Prescription Drug Abuse

prescription-pills-pexels-photo-143654Abuse of Prescription Drugs by teens:

According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are among the most commonly abused drugs by 12th graders, after alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.

Among youth who are 12 to 17 years old, 7.4 % reported non-medical use of prescription medications within the past year.

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

  • When someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else.
  • Taking their own prescription in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed.
  • Taking a friend’s or relative’s prescription to get high, to treat pain, or because you think it will help with studying.

Most Commonly abused Prescription Drugs

  • Opioids (such as the pain relievers OxyContin and Vicodin)
  • Central nervous system depressants (Xanax and Valium)
  • Stimulants (Adderall and Concerta)

Dangerous Risks

  • Increased Side Effects
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Death
  • You can be charged with a crime.  It is illegal to:
    • possess prescription medication without a prescription
    • Distribute prescription drugs to someone else.

Dangerous Side Effects:

When abused, prescription drugs may be taken in inappropriate doses or by routes of administration that change the way the drugs act in the body, risking overdose.

When people who abuse oxycodone (OxyContin) crush and inhale the pills, a 12-hour dose hits their central nervous system all at once—which increases their risk of addiction and overdose.

The side effects can be made worse when prescription drugs are not taken as prescribed or are abused in combination with other substances—including alcohol, other prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter drugs, such as cold medicines.

Both alcohol and benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium), can slow breathing. Mixing this  combination could stop breathing altogether, requiring emergency care, or worse—it could be fatal.