Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem and concern in the United States. Medication when prescribed and used appropriately can have positive results. However, when prescription drugs are misused and abused the end result can be fatal.
What is Prescription Drug Abuse?
Prescription drug abuse is defined as taking a prescription medication not prescribed to the individual and/or taking it for reasons or in large dosages other than prescribed. Misuse of prescription drugs cannot only lead to health issues but also to addiction. Because a large group of these drugs can alter the brain’s ability to function properly, these drugs can lead to a physical dependence.
Commonly abused or misused drugs include opioids (for pain relief), depressants (for anxiety and sleep problems), and stimulants (for ADHD). Long-term use of opioids or depressants of the central nervous system can lead to addiction. Opioids can cause drowsiness, constipation, and depressed breathing. Depressants slow down the ability of the brain to function properly. If these drugs are combined with other depressants such as alcohol, heart rate and respiration can decrease at a dangerous rate.
Prescription Drug Abuse is Just as Deadly as Illegal Drug Abuse
Stimulants have negative consequences if taken repeatedly or in large doses as well. Stimulants, when abused this way can cause dangerously high body temperatures, anxiety, paranoia, irregular heart rate, and even seizures. Statistics show in the past year approximately 16 million Americans between the ages 12 or older have taken a prescription drug (e.g., opioid, stimulant, or depressant) for non-medical purposes not prescribed to them.
Prescription drug use for non-medical purposes has grown in the past five years in the United States, especially among teenagers and other vulnerable populations. Prescription drug abuse can lead to addiction and prescription drug addiction can have fatal consequences. If you or someone you know is abusing prescription drugs, seek help immediately.
At A Forever Recovery we provide the education, training, counseling and support you need to free your life from the negative influence of abuse.