Prescribed Drug Abuse
Prescribed drug abuse is the use of medication prescribed in a manner it is not intended to or taking someone else prescription. Taking medicine without proper prescription or abusing it can be problematic. It can be either using a painkiller from your mother’s prescription or any other drug, sedative or pills to relieve stress or to get high.
Prescription drug abuse is in fact, drug abuse and it is illegal as other street drugs. However, they are much easier to get than other drugs as friend or a family member may have them. But drugs prescribed are safe to be used by the one to whom it is prescribed, plus the dose is as per the condition of concerned individual. It can be life threatening for those taking it without prescription.
Generally, men abuse prescribed drugs more than females, but those in the age of 12-17 have the opposite trend; females abuse prescribed drugs more than males. Prescription drug abuse is more commonly observed among individuals in their teens or twenties.
Most often abused drugs include opioids (prescribed to treat pain), anti-anxiety, and central nervous system depressants (sedatives-hypnotics) and stimulants. It can turn into an addiction if not intervened timely and appropriately. Because of the mind-altering properties, their dependency can be very lethal. The symptoms of prescribed drug abuse depend on what type of medication or drug is used.
Most commonly abused prescription drugs
Most commonly abused prescription drugs include anti-anxiety medications as alprazolam (Xanax) belong to a class of chemicals known as benzodiazepines. It is so addictive that, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 4 in 10 users can become physically and psychologically addicted in as little as 6 weeks of daily use. Opioid based drug as Fentanyl, a highly addictive painkiller which is 50 times stronger than Heroin and 100 times stronger than Morphine, is usually mixed with Xanax tablets illegally.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), even the least dose is enough to cause deadly side effects. Since they are prescribed so commonly, they have the highest morbidity and mortality among other sedatives, furthermore if co-administered with other drugs they can prove disastrous. Currently, overdose deaths are 5x higher than 1999 involving prescription opioids.
It affects all age groups, but older adults have more complications with this behavior, as co-administration or if taken in higher doses can result in death. Death from sedatives is caused by respiratory arrest.
The most common risk associated with prescribed drug abuse is addiction. They have the same effects as other drugs (street drugs). When a drug is abused it leads towards tolerance i.e. body adapts to the use of a particular substance where it is no longer effective. So a higher dose is required, which if not accomplished causes withdrawal symptoms. They can be mild to life-threatening.
It is recommended to not allow anyone to use your prescription or to use someone else’s prescription.
by: Marria Ghalib