Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor. Prescription drug abuse or problematic use includes everything from taking a friend’s prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high. Drug abuse may become ongoing and compulsive, despite the negative consequences.
An increasing problem, prescription drug abuse can affect all age groups, including teens. The prescription drugs most often abused include opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants. Early identification of prescription drug abuse and early intervention may prevent the problem from turning into an addiction.
Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse depend on the specific drug. Because of their mind-altering properties, the most commonly abused prescription drugs are:
Opioids used to treat pain, for example medications containing oxycodone.
Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), and hypnotics, such as zolpidem (Ambien), used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.
Stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others), dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall XR, Mydayis), and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), used to treat
Teens and adults abuse prescription drugs for many reasons, such as:
– To feel good or get high
– To relax or relieve tension
– To reduce appetite or increase alertness
– To experiment with the mental effects of the substance
– To maintain an addiction and prevent withdrawal
– To be accepted by peers or to be social
– To try to improve concentration and academic or work performance
– Be aware of the risks and keep it safe. Most of the drugs are harmful.
– Don’t use drugs to escape your problems. Drugs doesn’t solve any problem.
– Don’t use drugs because of peer pressure. Don’t use it if you don’t want.
– Set goals, related to work, school, or a other duty for the next day when using drugs.
– When you want to stop using drugs, avoid places that trigger you to use it (some friends, parties, etc.)