Every day, over 2,000 new teens abuse prescription drugs in the United States alone. This epidemic is one that has not drawn as much attention as it needs. When prescription drugs are made readily available to teens, the chances of overdose can be fatal. Individuals from all walks of life sometimes feel the need to overdose on prescription drugs with drastic effects. It’s not a surprise that the dangers of prescription drugs have been ignored by many people, despite dramatically increased public awareness and education programs in the last decade or two.
Sometimes overdose can be accidental, and sometimes it is intentional. When individuals do not receive help for a drug overdose problem, the problem can become exacerbated. If no ill effects come right away, the individual may continue to take higher and higher doses of the drug to receive the same effect. Eventually, these overdoses can reach a fatal level.
Dangers of Prescription Drugs on the Body
Prescription drug overdose is nothing to write off. While these drugs may not be illegal, their misuse can have extremely harmful effects. Prescription drug overdose is a leading cause of drug-related deaths in the United States, and individuals who have a drug addiction should seek treatment immediately.
Even in the case that a prescription drug overdose does not kill the addicted person, prescription drug use can have terrible health effects over time. Most prescription drugs are meant to relieve a specific acute illness, so they are only safe to take for a limited amount of time and in small doses. Long-term use of these drugs in high quantities is not as well studied, so the effects can potentially be deadly. Most doctors do their best to make sure that patients can only receive the amount of medication that they need. When an individual finds a way to get more than the prescribed dose of medication or takes more than they should, health effects are likely to be a problem.
These health effects can be even more unpredictable when the individual gets prescription drugs from an untrustworthy source that isn’t regulated by a pharmacist. Fake prescription drugs are popping up on the market, and these can be dangerous. There is no one to regulate the quality or content of these drugs. When an addicted individual thinks they are getting one, fairly harmless drug, that drug might actually be mixed with more dangerous and volatile chemicals. For these reasons, taking drugs that are not regulated and prescribed to the individual is very harmful.
Dangers of Prescription Drugs vs. Street Drugs
Some people may think that prescription drug abuse is not a big deal. Many say there are bigger fish to fry with so many people addicted to hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. However, this is a misconception. Prescription overdose is a serious problem, and perhaps even more of an issue than hard drug overdose since there is so much misinformation surrounding this type of overdose.
The fact is that prescription overdose is the leading cause of drug-related deaths in the US. About 45% of drug-related deaths are caused from the dangers of prescription drugs and overdose, while 39% of deaths are caused by hard drug overdose from heroin, cocaine, and similar drugs. The epidemic in the US is perhaps fueled by large attempts to control hard drug use and fewer campaigns against prescription drug use. This is a serious problem in the US, and each individual that continues to be misinformed about prescription overdose is at risk of losing his or her life.
The Benefits of Seeking Treatment
Individuals who have any sort of drug addiction, whether it be to street drugs or prescription drugs, should seek treatment. Trained counselors can support the individual and help him get back on his feet. Many treatment facilities include support groups of peers who are also recovering from addiction.
Getting over the dangers of prescription drugs addiction can be extremely tough to do by yourself. There is a range of challenges, both physical and emotional, that will be hard to overcome during your recovery. Seeking treatment allows you to lean on others who have helped people in your position rise to their potential and be free of their addictions for good. The first step to getting better is to find a caring and knowledgeable treatment facility in your area.