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Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise

Prescription drugs are the second most abused drug in the USA, even more than drugs such as cocaine. Most prescription drug are taken as prescribed and only for medical reasons. Many people abuse these drugs for non-medical reasons. A recent study showed that one in five Americans used prescription drugs in ways that they were not intended for, in order to get a ‘high’. While prescription drugs are important in treating various illnesses, and helping people to manage pain. They have one dangerous side-effect and that is they can also be very addictive. If they are not taken under the supervision of a physician, this can lead to addiction. Prescription painkillers, that are most widely abused are the following Oxycontin, Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, Percocet and Codeine.

Common Misconceptions about Prescription Drug Abuse

There are many myths about drug abuse. Any addiction to a prescription medicine is very dangerous. Many believe that because prescription painkillers are obtained legally, and have medicinal value, that they are safe and cannot be abused and that they are not addictive. Another misconception is that they are safer than street drugs which is an idea very prevalent among young people. Prescription painkillers are more widely available than street drugs and can easily be found in many American homes.

However, young adults don’t understand that some of these prescription drugs they are extremely addictive. They are as dangerous and as addictive as alcohol and cocaine, especially if they are combined with other prescription drugs.

Opiate based painkillers are among the most powerful and addictive drugs known to humanity. These drugs are great at treating pain, but their potency means that if abused that they can very easily lead to dependency. For example, Oxycontin is so addictive that many doctors argue that it is addictive as heroin and Morphine.

Dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction involved both the physical and psychological dependency on a drug. Physical dependence occurs if the body has become so tolerant of the prescription drug in their system that their body needs it and can no longer function normally without regular ‘fixes’ of the drug. Physical drug dependence is a result of the increasing tolerance of an individual to a narcotic. If a drug is not taken regularly by an addict this can induce powerful withdrawal symptoms that can last for a considerable period.

Opiates, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin have a variety of serious physical symptoms such as slowing down the heart rate and depressing breathing. Central nervous depressants can slow down the workings of the body including vital functions such as respiration. These drugs taken regularly or in high doses can cause extreme physical and mental problems, and can even lead to death. This means that those addicted need professional medical help immediately. Suboxone is the leading treatment for an addiction to prescription drugs and can help a person on the road to sobriety.