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Prescription drugs, also know as prescription medications, are drugs that can be obtained from a pharmacy with written permission and instructions from a licensed physician or dentist. In fact, there's a very good reason why prescription drugs are supposed to be taken under a doctor's direction- if used improperly, they can be extremely dangerous.
Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs
In spite of what many people think, abusing prescription drugs is NOT safer than abusing illicit drugs. Here's why:
- Dosage: A doctor knows how long it takes for a pill or capsule to dissolve in a person's stomach, be released into the bloodstream, and reach the brain. An individual abusing a prescription drug may take a higher dosage than is safe for the body or administer the drug through means other than it was originally intended. A combination of these things can potentially lead to overdose.
- Side Effects: While prescription drugs are taken in order to treat a particular condition or illness, they do come with an added risk of side-effects. Side effects can range from nausea and vomiting, to blood clots and seizures. Often, when an individual is abusing a prescription medication, their risk for experiencing side effects is drastically increased.
- Addiction: Addiction is real and dangerous possibility when it comes to the abuse of prescription drugs. Taking a drug for any reason other than it is prescribed, is extremely unsafe. Studies have shown that when people take a medication to help with a diagnosed condition, they are unlikely to become addicted.
Laws & Consequences
- Prescription drugs are considered to be “controlled substances” which are substances that can lead to abuse and dependence. It is illegal to possess Rx drugs that are not prescribed to you, to have a prescription that has not been completed and signed from the doctor whose name is on it, or to sell drugs that have been prescribed to you.
- Conviction of the abuse of a controlled substance includes jail time, fines, possible life long criminal record, and is considered a felony.
- Driving while under the influence of an illegally obtained prescription drug can also lead to a DUI. Once a conviction or DUI is on your record it can be very difficult to obtain employment.
Short Term: increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, disturbed sleeping, nausea, hallucinations, hyper excitability, irritability, panic, and psychosis convulsions, seizures, and death.
Long Term: permanent damage to blood vessels of the heart and brain, high blood pressure, damage to the liver, kidney and lungs, strong psychological dependence, depression, brain damage, stroke, and epilepsy.