Prescription drug addiction is a global problem, with more and more people moving from pills to heroin over a period of time. In reality, people abusing opioid painkillers, or other drugs, for a prolonged period are likely to suffer from drug poisoning, which can lead to death.
Although most prescription drugs are available only on the basis of a valid prescription by a licensed medical practitioner, a lot of people get them from friends and relatives thinking that they are safe and ignoring the fact that these drugs can have unintended side effects that can cause more harm than good.
Over-the-counter prescription drugs drive addiction, overdose
Most people who take opioid painkillers drugs soon develop a tolerance to and increased dependence on them, which can lead to an addiction to this class of drug. Lately, even teenagers are getting enticed by over-the-counter (OTC) prescription medications due to their legal status, easily availability and cheaper rates. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), currently, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths in America involve a prescription opioid, with more than 15,000 people succumbing to opioid overdoses in 2015 alone.
But, opioids are not the only medications that are being used for non-medical purposes, other drugs such as stimulants and tranquilizers (barbiturates and benzodiazepines) are also fueling the epidemic owing to their ability to cause feelings of sedation, calmness, tranquility and euphoria.
Some of the highly addictive prescription drugs, which cause disastrous consequences, are:
1. Xanax: Xanax is the most abused and highly addictive benzodiazepine prescribed to treat panic disorder and serious anxiety. Xanax depresses the central nervous system (CNS) and has fast-acting sedating and relaxing effects which make it a preferred drug of abuse. But, Xanax can cause several side effects such as increased energy, depressed mood, drowsiness, concentration issues, tremor, agitations, etc. Its use during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects to the fetus.
2. Klonopin: Klonopin (clonazepam) is a tranquilizer which is basically prescribed to treat seizures due to epilepsy and panic disorder such as agoraphobia. It has a high potential for abuse as it leads to a feeling of “high” which is similar to that caused by alcohol consumption. An overuse this drug can cause serious side effects such as feelings of dizziness, paranoia, depression, blackouts and even death.
3. OxyContin: OxyContin is a highly addictive semi-synthetic opioid analgesic prescribed for moderate-to-severe pain. It affects the same receptors targeted by heroin, thus, creating euphoric, calming and sedative effects. An overdose of this drug can cause shallow breathing, respiratory arrest, and even death.
4. Amphetamines: Amphetamines are potent CNS depressants prescribed for conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. They are abused by athletes, gymnasts, truck drivers and shift workers to curb sleep and control impulses.
5. Demerol: Demerol, analgesic used to treat moderate-to-severe pain, has the ability to build tolerance among its users leading to addiction. The drug can cause serious health issues, including death, in those suffering from respiratory problems or asthma.
6. Codeine: Codeine is an opiate which is commonly used to treat cough or pain. Codeine-based medications can result in severe side effects such as shallow breathing, altered levels of consciousness, and even death. Codeine cough syrups are highly used by teenagers to make a concoction called as “purple drank” or “sizzurp”.
Road to recovery
There are numerous factors that cause an individual to misuse a prescription drug. This can be to relieve tension, reduce pain, improve concentration or induce sleep.
If you or a loved one is experiencing prescription drug abuse, it is imperative to seek immediate professional help. The Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline can lead you to the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in U.S. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-450-1557 or chat online to learn more about the most efficient prescription drug abuse treatment centers in your vicinity.