When you think about drug abuse, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Most of us think about cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and any other host of illicit drugs. However, it might come as a shock to learn that the most common type of substance abuse today is from that of prescription drugs. Even though you might be thinking that doesn’t make any sense, it is a real problem that affects countless individuals every day.
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the US. Sure, cocaine use might have gone down, but other things are taking its place. Would you believe that about a third of all individuals over the age of 12 that used drugs got started by taking a non-medical prescription drug? Out of that same group of individuals, 70 percent of those who were hooked on prescription pain pills ended up getting them from someone they knew. Only 5 percent got them from dealers or online.
Most Commonly Used Prescription Drugs
While there are a significant amount of prescription drugs being abused, the most common are Oxycontin, Vicodin, Morphine, and Opana. The amount of prescriptions that were filled for these drugs has risen at an alarming rate in just the last few years alone. It makes you wonder how many of these people are lying to their physician to get these drugs in their possession. Are they using them for their aches and pains or selling them on the street to make a quick buck? While opiates can be effective in treating certain conditions, they can be deadly when combined with alcohol and other drugs.
How many times have you watched a sporting event only to hear about someone being banned because they were taking a performance-enhancing drug? Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and a number of other depressants can help those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, when you don’t have ADHD, they tend to give you the speed and energy you need to overcome anything that might come your way.
Many people are taking these pills and crushing them up so they can inject or snort the powder. In doing so, it gets the drug into the system extremely quickly, as well as intensifies the effects of the drug. This is more dangerous than just taking the pill alone. Many of those who wind up addicted to prescription drugs end up switching over to heroin because it saves them money, and it is a lot easier to get than prescription drugs.
How Big of a Problem is Prescription Drug Abuse?
Many people don’t think prescription drug abuse is a problem because the pills have been approved by the FDA. Parents often don’t understand just how risky these pills are. They end up giving the pills to a friend or family member because of an ache or pain, even though they weren’t prescribed for them. With so many kids today abusing the drugs, you need to do everything you can to keep them locked up and out of sight. Discuss all of the dangers associated with prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drug abuse has affected all of us in some way, shape or form. It wasn’t a single person that caused the problem, so a single person cannot fix it. We have to work together and take steps to keep prescription drugs off the street and locked up. If you have any unused medications, you need to dispose of them properly. Don’t just throw something in the trash. You will be surprised at how many people will break into homes and tear through garbage cans just to fuel an addiction. Help do your part to put an end to the cycle now.
Also read our article on Nicotine addiction.