The Disturbing Rate Of Prescription Drug Abuse
The recreational abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers and young adults is a disturbing issue. Nationwide studies show that a teenager is more prone to abusing prescription drugs than illegal street drugs.
There seems to be a misconception in the minds of teenagers and young adults—they believe that prescription drugs are safer because they have been prescribed by a doctor. What they fail to understand is that using prescription drugs to either self-medicate or get high can be as addictive and as dangerous as illegal street drugs.
The health risks associated with taking prescription drugs are serious. This is the reason why these medications should only be used under the prescription of a doctor. Doctors should closely monitor the patient to avoid addiction.
Many prescription drugs have a similar appearance; it can have serious consequences to ingest any pill that you are uncertain about, especially if the medication was not prescribed for you. A prescription drug may be suitable for one person and can be risky—or even fatal— for another. If you a doctor prescribes these medications to you, do not share them with other people.
What You Don’t Know About Prescription Drugs
The US Drug Enforcement Administration has classified prescription drugs in the same category as opium and cocaine. The medications included in this category include stimulants such as Dexedrine and Ritalin and painkillers such as OxyContin, Roxanol, and Demerol.
Earlier, doctors and psychiatrists prescribed some illegal street drugs, but they were after that prohibited from prescribing them after evidence emerged about their harmful effects. Some of the drugs prescribed were heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, and ecstasy.
The abuse of prescription drugs can be dangerous with the risks associated being higher than with the abuse of illegally manufactured drugs. Some of the available synthetic drugs are highly potent and can easily create the risk of an overdose. This is particularly the case with painkillers such as OxyContin and other similar medications—the number of deaths from overdose more than doubled over a five-year period.
Many people are not aware that the distribution and sale of prescription drugs are no different from any form of drug dealing. Also, the consequences of getting involved in such activities can be potentially dangerous and even lead to incarceration, penalties, and jail time.
Types of Prescription Drugs That Are Abused Recreationally
Prescription drugs that are abused recreationally include the following categories:
Opioids and morphine derivatives.
These are generally referred to as painkillers. They contain opium or substances similar to opium and are used for pain relief.
These are drugs that are used to increase energy and alertness. However, they also have the potential to increase blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.
These are psychiatric drugs that are used to treat depression.
These are central nervous system depressants. They slow down the function of the brain. Sedatives and tranquilizers are some of the commonly- abused depressants.
Teenagers and young adults who abuse prescription drugs have short-term and long-term effects, some of which are potentially dangerous. They could suffer from impaired memory, judgment, and coordination, irritability, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts. Using these drugs plus alcohol can slow down breathing and the heart rate, and eventually lead to death. The tolerance to prescription drugs also develops rapidly. To overcome the addiction, one should seek expert help.
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