Author: Justin Mckibben
With drug abuse being a major issue facing the nation, education is extremely important. Any hope of winning the fight against rising overdose rates and the spread of drug-related illness and death starts with making sure we have as much information as possible to make a difference. On that note, explaining prescription drug abuse is critical because prescription drug abuse is a key contributor to the state of the country today.
If we want to help people avoid prescription drug abuse, or recognize the signs and know there is help, it is important to explain the reality and the risks.
What is prescription drug abuse?
Simply put- prescription drug abuse is one of two things.
- When someone takes a medication that is not their prescription
- If someone takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor or for a different reason
When you take prescription drugs properly they are usually safe. It requires a trained health care clinician, such as a doctor or nurse, to determine if the benefits of taking the medication outweigh any risks for side effects. But when abused and taken in different amounts or for different purposes than as prescribed, they affect the brain and body in ways very similar to illicit drugs.
These drugs have a close relation to morphine, or the street drug heroin. Opioids are typically for pain management. Opioid addiction has become one of the biggest problems facing the country today. Drugs such as:
These drugs are also known as “downers”. You can divide the category can be up into:
Drugs such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol are meant to reduce symptoms of mental illness.
- Benzodiazepines (Benzos)
Prescription drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Librium.
Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal are included in a class of depressants intended as sedatives or sleeping pills.
These kinds of prescription drugs are also called “uppers” or “smart drugs” because of the increase alertness, attention and energy. They also increase heart rate and respiration. Many of these medications are used to combat conditions such as ADHD, including:
Prescription drug abuse has become a big health issue because of the various health hazards. This risk is particularly true of abusing prescription pain medications.
Who abuses prescription drugs?
When asking who are most likely to abuse prescription drugs, the answer may vary depending on the substance. Some people end up participating in prescription drug abuse due to an injury or legitimate health reason, but the “high” they can experience may lead to more frequent use and ultimately a physical dependence.
Recent studies have indicated that prescription drug abuse impacts young adults most; specifically age 18 to 25. In regards to teens, after marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most common substances of abuse by Americans age 14 and older.
Prescription drug abuse is present across all demographics, relevant to every social and economic class. Many believe this rise has largely contributed to the heroin addiction epidemic and the overdose outbreak in the past few years.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment
The Palm Partners Treatment Program has a design for prescription drug abuse intended to address people of all walks of life who are suffering. Personalized recovery programs are meant to work with each individual’s circumstances and symptoms to create a blueprint for the future.
Some of the signs of addiction range in severity and can affect each people differently, especially depending on the specific prescription drug. Increased tolerance is a clear cut sign of progressive physical dependence. Some indicators of prescription drug addiction may be:
- Excessive sweating
- Swelling in the arms and legs
- Chronic constipation
- Respiratory distress
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
Treatment for prescription drug addiction includes a detox period to help combat the uncomfortable symptoms of prescription drug addiction, as well as withdrawal.
For all those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse, or even abusing other drugs or medications, there is a massive community of recovery all over the country to help you get the care you need. Treatment for prescription drug abuse can be the first and most important step, so be sure to step up.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Drug abuse and addiction is pretty well known as a deadly issue that stands on its own, and it may seem more obvious that mixing different dangerous narcotics can be a serious mistake, but one thing that may not seem so obvious is how mixing some powerful substances that are not as commonly considered to be as dangerous can be the difference between life and death. Here we will discuss two substances that sometimes fly under the radar, and how taking them in combination can be fatal.
Alcohol is a Drug
First we will get it out of the way and say what needs to be said and recognized. Alcohol is a drug. Many do not acknowledge it as such because it is legal and very publicly accepted. Although people are made aware of the dangers of excessive drinking, or drunk driving, they may not understand the severity of how destructive alcohol can be. Addiction to alcohol, or alcoholism, is a disease that plagues so many people around the world, and still the substance is viewed in society as a social lubricant and a way to take the edge of with a quick buzz, but let us not forget how this substance kills so many people all on its own.
Painkillers have quickly gained some notoriety for being addictive and deadly, and with recent reforms and regulations regarding prescription and distribution of these narcotic medications, we have seen entire drug empires topple like the infamous ‘pill mills’ and we have been exposed to the effects that drugs like OxyContin, OxyCodone and other opiates have on addicts. So there is no mystery as to the disastrous potential of prescription painkillers which also includes the medications:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by some kind of opioid painkillers. Drug overdose rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990, showing a horrifying 300% increase in sales of these prescription painkillers.
Non-medical use of prescription painkillers has developed into what some have labeled an epidemic, and no matter how you look at it, it is happening far too frequently in today’s society at large. Prescription drugs are safe when taken as directed, but all drugs can trigger side effects. Drugs like OxyCodone come with a minute margin for error. OxyCodone is a central nervous system depressant and when taken with alcohol can slow a person’s breathing to the point that it stops, which can quickly turn into an untimely death.
Painkillers and alcohol together are perhaps the worst to mix of drugs, because both slow breathing by different mechanisms and inhibit the coughing reflex, creating a collaborative effect that can kill by stopping breathing completely. Drinking alcohol drastically increases the depressive and inhibitory effects that opiates and other narcotic painkillers have on the central nervous system, and their effects can be synergistic, which means that their combined effects can be greater than the sum of their individual effects would suggest. The chemical interactions between ethanol in alcohol and both long and short-acting opioids are dangerously unpredictable. The more common health risks include:
- Respiratory failure
- Severe headache/migraine
- Organ malfunction
- Cardiac arrest
- Memory loss
In addition to the immediate physical dangers, the mixture of alcohol and opiates can also critically affect judgment and motor skills and cause cognitive impairment. Many fail to realize the perils that are associated with simultaneous ingestion of painkillers and alcohol. The extensive explosion of prescription painkiller abuse in combination with the nation-wide struggle for those suffering with alcoholism has made the combination of opiates and drinking one of the fastest-growing addiction problems in the country, with massive amounts of overdose related deaths.
Once people get hooked on prescription painkillers, it is fairly easy for them to stay addicted. Additionally, drinking can dramatically increase the general urge for opioids, making the possibility of addiction even more prevalent. Opiate medications in particular, are increasingly popular and extremely addictive when abused. Because of this, the likelihood of an addict to mix alcohol with a painkiller becomes more and more significant, and the dangers are only magnified.
The blend of prescription painkillers and alcohol is beyond hazardous, but it tends to happen more often than one would think, and typically people do not understand the risks they are taking to relax and unwind. When addiction is present, and the long-term effects of either drug are taken into consideration, the outcome can be shattering. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135