Dangers of Prescription Medication Addiction

Prescription drug abuse is recognized as the act of taking a prescription drug differently from the way it was intended to be taken. There are many ways a prescription medication can be abused. These include:

Consuming a dose larger than what was prescribed by your doctor.
Consuming medication that was not originally prescribed to you.
Specifically using the medication in order to achieve a “high.”
Administering the medication in a way not advised by your doctor. (For example, snorting, injecting, or crushing prescription medication is generally not advised.)

The abuse of prescription medication can easily encourage dependence or addiction. Common medications that easily provoke addiction are stimulants, tranquilizers, sedatives, and painkillers.

In the United States alone, prescription medication abuse is a rampant problem. It is currently estimated that 1 in 5 US citizens who are at least 12 years of age or older have abused prescription medication before in their lives. This measures out to roughly 52 million people. In fact, young people comprise a large portion of this group. In 2010, NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse) surveyed a large number of high school age people on their habits with prescription drug usage. For every 12 seniors, there was 1 who had abused Vicodin, a prescription painkiller, in that same year. Furthermore, 1 in 20 had abused OxyContin in the same year.

Side Effects and Addiction

When drugs such as stimulants, tranquilizers, sedatives, opioids, and painkillers are abused, certain side effects are possible. Addiction is one of these side effects. People abuse prescription medication for various reasons, but for many, its availability is what makes it such an unbridled problem at the national level.

There are a number of signs that can indicate that you or a loved one might be struggling with prescription drug abuse and/or addiction. These include:

An obvious decrease in sleep (or increase, depending on the type of medication being abused).
The inability to make sound decisions.
Irritability, hostility, or dramatic mood swings.
“Tweaking” or being unusually lively and needy.
Being unusually lethargic, slow-moving, or sedated.
Being slow to respond or react.
An increased tolerance to the medication being abused.
Forging, selling, or stealing prescriptions.
Consuming a dose amount that is higher than what is prescribed.
“Accidentally misplacing” prescriptions, in order to persuade a physician to prescribe more.
“Doctor shopping” or attempting to obtain prescriptions for medication from more than one physician.

Your Next Step

Abusing prescription medication is incredibly dangerous. It is more than capable of wreaking havoc on the body if it is taken in such a way that isn’t recommended by a doctor. In some cases, it can be fatal regardless of tolerance level or dosage amount.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to prescription medication, the time to seek help is now, call professionals at an esteemed drug rehab center or clinically managed detox facility. In a nation that abusesprescription medication, its dangers are not any less threatening or likely. All it takes is one dosage to prematurely and permanently end a life. There is still time to regain control over life, even in the midst of severe addiction.

Contact a drug rehab center today to begin your path to a life beyond the shackles of addiction. Peace and freedom await; all you have to do is make the first phone call.

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