In this day and age of modern medicine, where all you need to fix anything is a simple pop a little pill from the medicine cabinet or pharmacy, and you are good to go. No more pain, clear and focused, a happy and cheerful disposition, whatever that little 10mg bombshell does works. And, it can’t be bad for me because it was prescribed by my doctor. Does this sound like something you have heard, or even thought before? It is hard to see the potential for the abuse of a substance that does not stand out in our minds as being an illegal, harmful, or addictive, or else why would my doctor give it to me? The facts are in and the verdict is out, over-the-counter drugs (OTC Drugs) and prescription medications are the most abused substances in the world today.
Medications that are 100% legal and prescribed to you by your medical practitioner house some of the most addictive chemicals and substances around today. Legal drugs that get you very high, make you hallucinate, relax, and give you the thrill of euphoria is something that you can see has all the necessary ingredients to make it very tempting. And worst of all, these drugs are legal and easily obtainable from the pharmacy, gas station, or even the local supermarket or corner shop.
Defining OTC Drugs
There is a strong chance that you have some of these highly addictive substances lying around in your medicine cabinet, without knowing the real and potential dangers that they may pose. OTC medications are designed to fight symptoms related to the common cold, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion and other similar and familiar ailments encountered from time to time. These kinds of medications are usually sold at your local pharmacy, gas station, and supermarket, and goes rather unchecked. Over-the-counter medication commonly contain dextromethorphan (DXM) or ephedrine as their active ingredients. Both carry harmful properties when used heavily. In more recent years, medications containing codeine – a popular cough suppressant – has seen its classification change due to the rate of addiction, overdose and deaths.
Classes of Prescription and OTC Drugs, and Their Abuses
Cold and Cough Medicine:
Many of these medications contain DXM, an ingredient designed to stop a runny nose, but used improperly or in excessive amounts can lead to a host of physical and psychological impairments.
Include ibuprofen and acetaminophen and are found in popular brands such as Tylenol and Advil.
Offers users concentrated bursts of caffeine, releasing instant energy, and can be found in many popular energy drinks and energy tinctures.
Diet pills are marketed as an easy way to boost metabolism and loss weight. They have over recent years been under much scrutiny for their dangerous ingredients.
Laxatives and Diuretics:
Designed to help those with digestive issues, but is often ill-used for weight-loss
Motion Sickness Pills:
To alleviate sickness during travel or high-movement participation events, and are popular through brands like Benadryl ad Dramamine.
The abuse and misuse of these OTC and prescription drugs have alternative effects if used in an abusive manner, leading users to lightheadedness, drowsiness, impaired judgement, blurred vision, loss of muscle movement, change in heart rate, nausea or vomiting, and slowed breathing, as well as hallucinations and physical distortion.
The abuse of these household medications has dangerous and longer-term side effects that can lead to serious and dire consequences. Their addiction can be more a psychological than physical one, where they crave it more out of habit due to a mental fixation, but certain types of these drugs can lead to serious addiction and withdrawal.
The Effects of Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse
The ramifications of OTC drug abuse can range from very mild to severe, depending on the type of drug taken, the amount taken, the size and weight of the user, and the combination with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs. Mixing these OTC or prescription drugs with other illicit drugs or alcohol may lead to serious issues, like an overdose or organ damage.
OTC medications are absolutely capable of having side effects on par with those of harder, more illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Long-term risks include:
* Tolerance (needing more to feel the same effects)
* Thinner blood
* High blood pressure
* Heart attack or stroke
* Liver and/or kidney damage
* Stomach bleeding
* Memory loss
* Gastrointestinal bleeding
Taking the Necessary Remedial Steps
Facing and dealing with addiction is never an easy and pleasant task, but one that is essential to the future well-being of loved ones, or even yourself. The abuse of OTC and prescription medication is one that is becoming more and more of a trend among teens and preteens, trying to fit in with the social circles and circumstances, giving in to peer pressure, or simply trying escape boredom. The abuse of these types of legal drugs have long-standing and far-reaching effects, both for the user and their loved ones, and could lead to irreparable damage and even death. Twin Rivers Rehab in Plettenberg Bay offers around the clock treatment to help deal with the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects associated with addiction and the damage it causes. There is nothing more important than the gift of life, so take the time to take of those you love. Many Blessings