Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem with an estimated 50 million people over the age of 12 and above taking the medication for non-medical purposes. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that the second most popular abused drugs include stimulants, sedatives, tranquilizers, and pain medication. The rise in prescription drug abuse can be attributed to its availability since physicians are prescribing medications for every type of health issue. Sit in on any Narcotics Anonymous or other drug recovery meeting and you will be surprised at how many individuals in the rooms are there seeking support for prescription drug addiction.
What is Prescription Drug Abuse?
This type of drug abuse is an ongoing brain disease that causes the user to compulsively seek out drugs despite its harmful effects on the human body, and the people surrounding the person. The initial reason to take the drugs starts out voluntary, but as the brain changes, the need for drugs becomes intense and out of control.
Numerous Negative Effects
Some people may experience serious mental and physical changes to the body which can lead to immediate and long-term problems when they are using prescription drugs. Careers have ended, families have been destroyed and permanent harm or death can often be the end result because of reckless behavior.
People that abuse prescription drugs often neglect their personal life because their obsession becomes overpowering. Job performance and the school can also be affected. Some prescription drug users are so overly addicted to the drug that they endanger their children by leaving them home unattended for a long period of time.
Other serious behaviors related to prescription drug abuse include dangerous risks and hazardous situations. People who take drugs become out of control, losing touch with reality. They may put themselves or others in life-threatening situations by behaving violently, blacking out, having unprotected sex with people they don’t know, or driving under the influence for example.
Prescription drugs can be just as addictive as illegal drugs and both types of addicts consistently make high-risk choices that could easily have tragic consequences.
The Effects of Prescription Drugs on the Human Body
When a person abuses drugs for a long period of time, it can have a major effect on how the body, particularly the brain and nervous system, functions. A person may experience loss of appetite, increased heart rate, insomnia, menstrual problems, and high blood pressure. More serious issues include seizures, mood swings, depression, headaches, lung damage, and memory loss.
Consequences of a Drug-Related Crime
Drug crimes carry serious consequences and could affect a person for the rest of their life. Drug possession, trafficking, and distribution can carry minimum sentences, even for first-time offenders. A convicted offender may suffer penalties such as jail or prison time, lofty court fines, loss of driver’s license, reduction in job options, drug treatment programs, loss of property, and probation.
According to DWI attorney, Evan Levow, in offenses involving a vehicle, “once your insurance company discovers the conviction, they will surcharge you thousands of dollars over 3 years.” Knowledgeable representation may be able to fight your drug charges in court, so your best bet is to seek legal counsel if you find yourself charged or arrested for a drug offense involving prescription drugs.
Using medications for anything other than the purpose they were originally prescribed for, including altering the dosage, can be dangerous and it can lead to a variety of serious, long-term problems involving your career, personal life, mental and physical health, and the loved ones around you. Be careful to research any medications prescribed to you by a doctor, to check their level of possibility for chemical dependency and other side effects.