1. What is prescription drug abuse?
Prescription drug abuse is the use of prescription drugs not as they are intended to be used. Using medications in larger quantities than prescribed without a prescription is considered prescription drug abuse.
2. How prevalent is prescription drug abuse?
Only three years ago, the monthly number of Americans using prescription drugs was over 7 million. This number is staggering and larger than all other major illegal drug abuse combined over the same period of time. Over the past decade new channels such as buying drugs online from Canada and from prescription drug dealers on the street has increased abusers.
3. What are commonly abused prescription medications?
Commonly abused prescription drugs include stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin; opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin; Depressants such as Xanax and Valium and Ambien as well as over the counter medications such as cough medicine and antihistamines.
4. How do people get prescription drugs to abuse?
Young adults and teenagers cite their parents drug cabinet as the source of their prescription drugs. In other cases people can order them online, buy they at drug stores and also find them on the streets sold by traditional drug dealers. In some cases doctors over-prescribe medications.
5. Where is prescription drug abuse happening?
Prescription drug use is not limited to any one geographical area, it affects people all over the United States and in other parts of the world. Sometimes prescription drug abuse especially the abuse of opioids can later lead to other types of drug use to drugs such as heroin.
6. Is there treatment for prescription drug abuse?
The good news is there is treatment for prescription drug abuse. Rehabilitation centers have specialized programs for individuals suffering from addiction to prescription drugs. These programs have high success rates and can help people get into recovery.
7. What are signs of prescription drug abuse?
Changes in behavior, moodiness, change in sleeping or eating patterns, secretive behavior, inability to function without taking their medicine are all signs of prescription drug abuse. In teens noticing that drugs are missing from the medicine cabinet is also a sign of abuse.
8. What are the consequences of prescription drug use?
Prescription drugs are as dangerous if not more dangerous than street drugs. Often times people believe that they are less harmful because they are used to treat medical conditions but when used without a prescription and in combination with other substances, prescription drug use has very negative consequences including overdose and death.
9. Can someone recover from prescription drug use?
Yes, someone can recover from prescription drug use. An intervention can be helpful for someone that is in denial of a problem with prescription pills.
10. Are some people at a higher risk for abusing prescription drugs?
Addiction affects people of all races and all socioeconomic statues. Some people are predisposed to addiction but not all become addicted. Individuals that have struggled with other addictions can also be at higher risk for prescription drug abuse.
Photo courtesy of: flickr
If you or someone you love needs help with prescription drug addiction, please contact me today and I can make a referral.
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.