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Prescription Drug Abuse

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Prescription drug abuse is when a person takes a medication for a use in which it was not intended. The medications are almost always a prescription written by a health care professional in a small dosage. Painkillers, sedatives, and stimulates are among the most commonly prescribed drugs that are abused. Women are most likely to become addicted to sedatives than any other group. About 20 % of the people in the U.S. have at one time or another taken a prescribed medication in a way for which it is not intended.

Heroin, cocaine and other illicit drug abuse has become an epidemic, however prescription drugs are abuse more often than these. Marijuana is still the most abused drug in the United States.

The age group 17-25 abuse Oxycontin and Vicodin more often. An estimated 2 million teenagers and young adults abuse prescription medication. Among this age group over 6 million have said it is safer to use prescription medication just for the fun of it now and then because after all a doctor has prescribed them. Steroid abuse has also increased. Many athletes use steroid to enhance their performance in their given sport. Youth look at athletes as heroes and think that if an athlete can use them, why can't they.

The elderly are one group in which prescription drug abuse has risen. Many of the older population take medication to treat depression and once they begin to feel better with a small dosage, then they will often tell their doctor that they need more.

Ease of obtaining a prescription medication has given rise to the misuse in the last few years. Physicians will prescribe medications such as OxyContin, Vicodin and other drugs for all types of aliments, and not just the problem these drugs are intended for. It is very easy to obtain medication from the Internet without a prescription.

While some drugs such as Valium and Xanax are not highly addictive medications a person can build up a tolerance to these very easily and they in will then need a stronger dose or need for it more often. This is the way most abuse begins.

If a person cannot stop taking a medication after the problem has been resolved, they are abusing the drug because their brain has become use to the artificial chemicals and has stopped producing them on its own.

Some of the signs of drug abuse include mood swings, taking more of the drug than is prescribed, stealing prescriptions and doctor shopping (which is the act of going from doctor to doctor asking for prescriptions).

Drug treatment centers will elevate a person and decide if a person can begin with a detox treatment or if other methods are needed. In rehab programs a person is not only treated for their addiction but also is counseled to help them understand why they feel they need the drug.

The best thing someone who is abusing prescription medication can do is admit they have a problem and ask for help.

REFERENCES:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/prescriptiondrugabuse.html
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/prescr_drg_abuse.html

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