Addiction Recovery Addressing Mental Wellness in Maryland

Many individuals are addicted to “street” drugs such as heroincocaine, and methamphetamines, but did you know there are more Americans using controlled prescription drugs than all of those illicit drugs combined? Prescription drug addiction can set in quickly, and no single individual is immune to the lure of the intoxicating high from these potent drugs. These would include opioids, tranquilizers, benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, and stimulants, among others.

A common misconception is that a drug prescribed by a doctor must be harmless; however, many are likely to be abused when not used as directed. Even well-intentioned patients can find they use their prescription drugs as directed at first but appreciate the “high” that accompanies it. With continued use, the patient finds themselves beginning a cycle of pill-popping simply to get that satisfying high. This is destructive, as all-too-quickly, the patient becomes physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Over time, the very things they hold important, such as family, friends, and their career, will slip by the wayside, and the only thing they care about is finding more money to purchase their drugs. This is when addiction is in full swing, when the patient wants to obtain more pills, even as their personal lives fall into chaos.


Prescription drug addiction is more common than many people realize. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2017, roughly 18 million Americans reported having misused prescription medications at least once in the past year. An estimated 2 million Americans misuse prescription medications for the first time each year, equating to roughly 5,480 initiates per day. Along with prescription opioids, prescription stimulants, tranquilizers, and sedatives are commonly misused.

Prescription drug addiction has been increasing in prevalence since the early 1990s, spurred in part by the ease of access to certain medications along with misinformation about the addictive qualities of prescription drugs and a misguided perception that prescription drugs are less harmful than illegal substances. Misuse of prescription drugs is particularly high in young adults ages 18 to 25, with nearly 15% reporting nonmedical use in the past year. Older adults are also at risk, with more than 80% of patients ages 57 to 85 years old using at least one prescription medication daily.


Prescription drug addiction often starts with a legitimate need for a person to take potent pills, even though doctors attempt to prescribe these pills judiciously. Usually, the strongest painkillers are reserved for scenarios where severe pain is present, such as after surgery, a severe injury, or coping with chronic pain. These pills initially fill the need they were intended to treat and provide much-needed relief, say, for pain, anxiety, insomnia, narcolepsy, or any given disorder. However, the more frequently a person takes the pills, the more they build a tolerance to them, and then a person must take higher dosages to achieve the same effect and experience the same high. Chasing this feeling is a classic sign of addiction.

You may be addicted to prescription drugs if you find yourself doing the following;

  • Taking more pills than as directed by your doctor
  • Using pills prescribed to another person
  • Seeking out stronger, illicit drugs such as cocaine or heroin, to get a more potent high at a lower cost
  • You “doctor shop” to find other physicians who will prescribe the same pills


Prescription drug addiction can be difficult to spot in the early stages, especially in someone you love. To make matters more complicated, since there are so many different types of prescription drugs that may be abused, different addictions have different “tells.” For example, a person addicted to opioid painkillers may exhibit signs such as confusion, poor coordination, and constipation, while a person addicted to sedatives may appear dizzy, sleepy, or have slurred speech. Despite these difficulties, there are certain behaviors that can be helpful when trying to identify an addiction.

If you have found yourself wondering if someone you know is addicted to prescription drugs, keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms.

  • Stealing medications from others
  • “Losing” legitimately-prescribed medications in order to acquire refills
  • Major changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Sudden, unexplained money problems
  • Appearing unusually energetic or calm
  • Severe mood swings or hostility
  • Taking prescription painkillers “just in case,” even when not in pain
  • Uncharacteristic difficulty at school or work


While prescription drug dependency may seem less concerning than an addiction to “street” drugs, it could be just as deadly. Many prescription drugs, especially opioids, are deadly when you take more pills than you should. Likewise, many drug dealers selling prescription drugs lace their pills with deadly doses of other, illicit drugs, which is a huge factor in why as many as 130 people die from opioid overdoses in the United States every day. Our program involves inpatient treatmentoutpatient servicesmental health therapy, medication-assisted treatment, community outreach, and education, as well as peer support centers for adolescents and adults.

Our Maryland recovery program will initially put you through medically-supervised detoxification, then once the drug is out of your system, we begin to do the real work to get your life back on track. Our addiction counselors will explore and address your psychological, medical, spiritual, and nutritional needs, so you can get clean and sober in comfort and safety.

Contact Walden to start your sobriety journey. Simply call (301) 327-2555 to get started. We accept Medicaid, and offer prescription drug rehab at our convenient locations throughout Maryland, including Charlotte HallLexington Park, and Waldorf.

Treatment & Support

Take the Next Step

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

“I thank God for Walden.”

“Walden treats each other like family and had an ear open at all times.”

“There is no other treatment program I could have asked to help me succeed.”

“All the staff has been incredible on my long road to recovery.”