Suncoast Rehab Details Top Prescription Drugs in U.S. as Rx Overdoses Rise; Public Education Essential

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Suncoast explains the most commonly abused prescription drugs as accidental overdoses increase—Suncoast maintains that public education is needed to stop the onset of what some deem an epidemic.

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Many people believe that because prescription drugs are legal and have been prescribed by doctors, they are harmless

As prescription drugs continue to take the spotlight in today’s news, the general public is still seemingly unaware of their dangers—accidental prescription drug overdose deaths have quadrupled between 1999 and 2010 (1). In response, Spring Hill drug rehab facility Suncoast Rehab Center(SRC) has spoken out about the need to educate the public on how detrimental prescription drug abuse can be. SRC reveals the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the hope that public awareness will help stop the rise of unintentional deaths.

A devastating testimony to the rise of prescription drug abuse, accidental overdoses are becoming increasingly common—Ohio, for instance, reported a record 1,756 accidental overdoses in 2011, a 14 percent increase from 2010 (2). In 2009, 28,754 Americans died after accidentally overdosing on legal or illegal drugs, according to the CDC; about half of those deaths involved prescription painkillers, a significant enough number to make prescription drugs a leading cause of accidental death in this county (3). Suncoast believes that the reason for the increase is a lack of understanding of the threat that prescription drugs potentially pose.

Suncoast explains the most commonly abused prescription drugs, which fall into three distinct categories, and their inherent consequences:

1.Opioids—5.1 million abusers (out of 7 million Americans who abuse drugs).
a.This includes Vicodin and OxyContin. Potential side effects include:
*Slowed or arrested breathing;
*Lowered pulse and blood pressure;
*Coma or death (in extreme cases).

2.Depressants—2.6 million abusers.
a.Includes Xanax and Valium. Potential side effects include:
*Impaired coordination and memory;
*Slowed breathing and heart rate;
*Increased risk of respiratory distress and death (when combined with alcohol).

3.Stimulants—1.1 million abusers.
a.Includes Adderall and Ritalin. Potential side effects include:
*Heart attack;
*Stroke (4).

Suncoast Executive Director Tammy Strickling believes that by educating the public, the increase in accidental overdoses will revert.

“Many people believe that because prescription drugs are legal and have been prescribed by doctors, they are harmless,” said Strickling. “However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. What the public needs is education, and [SRC] considers it a duty to supply it. Our main goal is giving those battling addiction the tools they need in order to return to a life without drugs.”

Strickling says that the public needs to be proactive in ensuring their health and safety with regard to prescription drugs. Strickling provides three key questions to ask your doctor before taking prescription drugs:

1.“How addictive is this medication?” This should be considered, since some prescription meds are far more addictive than others. Research shows that some drugs trick the brain into craving more drugs while simultaneously damaging the parts that can control those cravings (5).

2.“What are the risks versus the benefits?” Ask for the potential side effects, as well as how commonly the adverse effects occur. Always find out the mental and physical withdrawal symptoms which you may experience should you cease taking the drug.

3.“Is there a better, long-term solution?” You want a course of action that will treat the issue, rather than cover it up. Many medications will mask pain/discomfort, but don’t always address the underlying source.

Suncoast enables its clients to take the first step in conquering addiction and reclaiming their lives from drugs. SRC’s medical team designs treatment programs to physically address the malnutrition created by drug abuse, and the SRC counseling team tailors client therapy to help provide insight into the past—all intended to help addicts confront life better, and without reverting to drugs.

To learn more about the Suncoast Rehabilitation Center and its rehab programs, visit

About Suncoast Rehab Center:

Located in Spring Hill, Florida, Suncoast Rehab Center provides long-term residential treatment, intensive sauna detoxification, life skills and cognitive therapy and counseling. Suncoast is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, and was recently awarded a 100% inspection score for the third year in a row. Suncoast has a mission to educate youth and adults about drugs and the dangers of drugs, with the aim of preventing future drug use and abuse. Suncoast handles the physical deficiencies, weakness and problems created through drug use, without the use of additional drugs. Clients are helped to uncover the issues that led to their drug use through counseling, therapy and life skills that put the client back in control of his/her life and future. Suncoast’s purpose in drug rehabilitation is to heal the whole person and give the person tools and education to remain drug–free. For more information, visit

1.Woodard, L.L. “Prescription Drugs Cause More Than Half of Deadly Drug Overdoses.” Yahoo!, 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.

2.Thornton, Ray. “Ohio Sees Record High Overdose Deaths in 2011.” The Columbus Post, 02 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.

3. Newfield, Maxwell. "Prescription Drug Deaths: Two Stories." Cable News Network, 19 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 June 2013.

4.Sciuto, Laura. “Which Prescription Drugs Do Americans Abuse Most?” PBS, 30 Apr. 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.

5.Catan, Thomas, Devlin Barrett, and Timothy Martin. “Prescription for Addiction.” Wall Street Journal, 05 Oct. 2012. Web. 6 June 2013.

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