The nonmedical use of prescription drugs has become an increasingly prevalent issue over the years. While most people are responsible with taking their medications as prescribed, prescription drug abuse is especially common among teens. The reasons for the high rate of prescription drug abuse vary by age, gender, and other factors including greater availability. Most commonly abused is over the counter pain relievers, opioids, central nervous system depressants for anxiety and sleep disorders, and stimulants.
Abusing prescription drugs is detrimental to our health, causing an array of side effects and can even be fatal. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, unintentional overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers have outnumbered those involving heroin and cocaine since 2007. Nonmedical use of prescription medications are often used to relieve stress, feel high, experiment with mental effects, improve concentration, or even to feel accepted. However, the consequences of over use of these drugs can cause more harm than good leading to troubled relationships, motor vehicle accidents, and of course addiction.
Prescription drug abuse is not a new problem, but one that deserves renewed attention. To prevent prescription drug abuse, patients should always follow medication directions as prescribed. It is also very important to never use another person’s medication, whether it be from a friend or family member. In homes with children or teens, medications should be placed out of sight or locked away in a safe place to avoid easy access. In addition, unused or expired medications should always be properly disposed of by FDA guidelines or at a designated Drug enforcement collection site.
- Sonya Singh
Sonya Singh earned a M.S. Biomedical Sciences and is now a Biochemistry instructor at Keiser University. She enjoys educating her students and community about current health issues and in her spare time she enjoys singing, reading and relaxing at the sunny beaches of South Florida!