Prescription drug abuse pandemic is on the rise in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 6.3 million Americans use prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. Earlier, people were afraid that their children might fall into the trap of illicit drugs. Now, there are very realistic chances of getting addicted to prescription drugs as well.
There are many dangers of prescription drug abuse. It is completely wrong to think that prescription drugs are safer or less dangerous just because these are recommended by doctors. In fact, prescription drugs are as dangerous as illicit street drugs. Here are some obvious dangers of abusing prescription drugs:
Health Risks: Prescription medicines affects the abuser in a number of ways. Abuse of opioids or painkillers can cause choking sensations, nausea, mood swings, reduced cognitive functions, menstrual interruptions, infertility and slow breathing which can even cause death.
Another category of drugs that can prove dangerous if misused is central nervous system (CNS) depressants. These medications can cause memory impairments and seizures. Misuse of stimulants can result in paranoia if taken in small dosages, while if taken in large doses can increase the blood pressure, heartbeat and body temperature. Cardiovascular problems and fatal seizures are also common in the case of stimulants.
Risks of addiction: Prescription drugs can be addictive. When someone develops an addiction, he/she becomes physically dependent on the drugs. Due to the addiction, the person may develop an insatiable craving for the drugs since the body becomes dependent on it and there are chemical changes in the brain.
If someone tries to suddenly withdraw from the drugs, he/she can experience symptoms like nausea, shaking, sweating and nervousness. Opioid withdrawal symptoms include pain in the bones, insomnia, vomiting and uncontrolled leg movements. Stimulant withdrawal symptoms can include depression, exhaustion, heart failure and sleep problems. Sedatives and tranquilizers are highly addictive and withdrawal symptoms of these drugs can be life-threatening.
Chances of accidents: Since the effect of drugs is so severe, it can interfere with driving due to impairment in judgment, such as in the case of sedatives, and can result in car accidents. Moreover, since thinking patterns and cognitive abilities are impaired, there are chances of injury as well. Violence and aggressiveness can also be common in cases of abuse of prescription drugs.
Poor academic performance: Many students take the help of drugs in order to enhance academic performance, but it often has the opposite effect. Drug abuse and addiction can create various mental illnesses that can hamper the academic performance of students. It is a myth that drugs improve academic performance and hence, no one should seek the help of drugs for better results or grades.
Legal problems: Using others’ prescriptions or misusing prescription drugs is illegal. Moreover, the chances of committing a crime increase when people are intoxicated. This can lead to one being slapped with a fine, or be meted out punishment and other serious legal complications. Possessing illegal drugs can lead to incarceration and suspension from one’s job or school as well.
Say ‘no’ to prescription drug abuse
While the use of prescription drugs may be necessary for curing certain illnesses, abusing them is a choice one makes, often a fatal one. Addiction to prescription drugs can ruin lives and turn people into criminals. It is always desirable not to abuse prescription medication and consult doctors before using any such drug. Right consultation can help one stay out of danger and live a happy, prosperous life.
If you know someone who is addicted to prescription medications, seek help from the prescription drug abuse treatment centers immediately. They can help one recover from the addiction and cure its harmful effects. To learn more about the prescription drug abuse treatment clinics, chat online with Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline’s representatives. Alternately, you can dial our 24/7 helpline number at (866) 450-1557 to get immediate help regarding any prescription drug abuse issues.