What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

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Although legally available, prescription drugs can be extremely addictive and deadly. The long-term effects of prescription drug abuse, is no longer “The Hidden Epidemic”. Almost half of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Teens and young adults abuse prescription drugs for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons include family problems, depression, relationships problems, and other emotional distress. Teens also have to deal with their image. They want to feel like they belong or may be going through a self-identity crisis. Both adults and teens turn to drugs to help cope with these different issues. However, while drugs may make you feel better in the short-term, attempts to self-medicate ultimately…show more content…
(Friedman,2009) • About two-thirds (64%) of teenagers who have abused prescription stimulants report getting, buying, or stealing them from friends or relatives. (NSDUH, 2007) Prescription drug abuse seems as if it has been kept in the closet while millions are abusing these drugs and lives have been very much taken. Why hasn’t society been openly educated on this issue? Why hasn’t more warning signs been brought to the table? It seems only when a celebrity dies from an overdose of prescription drugs is when the sirens finally go off. Here are some facts within the last decade outlined below from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that explains how this epidemic is destroying our teens and young adults. • In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens abused prescription drugs. (Johnston (NIDA) 2007) • Every day, 2,500 youth (12-17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the very first time. (SAMHSA, • One-third of all new abusers of prescription drugs in 2006 were 12- to 17-year-olds. (NSDUH,…show more content…
We not only need help from the government but from our local communities. We should also know how the abuse of prescription drugs affects the mind and body. Stimulants can elevate blood pressure, increase heart rate and respiration, cause sleep deprivation, and elicit paranoia. Their continued abuse, or even one high dose, can cause irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and seizures. Painkillers and anti-anxiety medications can cause depressed respiration and even death, and CNS depressants can also induce seizures when a reduction in their chronic use triggers a sudden rebound in brain activity. Particularly dangerous is when young people indiscriminately mix and share prescription drugs, also combining them with alcohol or other drugs. In an environment where opiate analgesics are the most frequently prescribed medication, with over 100 million prescriptions written every year, this risky practice is likely to contribute to the growing trend of drug abuse-related emergency room visits involving prescribed narcotics. And again, these classes of psychotherapeutic drugs have a real potential for leading

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