Prescription pills are incredibly prevalent in this day and age. They are used to treat pain, depression and lack of attention. While many of them genuinely do help those with certain afflictions, many prescription pills are highly addictive and can be easily abused. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that one in nine youths abused prescription drugs in 2010. A study released in 2011 by the National Library of Medicine estimates that 20% of the population has taken prescription pills for non-medicinal purposes.
Research performed by NIDA and the National Library of Medicine both illustrate that more and more, people are becoming addicted to pain pills. These studies show that the majority of prescription pill abusers receive them from friends or family. Some abusers will even falsify medical issues in order to receive these prescriptions. A poll taken in Wisconsin and Minnesota revealed that 34% of children with Adderall prescriptions were approached with offers to buy their pills.
What Pills Are Highly Addictive?
According to NIDA, prescription pill abuse is the second most common form of drug abuse in the United States. Prescription pills come in many different varieties. The below pills have been found by researches to be highly addictive, especially if not used as directed by the prescribing physician:
Many of these pills are prescribed to patients who have undergone surgery, are experiencing chronic pain or have just been in an accident. Pills prescribed to manage pain are generally the most addictive. Other addictive types of pills, like Xanax, are prescribed to deal with depression or mental disorders.
Adderall is in a category all its own. It is prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder. It has become incredibly popular with high school and college aged youth. It is often referred to as ‘college crack’ as it helps users focus and study. According to NIDA, 6.5% of high school students nationwide regularly abuse Adderall. Many students are balancing a job, college courses and a social life. At one point or another, they find out that this drug can help them manage it all. However, it is an incredibly dangerous drug with very damaging side effects when not used as prescribed – or used by those with no prescription at all.
The Food and Drug Administration has specifically issued warnings against misusing any type of prescription pills. Because of its recent popularity, they specifically noted that those suffering from ADD/ADHD should be the only ones to use Adderall, and should only take the prescribed doses.
What are Common Side Effects?
NIDA has stated that prolonged abuse of prescription pills can have a wide variety of health effects. Some side effects come from general use of the medication itself. However, many of these side effects can be avoided by using prescribed pills only as directed. Below are common side effects of the aforementioned prescription pills:
- Trouble breathing
- Decrease in brain function
- Heart rate issues
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mood swings
How Can I Avoid An Addiction?
According to NIDA, the best way to avoid an addiction to any prescription medication is to only use it as directed. If you are not prescribed medication, do not take any. Taking prescription pills that are prescribed for someone else is a quick route to addiction.
NIDA further advises that when your doctor prescribes medication, share any family or personal history of substance abuse and addiction. This will help your physician prescribe the best medication and doses for you. If you are prescribed medication for pain, and after some time you begin to develop a tolerance, do not worry. This is entirely normal as your body is adjusting to this new substance. Continue to communicate with your doctor throughout your treatment. Share any concerns or worries that you have about addiction with him. He will adjust your prescription, or simply ease your worries, to ensure a drug addiction does not form.
Practice Responsibility with Prescription Pills
Abusing prescription pills, prescribed or not, can result in very serious health effects. It is not worth forming a life threatening addiction. If you believe you have become addicted to prescription pills, seek help. If a physician has prescribed them to you, they will likely be able to help you or refer you to someone who can. If you were not prescribed the pills, seek a rehab facility or rehab counselor for assistance.
This article was provided by Alan Whelan. Alan has over three years of experience working in drug and alcohol rehab and is passionate about helping others to lead a clean and sober life.
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