Prescription Drug Abuse

Its amazing, the body. How fast it works to recover from injury and in this case surgery. In fact, I am pretty sure the medicine they gave me for the pain, made things slower. So, I stopped taking it. Don’t worry, it wasn’t like an antibiotic or anything, just pain medication that has a warning label on it that states it may be addicting, so it was a good thing I stopped, any way.

Fortunately, I have always been a person who does not have an addictive personality. I can start and stop anything on a whim and in most cases I grow bored before anything has a chance to become addictive. But, this is not the case for a lot of people. For this reason, prescription drug abuse is one of the most common types of  drug abuse and with medicine cabinets riddled with a variety of prescription drugs, we may be supplying young adults with all they need to get high.

[singlepic id=29 w=320 h=240 float=right]There are four categories that prescription drugs will fall into:

  1. depressants
  2. opioid and morphine derivatives
  3. stimulants
  4. anti-depressants
Because of their potential for addiction and abuse, the DEA places them into the same category as cocaine and heroine. It is imperative that we not only control our own use the prescribed drugs, but that we monitor no one else is using them either. Not only is it illegal to “give” one to a friend (it is considered drug dealing and comes with the same consequences) but abuse and addiction is more risky with prescription drugs than street drugs due to their high potency.
A dear friend of mine overdosed from street drugs, and I was devastated by his near death. Fortunately, he was found and was surrounded by people who love him. But there are so many out there who die from drug abuse and addiction. We hear of celebrities who regularly check themselves into rehab like its going out of style from alcohol or (prescription) drug abuse, not to mention the countless lives lost to overdosing.
The following information was taken from helpguide.org:

Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse

  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your drug use.
  • You’re using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Your drug use is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
  • Your drug use is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

Common signs and symptoms of drug addiction

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but you use anyway.

Warning signs that a friend or family member is abusing drugs

Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. If you’re worried that a friend or family member might be abusing drugs, look for the following warning signs:

Physical warning signs of drug abuse

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual.
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.

Behavioral signs of drug abuse

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities).

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.
There is no time like the present to talk to someone you may know about a problem they may be having. It is better to say something and be wrong, than to say nothing and be right. Remind them it is because you love and care about them and you are concerned that you are talking to them about a problem they may have.
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