Drug Abuse


Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, involves repeated and excessive use of chemical substances. These substances give different effects to the user, effects that can become addictive and dangerous. Some of the effects of drug abuse include powerful charges of energy while others give a feeling of relaxation or calmness. Drug abuse is becoming much too prevalent in our society today. Along these lines, it is becoming more and more common for individuals to become addicted to prescription drugs and unfortunately, it is affecting all ages and backgrounds.

Drug Abuse and Prescription Drugs


Prescription drugs are medicines that are prescribed to a patient by a doctor to cure or treat a number of health conditions, such as: diabetes, high/low blood pressure, or cancer. Prescription drugs can also be used to aide with mental health disorders such as depression, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). If taken strictly how the doctor or specialist prescribes, prescription drugs can help patients control their sicknesses, fight off infection, and even cure an illness. However, a recent study done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse estimated that twenty percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. And, abuse of prescription drugs has increased among teenagers and young adults. In fact, the same study found that in the past year abuse of prescription pain killers now ranks second-only behind marijuana-as the Nation's most prevalent illegal drug problem. It has been found that there are three classes of prescription drugs that are most commonly abused. They are: opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, and morphine; central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as Valium (diazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam); stimulants such as Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate). Prescription drugs can be very dangerous when taken without a doctor’s supervision. If certain prescription drugs are mixed with other drugs or alcohol, they become lethal.

Prescription Drug Abuse Side Effects


Common effects of prescription drugs include: anger, hostility, dizziness, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting, exhaustion, sleeplessness, increased heart rate and breathing, coma, and even death. If taken incorrectly, prescription drugs can become just as dangerous and addictive as cocaine or heroin.

Drug Abuse and Help


Whatever type of drug abuse a person is involved with, there is always help. A loving, strong support system is one of the most important components in helping an individual with a drug abuse problem. Open communication and listening-without-lecturing are very important when dealing with an individual who is involved with drug abuse. Residential treatment centers and outpatient therapy are also very successful in helping with a drug abuse problem. Medications can help an individual with a drug abuse problem cope with the withdrawals and help re-establish normal brain function to prevent relapse and reduce cravings throughout the treatment process.