What is misuse of prescription drugs?
Misuse of prescription drugs refers to the individual consuming medication in a manner or dosage which differs from what the doctor or medical professional had initially prescribed. The misuse of prescription opioids, stimulants, and CNS depressants is a severe public health problem within the United States of America.
While the majority of individuals who are prescribed medication do take them responsibly, it is estimated that in 2017 18 million people misused prescribed medication at least once. According to results from 2017, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 2 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers for the first time within the past year, which averages approximately 5,480 initiates per day. Additionally, more than one million misused prescription stimulants, 1.5 million misused tranquilizers, and 271,000 misused sedatives for the first time.
Why do individuals begin abusing prescription drugs?
There are a variety of reasons why an individual will begin abusing prescription medication. They may believe that they will enjoy life more; it can numb the physical and mental pain they may be going through. Depending on the type of medication being abused, it can help an individual concentrate, become more active or even lose weight. Prescription drugs can often be easier to get your hands on over street drugs as family members or friends may have them stored.
However, prescription drugs are just as dangerous, on occasions more deadly than street drugs. Prescriptive medication has been examined explicitly for a particular individual; the medication will have the correct dosage for a specific body type and medical condition.
The most commonly abused prescriptive medication
Any drug that an individual consumes, whether a prescription drug or a street, can potentially have life-threatening or long-lasting health issues if abused. Within the United States of America, the most commonly abused prescription drugs will fall into three classes.
Opioids are a widespread prescription drug that is abused mainly because of the effects the chemicals have on the brain. Opioids will attach themselves to the opioid receptors within the central nervous system; this further prevents the brain from receiving any sort of physical or mental pain messages. Opioids can soothe anxious feelings, completely calm down your mental state leaving you in the sense of euphoria.
Stimulants are a type of drug that increases brain activities in communication with the rest of the body. This can result in an individual feeling invisible; their confidence levels will significantly improve, along with their energy level and alertness.
CNS (Central Nervous System Depressants)
CNS depressants will allow your brain the opportunity to slow down its activity. The chemicals within the medication will increase a neurotransmitter activity called GABA; this will result in the individual feeling as though the entire world around them has slowed down; they will feel very calm and possibly tired.
Dangers associated with abusing prescription medication
Every drug anyone takes is dangerous for their health if misused; using prescription drugs for the wrong reasons has severe risks to a personals overall physical and mental health.
Regarding the three main classes that abused prescription drugs fall into, each category can have devastating short and long-term effects on the body.
If an individual abuses opioids, the consequences can result in:
- Constant vomiting
- Irregular moods
- Significant decrease in the ability to cognitively function
- Considerable reduction in respiratory function
The consequences of abusing prescription drugs will not be in any way worth the temporary feelings you get when you abuse. Human life risk is significantly higher when prescription medication such as opioids is mixed with other substances, whether other drugs or alcohol.
Stimulants can cause mild to severe seizures and a high risk of heart failure. Suppose you are to increase the dosage of stimulants too much, and your body is not used to the amount. In that case, your body can reach a dangerously high temperature with the possibility of irregular heartbeats.
There are life-threatening physical consequences; your mental stability will also plummet; individuals are known to become paranoid and very aggressive.
If an individual is to mix depressant with various other substances, the outcome can be deadly; your heart and breathing rate will be slowed right down to the point where there is a possibility it will completely stop.
If you abuse this substance and decide to go cold turkey, your body can have an adverse reaction resulting in severe, life-threatening seizures.
The dangers of abusing prescribed medication are hazardous to an individual’s health. The substance can be severely addictive, so doctors will never prescribe a large dosage for the individual. A medical team’s examinations will happen every three months to ensure the patients who are meant to be taking the drugs aren’t themselves getting addict even when taking the medication responsibly.
Never use someone else’s prescription medication, and do not ever allow someone to use yours no matter the reason they are giving you. You could be putting others’ health at risk; however, you could also suffer. Your pharmacy might refuse to refill your prescription if you had used up the dosage before the doctor had scheduled.
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