Prescription Medication


Key programme features

24/7 Nursing Care

Dedicated Specialist Doctors and Psychiatrists

Highly Qualified and Experienced Specialist Therapists

100% Confidentiality and Discretion

Tailored Programme inc. Adventure Therapy

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy and Genetic/DNA Analysis

Nutrition and Fitness Modules

Inclusive Aftercare

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the three classes of prescription drugs that are often abused include:

  • Opioids – used to treat pain, such as codeine and morphine.
  • Central nervous system depressants, such as benzodiazepines (Including, Xanax, Valium, Librium, Zopliclone and Lorazepam), used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.
  • Stimulants, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) or methylphenidate (Concerta, Daytrana, Methylin, Ritalin) used for ADHD and sleeping disorders amongst other illnesses.
  • Oxycontin
  • Vicodin
  • Fentanyl

Some Statistics

  • In the US alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs (1)
  • Almost 50% of teens believe that prescription drugs are much safer than illegal street drugs (2)
  • Prescription drug abuse, while most prevalent in the US, is a problem in many areas around the world including Europe, Southern Africa and South Asia. In the US alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs, more than the combined number who reported abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin (3)
  • Half of women and 43% of men in England are now regularly taking prescription drugs (4)

Many people find their addiction to prescribed medication through being prescribed it by their doctor for legitimate medical or mental health conditions. For many of these people it was never the intention of the doctor to prescribe the medication for long term use but for many individuals this is what often happens long after the medical or mental health condition has subsided. Alternatively someone may well find that their prescription has been stopped by the doctor as they feel that it is no longer necessary but the individual has often become dependent at this stage so will carry on with their use through unregulated means, usually by purchasing medication over the internet.

Notwithstanding the above there is, however, a section of the population that uses prescription medications for reasons that have very little to do with illnesses. These people take prescription medications recreationally.  For most prescription medication users the movement from controlled use to dependence happens gradually but, as in other forms of drug addiction, once the addiction has taken hold many people are unable to change their behaviours they have developed, and it leads to a range of health, social, financial, and in some cases legal, problems.

Do I Have A Problem With Prescription Medication?

Addiction to prescription medication is progressive, and it can begin at a “compulsive” stage where we start to become aware that our abuse of medication is causing problems. However, despite these problems we simply appear unable to cut back.

We may soon find that more medication is needed, or the frequency of the drug taking increases, to have the desired effect. At this stage a change in our tolerance levels occurs.
Wanting to use prescribed medication begins to take more and more space up in our heads; maybe we begin to think about taking the medication much earlier in the day.

This is where we begin to obsess about using the medication to suppress emotion.

At this point, our relationship with the medication becomes impaired, and we find it difficult to stop for a period of time, particularly without feeling withdrawal symptoms (including cravings or urges).

Around this time, it may have been identified by loved ones that there is a problem and we begin to use our medication secretly.

Symptoms of prescription medication abuse include:

  • Mood swings
  • Euphoria
  • Social isolation
  • Stealing to obtain more painkillers
  • Visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain additional prescriptions
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Increased risks of heart attack and other cardiovascular complications
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Worsening mood states

Despite increasing consequences that become more difficult to hide, we continue to use prescription medications, simply because once we have started it becomes too difficult to stop and we lose control of sensible and healthy choices.

Prescription Medication Addiction Treatment at Strong Hope

Depending on the type of prescription medication used or the level of dependency it may be necessary to initiate a medical detox before embarking on the psychotherapy part of the prescription addiction programme, however there is no reason why the two cannot operate in tandem once someone is physically well enough to engage.

Just stopping certain prescription medication use without medical support can be very dangerous and in some cases life threatening. People abusing prescription central nervous system depressants can experience seizures when they try to stop, while people who use prescription opioids will go into withdrawals in a similar way that a heroin user would when they stop. It is therefore vital that that these types of clients receive the sort of medical support we provide at Strong Hope.

There are many reasons why people come to misuse prescription drugs so through our prescription medication addiction programme clients will begin by looking at the underlying causes of their addiction, which may be related to a genetic predisposition, individual life traumas, injury, environment, coexisting mental health issues or early attachment issues. It is vital that these underlying issues are identified and addressed as they are important in preventing relapse.

We explore these through a range of talking and non-talking therapies, so that clients understand why they do the things that they do but equally importantly then learn new skills and coping strategies to do things differently in order to negate the need to rely on potentially addictive medication on discharge. This we do through individual 1:1 work and group work for those who prefer.

For those clients choosing a 12-Step model of treatment this will be delivered alongside access to external 12-Step meetings on the island.

One aspect of our programme that is key to recovery is for clients to learn to experience “joy” and “alternative recreational pleasures” without using medication. We do this through adventure therapy and using the natural resources that the island has to offer, and as such clients can begin to de-align pleasure from substance.

All clients work to a daily schedule that is tailored for the individual in relation to their treatment plan and consists of a balanced programme of psychotherapy, complementary therapies, adventure therapy, health/nutrition and fitness. Clients will be expected to work on therapeutic assignments based on issues that are identified as part of their treatment, which they do outside of the core face-to-face hours, and present these in their sessions with their therapist. As clients come to the end of their treatment they will work with their primary therapist and therapy team to produce a relapse prevention plan, which Strong Hope will support through the aftercare programme that we offer.

Each client will have an experienced and fully trained primary addiction therapist, and this therapist will support and coach them throughout their stay even though the client may engage with other members of the therapy team according to need.

Programme Duration

Strong Hope offers a range of prescription medication addiction programmes from just 14 days up to 42 days depending on client availability and need. For those clients staying 28 days or more we also offer an inclusive family programme towards the end of the client’s stay.


1 & 2 – (Source: Foundation for a Drug-Free World)

3 (Source

4 (Source –

The accommodation at Strong Hope was of a high and luxurious standard and I felt listened too and understood by all staff

High Profile Prescription Addiction Client

Enquire Now

We treat all enquiries with the utmost confidentiality. If you would like to speak in strictest confidence to a member of our team, please call or e-mail us at the contact details below.

Call Us

Barbados Reception

+1 (877) 670-8975

Call Kristi

+ 1 (561) 244 5042