Prescription Drug Abuse

When a prescription drug is used in quantities more than the recommended dosage or when not required, it is termed drug abuse. Painkillers, tranquilizers and anti-anxiety drugs are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs.

Generally, patients take medicines as prescribed by their doctors. When taken this way, there is very little chance of the patient getting addicted. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), millions of people today use medications for non-medical purposes.

People try to justify drug abuse by convincing themselves that an overdose of prescription drugs is not as bad as street drugs such as heroin or ecstasy. The truth is that any kind of abuse is unwarranted. The problem with prescription drug abuse is that it starts with the consumption of a few extra pills for quick relief. The patient does not realize that abuse or addiction is likely.

If the doctor discontinues the prescription, an addict will seek out another doctor for a prescription of the same drug under false pretexts. Abusers use various methods to get a high. They even mix prescription drugs with alcohol, marijuana or any other similar drug. Drugs such as Ritalin and OxyContin are among the most abused drugs. Prescribing these drugs is carefully monitored and given only when urgently required.

To battle prescription drug abuse, medication directions must always be followed carefully. The physician must always be consulted regarding any change in dosage. It is not advisable to crush the tablets or take them with alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. Also, patients must never use someone else?s prescription, even if the symptoms are similar. The doctors should also exercise caution while prescribing drugs with any possibility of abuse. They must ask patients if they have any history of drug abuse.

Prescription drug abuse can be tackled with regular counseling. There is a lot of information on the Internet, and local physicians are always available for consultations.

Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse: Starting to Get Help

Addiction to Oxycontin: Where to Begin Getting Help

There is assistance if you or your loved one has an addiction to Oxycontin, addiction to Vicodin, addiction to codeine, or other narcotics. All hope is not lost. There are millions of others around you that have been able to recover and lead happy lives. If there is one thing in common with those who recover, it is that they keep going. It may take five or more treatment attempts for some, but one can definitely stop drug use.

The first place to start is by allowing the idea you might have substance abuse problem. Many individuals never get to this point. They may say they get high because of their pain,companion, or setting, but doing this does not help their situation. You have the best control over yourself and this is the place to start. Others may have a negative influence on you life and be unhelpful with you getting abstinent. You are going to need to change yourself and find the helpful individuals who can support you in doing this.

Admitting drug use in your life causes problems does not mean you are a bad person. It also doesn’t mean drugs caused all the trouble in you life. It is just means you are willing to have an open mind of how drug use may be affecting you.

It is helpful to find someone who is in recovery. This could be through a 12 step program, a church, or just a friend who had been a user and quit. Find a person in recovery who is not going to preach to you or confront you; find someone just to talk. Recovery involves looking at the damage in you life that drug use has caused. It also involves seeing to good things that have come to others that have quit. Taking to others about the good things can be very helpful and motivating.

Make a list of the things you would like to see improved in your personal and social circumstances. Imagine you would like to see yourself making more money at your job; perhaps spending time with your family every weekend instead of seeking drugs. It could be not being worried you will be arrested. Maybe you want that new bike, motorcycle, or car. What about feeling good about not feeling like someone is going to find out you are using. Anything that you find motivating to quit is helpful.

Addiction to Oxycontin: Online Help

Here are places to get help for patients with a narcotic problem.

SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association: This is a wonderful site that contains many topics for the public and professionals. The government brochures they provide cover all areas of substance abuse. Prevention, treatment, and relapse topics are found here. It is an invaluable resource for patients and professionals looking for training and help with substance dependence. It is also good for families and friends looking to find drug fact information. Their web site can be found at http://www.samhsa.gov/.

Al-Anon Family Groups: This organization says they provide “strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers.” Many with narcotic problems also have drinking problems. Although this organization helps people enmeshed with problem drinkers, their support groups are so helpful, that they should be used by families of those who have dual addictions. If your loved one only has problems with pain pills, they can direct you to a good local support group. Their format is similar to 12 step programs where they sit in groups. Their official site can be found: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/.

NIDA:National Institute on Drug Abuse covers all the “Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction.” They are a complete source for drug and alcohol use information. Their agency contains scientific information on all drugs of abuse; and mass distribution pamphlets on numerous drugs of abuse; along with the latest research and meetings.

Your local mental health authority. Each community has their own programs for drug addiction. You can look in the Yellow Pages or online and do a search for you local by looking up “community mental health” and your city and state. These local organizations have their own programs for drug abuse treatment. In addition, they are familiar with the resources and health care professionals in the community that provide drug abuse treatment.

Summary: Addiction to Oxycontin: Begin Stopping the Addiction

  • Make a decision to improve you life
  • Talk to Someone Already In Recovery
  • Find Federal/Local Help With Drug Information and Treatment
  • Don’t Give Up!

Prescription Drug Abuse in Adolescents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 52 million Americans use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at least once in their life. Every day, approximately 44 Americans die from prescription painkiller overdoses. Thus, it is an alarming scenario with prescription painkillers causing more than 16,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits annually. No wonder, the prescription drug abuse helpline numbers never stop ringing.

It is more terrifying when it comes to adolescents. Being young with impressionable minds, they are more susceptible to fall prey to prescription drug abuse. Seeking prescription drug addiction treatment help remains the only solution in such a situation.

According to the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, one out of every five teens in the U.S. abuse prescription drugs to get high. Almost half of them who have abused prescription painkillers also report abusing two or more drugs, including marijuana. They are also likely to abuse alcohol. Children reportedly do not feel any guilt pangs, because the drugs aren’t illegal and are also not shamed because they are not abusing illicit drugs, just prescription medicines. Adolescents abusing prescription drugs without any sign of inhibition is a dangerous trend.

As per a study titled “Psychotropic Medication Use among Adolescents: United States, 2005-2010,” about 6.3 percent U.S. adolescents reported any type of psychotropic medication use in the past month, during the period 2005-2010. The study, conducted by Bruce S. Jonas, Sc.M., Ph.D., Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D. and Juan R. Albertorio-Diaz, M.A., has summed the findings as below:

  • The highest abuse seen is of antidepressants (3.2 percent) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) drugs (3.2 percent). They are followed by antipsychotics (1 percent); anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (0.5 percent); and antimanics (0.2 percent).
  • Males (4.2 percent) are more likely to use ADHD drugs as compared to females (2.2 percent), and females (4.5%) are more likely than males (2 percent) to use antidepressants.
  • The use of psychotropic drug was higher among non-Hispanic white (8.2 percent) adolescents than non-Hispanic black (3.1 percent) and Mexican-American (2.9 percent) adolescents.
  • Approximately half of the U.S. adolescents using psychotropic drugs in the past month had seen a mental health professional in the past year (53.3 percent).

Adolescents and prescription drugs

According to a 2008 report of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 64 percent of the youth aged 12 to 17 who have abused pain relievers said they got the medicines from friends or relatives, often without the other person’s knowledge. Very few of them said that they procured prescription medicines from the internet.

However, they engaged in online chat and gathered information about drugs and others’ experiences. Another potential place to obtain prescription drugs is their respective schools. Rampant exchange of medicines and trade flourish in the corridors.

Ways to check abuse

The study feels that prescription drug abuse in adolescents should be taken seriously like any other abuse. Parents and caregivers have a significant role to play in curbing this menace. Since a school is a fertile spot for procuring prescription drugs, authorities have a pivotal role in addressing it. Regular seminars and inviting guest speakers to talk on the dangers of this can help in reducing this threat.

Government agencies should also exert their influence and work towards eradicating abuse of prescription drugs. Introducing stringent laws, implementing reforms and educating the people at large will go a long way.

Even physicians should play their part. Keeping detailed records of patients, educating parents about any drugs prescribed to their children and enquiring about their patients’ past abuses will also help in preventing this malady.