Prescription drug abuse is a serious threat that often is a silent problem until it becomes too late. It is estimated that close to 9 million Americans are currently abusing prescription drugs today and that an estimated 30,000 people will die from prescription drug overdose this year. Prescription drug abuse is intentional use of a prescription drug that has not been medically prescribed by a doctor. Sadly this is not a new development, as drugs used for medical purposes have been abused for countless years. But as prescription drugs become more readily available to the masses the number of prescription abusers climbs as well.
What Prescription Drugs are Abused?
Opioids such as pain relievers like (OxyContin which is also known as “Hillbilly Heroin” and Vicodin) sedatives and traquilizers (Xanax and Valium), and stimulants (Concerta and Adderall) have the highest prescription drug abuse above all other prescription drugs due to the fact that they are used so prevalently in society today.
What is so Wrong About Prescription Drug Abuse?
Prescription drugs can often seem fairly harmless due to the fact that doctors prescribe them. They must be safe after all, a doctor prescribed them. But with prescription drugs comes from the abuse of them and that is the problem.
• Dosage and Other Forms of Use – When prescription drugs are abused the user can often take too much for their current weight and health. Leading to a higher likelihood of overdose and developing medical problems because of continuous overdosing. Additionally, prescription drug abusers can often use the drugs in ways that they are not meant to be taken (i.e. crushing and snorting the drugs). It can change the way that the drug works in the body.
• Side Effects – Pretty much all prescription drugs have side effects. Using them in overabundance increases the likelihood and severity of prescription drug side effects.
• Addiction – Using drugs of any kind too much and too often can lead to addiction and have lasting effects on the body, mind and external relationships of the drug abuser.
What are the Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse?
Opiod Painkillers: Depression, constipation, decreased respiration rate, low blood pressure, and confusion.
Sedatives and Tranquilizers: Confusion, drowsiness, poor judgment, involuntary and rapid movement of the eyeball, and unsteady gait.
Stimulants: Agitation, irritability, weight loss, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, and insomnia.
What to Do When a Loved One Shows Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse and What Treatments are Available?
When someone begins to show signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse. It is important to try and get them help. Not everyone is going to be accepting of help, but it is important to try. There are many drug abuse treatments available varying from inpatient rehabilitation facilities to counseling and outpatient rehab programs. You can find rehab facilities located locally even resort retreats abroad like Clearview Clinic in South Africa. Prescription drug abuse is very treatable. It can help to get the person’s mind and body back to where they should be. But the first step is accepting that they have a problem – without that, treatment will never be 100% effective.