What is Considered Prescription Drug Abuse?

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What is considered prescription drug abuse?

From time to time almost everyone will have to take a prescription medication to cure an illness or treat a condition. As is the case with illegal drugs, prescription drugs can be abused. Prescription drug abuse generally refers to the use of prescription medications in a way they were not intended. This could include anything from taking someone else’s painkillers to treat back pain to using the drugs recreationally to get high. This could also mean taking more than the prescribed dose of a medication, which could lead to addiction. Abuse and addiction could occur in anyone at any age. If you or someone you know is abusing prescription drugs, Habitats of Hope, LLC provides several prescription drug treatment programs in Lebanon, PA. To get started on the road to recovery, all you need to do is call 855-277-3785. We are ready to help.

How common is prescription drug abuse?

Prescription drug abuse in the United States seems to be on the rise. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as 48 million people in the U.S. ages 12 and up have abused prescription drugs. This is approximately 20% of the population misusing or abusing prescription drugs. The increase in drug abuse has led to more ER visits for overdoses and increased admission to treatment programs like Habitats of Hope, LLC.

Why is prescription drug abuse on the rise?

There’s no single reason why prescription drug abuse seems to be on the rise in the U.S. Several factors contribute to the problem. Some people point their fingers at pharmaceutical companies because they profit from more people taking drugs. Others point their fingers at medical professionals saying they overprescribe drugs. While these issues may or may not be the case, they indicate that people have more access to prescription drugs, even more than illegal drugs, because prescriptions are much easier to come by. Moreover, when you have prescription medication in your home, it’s much more likely someone else might use it. Teenagers, for instance, may take unattended prescriptions from their parents and self-medicate or attempt to get high, or you might want to help a friend in pain by giving him or her prescription painkillers that you had leftover. Others may become addicted to or overdose on strong medications like opioid painkillers. 

People commonly abuse prescription drugs for the following reasons:

  • Self-medicating by taking someone else’s prescription.
  • Taking the drugs recreationally to get high.
  • Improper use of the medication such as not following the prescribed dose.

Which drugs are most commonly misused?

Almost any prescription drug could be misused or abuse but the list below shows the most common to be misused and abused.

  • Barbiturates like Seconal
  • Benzodiazepines like Ativan, Xanax 
  • Sleep medications like Ambien
  • Opioid and morphine-based painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin
  • Amphetamines like Adderall or Dexedrine
  • ADHD medications like Ritalin

What medicine is addictive?

When it comes to prescription drug abuse, one of the major risks is addiction. While beneficial, many prescription drugs can be addictive. Some of the most addictive medications include:

  • Vicodin
  • OxyContin
  • Demerol
  • Percocet
  • Darvocet
  • Ritalin
  • Amphetamines

How can prescription drug abuse be prevented

When you are prescribed a drug that is commonly abused, you can take some steps to prevent prescription drug abuse. First off, you want to be sure you’re getting the right medication. Make sure your doctor is fully aware of all signs and symptoms of your condition and knows what other medications, vitamins and herbal supplements you’re taking, as well as whether you use alcohol or other drugs. Secondly, make sure you keep in contact with your doctor regularly to ensure the medicine is working properly. Third, you want to follow the directions carefully. Don’t take more or less than prescribed or make changes without your doctor’s consent. Fourth, learn exactly what your medicine does, what its side effects are and how it will affect you. Fifth, don’t use anyone else’s prescription, and finally, only use online prescriptions if they are from a trustworthy pharmacy.

Prescription drug abuse and mental health

Like illegal drug abuse or problems with substances like alcohol, prescription drug abuse can affect your mental health. You may experience problems like anxiety or depression, and sometimes these problems may develop because of drug abuse. If you have mental health issues, drug abuse may make these conditions worse. Additionally, some people may be abusing drugs as a way to self-medicate against these conditions. Whatever the case, if you or a loved one have a problem with prescription medication, seek treatment from a center like Habitats of Hope, LLC. 

How does prescription drug abuse affect the body

Prescription drug abuse can affect your body in many ways. How abuse affects the body often depends on the medication. Often your brain chemistry will be affected, often disrupting nerve cells in the brain and the way they communicate, which can adversely affect your mental health and well-being. Many drugs can affect your heart and cardiovascular system and could lead to heart attack, heart failure, collapsed veins or other problems. Because the liver is used to process medication, and when you abuse prescription drugs your liver can be overwhelmed trying to process the chemicals and you could develop liver damage or liver disease. Your immune system can also be affected by drug abuse. Often those abusing drugs experience problems with sleeplessness or fatigue and exhaustion. Sometimes you may not eat or not enough. All of these factors can put stress on the immune system, which makes you more vulnerable to illnesses and more difficult to fight off infectious pathogens like viruses.

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For Help, Call Today

If you need to seek treatment for prescription drug abuse in Lebanon, PA, you can get help quickly from Habitats of Hope, LLC. Our team of therapists and other mental health professionals are ready to help you through this difficult time. Get the recovery process started by calling 855-277-3785.