Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse
There is a widespread belief, particularly among teenagers, that “street drugs” (illegal substances like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines) are more harmful than prescription medications. Children are taught that street drugs have several bad side effects and are a serious threat. At the same time, teenagers are mostly unaware of the hazards of prescription drug misuse.
What is Prescription Drug Abuse?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Drug Facts, prescription drug misuse and abuse occur when someone consumes a medication inappropriately (for example, without a prescription). Prescription drug abuse and misuse among teenagers are unfortunately very common. According to multiple studies, more than 5,700 teenagers used prescription pain medicines for the first time without consulting a doctor in 2014.
Types of Drugs and Dangers
Prescription medicines are commonly misunderstood to be safer or less hazardous to one’s body than other types of drugs. However, each type of prescription medicine used incorrectly has a variety of short- and long-term health consequences:
- Stimulants share many negative effects as cocaine. Effects include paranoia, massively high body temperatures, and irregular heartbeat, especially when used in large dosages or means other than ingesting a pill.
- Opioids act on the same areas of the brain as heroin. The common symptoms are constipation, drowsiness, nausea, and slowed breathing, depending on the dose taken.
- Depressants can cause shallow breathing, slurred speech, disorientation, fatigue, seizures, and lack of coordination upon withdrawal from chronic use.
What’s the Solution?
Here are quite a few ways to lessen prescription drug abuse among young people:
- Education: The effects of prescription medications on the developing brain must be educated to parents, children, and prescribers.
- Safe medication storage and disposal: Two-thirds of teenagers who have misused pain medicines in the last year say they obtained them from the medicine cabinets in their homes. Safe medicine storage and disposal reduce the likelihood of simple access.
- Prescription drug monitoring: Many individuals urge doctors and pharmacies to keep a closer eye on how medications are prescribed. Doctors are more likely to prescribe opioids today than they were ten years ago, and pharmacists, according to some sources, do not routinely check prescription medication registries, which can assist in uncovering potential over-prescribing and misuse.
Prescription drug addiction is a severe and complex problem, yet preventing it is rather straightforward. Safe Hands Pharmacy should protect your medication because most children receive prescription medications from their parents or friends. You may now keep track of your medicine with us to ensure that nothing goes missing.