Prescription Drug Abuse Information

Overview

Although the vast majority of patients use their prescription medication as directed, prescription drug abuse has become a major health problem in America. The risk for prescription drug abuse exists whenever these medications are used in ways other than, as prescribed. Some people end up abusing prescription drugs by “doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions from more than one physician.

Prescription drug abuse includes these 3 major classifications of drugs; opiates, depressants and stimulants

Opiate prescription drug abuse
Opiates, because they trigger strong feelings of euphoria have the greatest potential for abuse. Powerful drugs such as oxycontin, hydrocodone and vicodin have become widespread opioids of prescription drug abuse. Over a period of time, the body builds up a tolerance for these types of drugs and more and more are needed to obtain the same results. These types of drugs, opiates, are often obtained by buying them on the street.

Stimulant prescription drug abuse
Stimulants are a class of drugs that enhance brain activity – they cause an increase in alertness, attention, and energy that is accompanied by elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate and respiration. Some people end up doctor shopping to obtain more prescriptions than they could under the care of one primary physician.

Benzodiazepine prescription drug abuse
In general, benzodiazepines act as hypnotics in high doses, anxiolytics in moderate doses, and sedatives in low doses. Those individuals who do abuse benzodiazepines often maintain their drug supply by getting prescriptions from several doctors, forging prescriptions, or buying diverted pharmaceutical products on the illicit market. Prescription drug abuse is frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take benzodiazepines to obtain a “high.” This intoxicated state results in reduced inhibition and impaired judgment.

Potential Warning Signs
* Have you ever felt the need to cut down on your use of prescription drugs?
* Have you ever felt annoyed by remarks your friends or loved ones made about your use of prescription drugs?
* Have you ever felt guilty or remorseful about your use of prescription drugs?
* Have you ever used prescription drugs as a way to “get going” or to “calm down?”

Answering yes to one or more of these questions could indicate there is a problem.

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