Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription Drug Abuse has been an ongoing issue. People from all age groups are susceptible to this action. Usually people will start abusing these drugs or form an addiction at a young age. Many people don't know the dangers of abusing prescription drugs especially young kids and teens. They think the that since the drug was prescribed by a doctor it must be and not illegal to take. Prescription drug abuse has been an arising problem for kids, teens, and adults and they should be more educated on the risks.
First what may cause people to start abusing drugs. There are many different reasons why someone might starting, depending on your age as well. If you are an adult an older teenager your job may cause you a lot of stress or demand physical activity. Which could lead them to abusing prescription drugs in order to relieve their pain and tension. Primarily for teens and kids, peer pressure could cause them to an unprescribed pill. A kid could have stole it from his parents and shared with his friends.
Doctors or any other healthcare professionals are also susceptible to this. Any healthcare professional has a very stressful day, which can take a big toll on them. A way for them to relieve this stress is to fall into an addiction with a prescribed drug in order to relieve their stress. They also use these drugs in order to help any emotional and or physical pain. Getting these drugs are not as easy as people may think. Since it is against the law to self-prescribe, doctors have to go to other physicians in order to get a prescription.
Another leading cause of prescription drug abuse, would be the easy access people have to these drugs. Parents who take prescribed drugs might just leave them in an unprotected cabinet or just on table. Which gives their kids or teens access to these drugs. So they can easily take the pills, especially if they are little kids they do not know these dangers of taking these drugs. Also when the new and wide variety of online pharmacies, teens can easily get these types of drugs.
Parents have also confessed to giving their teen a prescribed drug that was not actually prescribed to them. Also that the PATS survey found that 17 percent of parents do not throw away expired prescription drugs. Also that 14 percent of parents say they to have abused or misused a prescription drug. Which is not a good influence on the children.
Sometimes the reason for a patient to start abusing prescription drugs would because there is an underlying issue. They may have a mental illness. Some of these illnesses may include a bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, alcoholism, and schizophrenia. Also if a child was born into a family where a relative has struggled with addiction before. They have a higher risk for developing an addiction.
When a person is abusing these drugs there are signs to watch for as their healthcare provider or family member. There are three types of most commonly abused prescription drugs opioids, sedatives, and stimulants. The opioids will take care of short-term pain or chronic pain. Sedatives cause a calming, relaxing effect on the body. When abusing stimulants it causes brain activity to increase which would increase the bodies alertness and energy.
When watching for certain symptoms to appear, it will depend on the type of drug that that the person is abusing. There are different symptoms for people who abuse opioids (painkillers), sedatives and anti-anxiety medication, and stimulants.
If the patients is starts to present these symptoms like constipation, nausea, slowed breathing, and drowsiness, then most likely they are abusing opioids. Opioids are painkillers and is one of the most abused prescription drugs among teens and adults. The Symptoms are different though if they are abusing sedatives and anti-anxiety medication. The patient starts to have unsteady walking, poor concentration, and confusion. If a patient is misusing stimulants for nonmedical reasons then there are signs to look for in that as well.
Stimulants can cause you to have a reduced appetite, agitation, high blood pressure, and show anxiety. Some of the most common stimulants that are abused are Dexedrine, adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. Abusing these drugs can lead you into a lot of trouble and into serious danger. Stimulants can cause paranoia and an abnormal heartbeat which could cause cardiovascular problems and fatal seizures. Opioids can choking, mood swings, infertility, and slowed breathing. Finally sedatives can lead to memory loss and seizures. These are not the only dangers that can from abusing prescription drugs.
Students, kids or teens, if they start abusing prescription drugs their performance in school could go down. Most take the drugs thinking it's going to make them more attentive but in reality it actually does the complete opposite. It is also very easy for kids to develop an addiction at this age which could lead to problems later in their future. Also if the student brings these drugs onto campus they can get suspended or even possibly expelled.
When abusing these drugs it very easy to get into legal trouble. Especially if you are taking drugs that were not prescribed to you because that is illegal. Also your chances of committing a crime when abusing prescription drugs increases. If you are caught you can receive fines and possibly jail time. There is also the possibility of causing an accident and harming yourself or others. When abusing these drugs your train of thought can be impaired and it can put you in terrible situations.
Addiction is probably one of the most common symptoms of abusing prescription drugs. Some of the medications you are prescribed already have a high chance of being addictive. So when you start to misuse the drug the chance of being addicted to it skyrockets. You start to feel like you cannot live without the drug. When you try and stop the drug you start to get feeling of withdrawal. For example you can experience nausea, shaking, and start to sweat.
When you are addicted to opioids and you try stopping you can experience bone pain, insomnia, vomiting, and leg spasms. Sedative withdrawals may cause you to have depression, exhaustion and possible sleep problems. If you are having withdrawals from stimulants you can have life-threatening consequences. There is also always the possibility of overdosing on a drug, in which you could possibly die or suffer severe health problems and even fall into a coma.
This could also affect your life at home. Your may have had enough with trying to help you stop abusing prescription drugs and they may file for a divorce. This can also start to cause liver, brain, and kidney damage. It can also cause your circulatory system to start having irregularities. You could even extremely dangerous high fevers or hypertension and hypotension.
There has been an upward trend in the increase of prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse by adults in the United States has increased by 8% in the years from 1999 to 2012. Within those years the use of eleven different drug classes has increased. Some of which include antihyperlipidemic agents, antidepressants, prescription proton-pump inhibitors, and muscle relaxants. This increase of more prescription drugs being used persisted after the change in age distribution of the population.
Even the rate for prescription drug abuse among children and teenagers has increased. In the year 2014 there was a 12% increase from the ages 18 to 25 year olds. That used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. This age group had the highest growth in use of these drugs. There was a 6% increase from the age 12 to 17. Then only a 5% increase in adults who were 26 years and older.
In 2014 more than 1,700 young from the ages 18 to 24. This was nearly a 4-fold increase from the year 1999. In the year 1999 there were 418 overdose deaths from the ages 18 to 25. That is around nearly 5 people a day. There were 119 emergency room visits but only 22 treatments were admitted.
Another chart shows a 2.2-fold increase from 2002 to 2015 in the amount of overdose deaths in men and women from the United States. There are more male deaths than women deaths. There was also a 1.9-fold increase of deaths in both males and female in the overdose of prescribed opioids.
About 24 percent of teenagers so about every one in four has misused a prescription drug. This is a 33 percent increase in over a five-year period (Cassie Goldberg). Also that kids are not afraid if there parent catches them abusing a prescribed rather than illegal drugs. Some teens believe that abusing prescription drugs is actually safer than abusing illegal street drugs. Around every one in eight teens have abused prescribes stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall at least once. Then about 6 percent of teens have abused these drugs with the past month. Which is a four percent increase from 2008.
If you suspect that your loved one or one of your friends has an addiction or is starting to abuse prescription drugs. Then you need to get them help right away. Contact your health care provider and tell them what is going on. The doctor can give you a list of referrals for drug treatment programs. There are different components that could come to play for the patient when trying to get treatment.
This could involve detoxification, counseling, and medication. There is also two main categories for treating drug addiction. One being contingency management and the other being cognitive behavioral therapy. The behavioral treatment with help the patient to stop using drugs. It will change their way of thinking and bad behavioral habits. They learn how to deal with their cravings and how to stay away from a relapse. This treatment may done with family, individual, or group counseling.
If the patient is addicted to opioids, then they can take other medication to treat it. These drugs, for example, buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone all counter the effects of opioids. They help to relieve the symptoms and cravings the patient may feel developing withdrawals. These medications are accompanied by behavioral treatments and psychosocial supports. This is known as medication-assisted treatment or MAT.
Patients who are abusing sedatives should stop taking them by themselves. The side effects a patient could get from withdrawal can be life threatening. These patients should receive detoxification with medical supervision. The dosage they are taking should be modified gradually. Also inpatient and outpatient counseling may benefit the patient through this process as well. Changing the way the patient thinks and what they expect using cognitive-behavioral therapy can help as well.
If the patient is abusing Stimulants there is not much that can be done to treat it. There are not any FDA approved medications yet that help treat this. So the treatment process depends on the patient, typically you can lower the dose of the stimulant they are taking to ease into the withdrawal symptoms. The following that would behavioral treatment and a detoxification process.
There are ways to help prevent prescription drug abuse. The first line of defense would be the clinicians. Around 80 percent of Americans have visited their health care professional within the past year. The physician can help to recognize a problem in the misuse of prescription drugs. If it is confirmed that the patient has problem, the physician can write down a referral and set goals for the patient. Doctors should watch for the frequency that a patient needs a refill of a medication. Also to be aware if the patient may be "doctor shopping". Which is, the patient jumping from doctor to doctor to get prescribed drugs.
Patients can also help themselves by following a certain set of protocols. First and foremost the patient should always follow the instructions given by the pharmacist. Also, know the possible effects of combining drugs that are not compatible. Also always talk to your doctor before changing your dosage or even stopping the medication. Patients should not share medication or take medication that was not prescribed to them. If your medication is expired you should dispose of it properly by following the FDA.
The last line of defense is the pharmacist. The pharmacist is the one that instructs the patient how to take the medication and the side effects. Pharmacists also watch for false prescriptions and alterations. Usually pharmacists are the first to noticed a problematic pattern in prescription drug abuse. Pharmacies also have the ability to alert other pharmacies of false prescriptions. Both physicians are able to use PDMPs to help track opioids usage in patients.
The manufacturing of a drug can help prevent the misuse of drugs as well. There are physical or chemical barriers which does not allow the patient to crush or dissolve drug products. There is also an antagonist combinations that counteract the drug if released when the drug is manipulated. Some drugs if taken the wrong way have negative effects on the body. Also some of new molecular entities or prodrugs attach a chemical that makes the drug inactive if not taken orally.
There are so many dangers that are that come from abusing prescription drugs that kids, teens, and adults do not know about they should be more aware. There is always a reason for a patient to start abusing prescription drugs. Although there are ways to tell if the someone is misusing prescription drugs. Then there is an increase in the trend of taking prescription drugs among kids, teens, and adults. With all the dangers from abusing these prescription drugs, hopefully the patients will become more aware and try to get help.
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