Prescription drug abuse: definition, causes, prevention, and treatment!

The likelihood that you or some of your relatives take prescription medications is very high. Most patients start using prescription drugs only after our doctor has approved it. However, National Institute on Drug Abuse has estimated that approximately 48 billion adults and even juniors use medications, which require prescription, not for medical purposes. Around 20% of Americans belong to this group.

Nowadays, the abuse of prescription drug is getting higher and higher. The situation causes ER visits increasing, as there are many events of drug overdosing. Besides, drug addicted people have free access to great variety of drugs.

Addiction is considered a chronic disease, which mostly influences the person’s brain. It is often relapsed condition. It implies huge unstoppable desire to take drug. While seeking for the drug a person can not control actions and emotions. Any drug abuse (it concerns prescription drugs too) is the cause of unalterable changes of brain functioning. At first, people take prescription drug free-willy. A little bit later permanent abuse of the drug leads to brain changes, which prevent a person to control herself / himself and make clear right decisions. After short period of drug abusing, severe addiction may develop.

Which prescription medications are more likely to be abused?

Specialists from National Institute on Drug Abuse say about three categories of prescription medications, which are commonly abused, namely:

  • Opioids, which are very effective for treating pain.
  • Depressants, which affect Central nervous system (CNS), in particular, benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin), which are taken in case of anxiety or sleep disorders.
  • Stimulants, including dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Methylin, Concerta, Ritalin, Daytrana), which are recognized as effective remedies for sleep disorder and attention deficit disorder.

Why the abuse of prescription meds is increasing?

Specialists can’t say exactly why there is the rise of abuse of prescription medical remedies. Nevertheless, they are sure, that there is a wide range of drugs on the pharmaceutical market, which increases the risk of medication abuse. Nowadays, doctors issue as many prescriptions as never before. There are prescriptions for drugs, which are abused most times (for instance, CNS depressants, stimulants or opioids). Moreover, with the use of Internet, where it is possible to find a great number of online pharmacies, purchasing medications has become easier and more comfortable. Even teens get access to addictive drugs. For example, cheap Viagra online and free Viagra coupon are widely common in the Internet. This drug doesn’t cause physiological addiction, but some people may develop psychological one.

Why not all people become addicted?

Features of a certain person, social environment, the level of the person’s development, the age are the main factors, which influences on the risk of addiction appearing and its further increasing. You have more chances to get addicted if there is a full list of risk factors. For instance, if your parents or some of your friends suffer from drug addiction, you are in the group of risk, because your surrounding influences you conscious dramatically. The period of person’s life development plays a great role too. It is proved, that drinking alcohol or smoking in early age will lead to more severe addictions (drug addiction, in particular).

Where the abusing begins?

The abusing of prescription medications means consuming exceeded dosage or taking the drug for other purposes, than medical ones. For example, is you are prescribed to take anti-pain drug three times a day, and you notice, that you take it more than three times a day, you abuse this medication. Non-medical reasons include taking medication in case of getting bored, just for fun or for forgetting about some problems.
If you are abusing, you will ask your doctor for more drug prematurely. You may also claim increasing the dosage. Such anxious signs are the first stage of drug addiction.

Some recommendations for safe using of prescription drugs

In accordance with the FDA, there are some guidelines concerning using prescription drugs in the safe way, in particular:

  • Strictly follow specification of the drug and doctor’s prescription;
  • Never diminish or increase the quantity of prescribed dosage on your own;
  • Don’t stop therapy regimen on your own;
  • Don’t break or chew tablets (they can be ineffective if crashed);
  • Ask your doctor or read in the specification about the impact of the drug on the person’s attention (it is especially important for drivers);
  • Read about interactions with other drugs and alcohol (for example, Cialis or Viagra aren’t compatible with medicaments that contain nitrates, agents used for treating some heart diseases);
  • Inform your doctor about any abuse in your anamnesis;
  • Keep the drug away from other people, especially from children.

Is it possible to treat addiction caused by prescription drugs?

Treatment, containing non-addictive drugs, is considered to be very efficient in fighting with drug addiction. It allows people to gain control and stop the desire to take more drug. For, instance, Buprenorphine is aimed at treating opiate withdrawal.