Our main purpose is to provide services and education to the client and family that will support long lasting recovery of mind, body, and spirit.