Prescription drug addiction

Prescription drug addiction

As much as 1 in 12 people take tranquillisers or sleeping pills daily. Worldwide, about 60 million people have used opioid pain relief medication at least once in 2021. At Yes We Can Youth Clinics, we treat dozens of young fellows with prescription drug addiction every year. They get their medication from the family doctor, or they order it on the internet. 

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Don't hesitate to call us on +31 (0)85 02 01 222 or fill out our contact form.

Physical and psychological dependence

Medicines can be both psychologically and physically addictive. If a teenager or young adult is addicted to prescription drugs, they can't go a day without them, even though there is no medical need for their use. Tranquillisers and sleeping pills help them get through life and its problems. They remove their attention from the hole in their lives or provide structure if life is so cramped that they have trouble sleeping.

The addiction to prescription drugs affects both body and mind. Teenagers and young adults go through life in a numb and intoxicated state. Their emotions are dulled, not just the negative ones, but the positive ones as well.

The effects of a prescription drug addiction

The effects of prescription drugs are primarily due to how they affect the brain. The most important effects are sedation, sleep enhancement, reduced anxiety, muscular relaxation, memory loss and anti-epileptic properties. These effects occur because BDZs act on specific brain receptors. Despite the pharmacological similarities between different BDZs, there are significant differences concerning their clinical applicability.

When used over extended periods, a degree of tolerance will develop: increasingly higher doses are needed to produce the same effect. In the case of drug tolerance, patients run the risk of becoming physically and psychologically addicted. When they decide to quit, withdrawal symptoms may occur. These symptoms are often similar to those that users hope to eliminate with their drug use, such as anxiety and insomnia. In addition, withdrawal may cause physical problems, such as trembling, sweating, tingling, gastrointestinal issues or pains.

Chronic use can lead to prescription drug addiction

Every year, dozens of fatal accidents and thousands of injuries are caused by tranquilliser use and other medications in the Netherlands. Prescription drugs only take away the symptoms of a problem. They do not eliminate the cause of stress, anxiety or insomnia. When used over a long period, this type of medication will only aggravate the problem, leaving you with a prescription drug addiction. Your previous issues, such as anxiety, tension and insomnia, come back, sometimes even heavier than before. Withdrawal symptoms can be very intense when quitting after a long period of use. Consequently, many people will start retaking these pills, ending up in a vicious circle.

Medical and therapeutic supervision

Teenagers and young adults often go through a rough phase as soon as they find the courage to get out of their ‘sleeping mode’. The origins of the problems, which have been pushed away over the years, resurface, and they experience withdrawal symptoms. Good professional supervision and counselling can help them to get through this period. Our specialised clinic will provide sufficient support during the reduction period to ensure that withdrawal symptoms become less intrusive. Additionally, we will teach them to deal with negative emotions differently so they no longer need to be suppressed with pills.

Treatment of a prescription drug addiction

At Yes We Can Youth Clinics, we help teenagers and young adults overcome their prescription drug addiction and live and function in society pleasantly. We help young people with an addiction to slowly demolish the wall they have built around themselves, leave their destructive life behind them forever and face a bright future. Yes, We Can Youth Clinics strives to reduce any medication that the teenager or young adult already receives to zero or as little as possible during the treatment.

Our intensive treatment programme helps young people overcome their addiction and other issues they face so that they can look forward to a bright, new future. Warmth, sincere attention and involvement are central to our approach.


An essential part of the treatment takes place in groups. During group sessions led by an expert-by-experience counsellor, the fellows share their stories, give each other feedback and set personal goals. These sessions have a lot of recognition since the fellows have the same problems the counsellors have overcome. This recognition gives the fellows confidence and the will to continue.

Types of treatment

During the treatment, a lot of attention is focused on the fellow's family (systemic therapy). Parents follow our family coaching and counselling programme. The clinic has daily sports and outdoor activities where fellows work together, push boundaries and put their goals into practice. 

Behavioural therapy and skills training are also used in the treatment of addictions. The fellows have several weekly one-on-one sessions with their regular therapist, who works closely with our other (care) professionals. This way, we always know how the fellows are doing and what they need.

Contact us

Yes We Can Youth Clinics can effectively treat teenagers and young adults who are suffering from a wide variety of mental health issues. If you have any questions at all, you can always contact us. We cannot stress enough that we are always there for you, whether you sign up for treatment in our clinic or not. 

You can reach us by phone from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (GMT +1) via phone number: +31 (0)85 02 01 222. Your call will be forwarded after business hours, on weekdays after 6:00 p.m. and on the weekends. Please note that it might take longer than usual to answer your call. If we cannot reply to the call right away, please leave a message, and we will call you back as soon as possible. You can also fill out our contact form.

Register for an intake interview

Would you like to register a teenager or young adult (aged 13-25) for treatment at Yes We Can Youth Clinics? Please fill out our intake form, and we will contact you to schedule a personal intake interview.

Intake form

Why it works

For young people aged 13-25, Yes We Can Youth Clinics offers ten weeks of intensive residential treatment. During the treatment, there are also four days of family coaching & counselling for parents/carers. Upon completion, an extensive tailor-made aftercare programme will be devised in collaboration with our partners worldwide.

Our unique approach