Prescription Drug Addiction
What is a prescription drug? It is any medicine that is regulated by law to require a doctor’s prescription before its purchase. Usually, the prescription drugs work by either restraining or endorsing chemical reactions in the brain. There are three dissimilar classes of prescription drugs that can determine an addiction:
- Stimulants – which are mainly prescribed for the disorder known as attention deficit hyperactivity
- Opiates – which are mainly prescribed for the treatment of severe or chronic pain
- Tranquilizers/Sedatives – which are mainly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety or sleep disorders
All of these prescription drugs can lead to the person who is taking them to become addicted. These drugs can only be prescribed by a licensed medical doctor, optometrist, dentist or veterinarian. Also, the doctor not only prescribes these drugs, but also the manner in which they need to be taken. There are some people who are predisposed to become addicted to these types of drugs, regardless the cause of the prescription: injury, chronic pain, or depression. Though, most of the people who actually become addicted to Prescription Drugs do not begin taking these drugs with the intention to become addicted to them.
Most of the individuals take these drugs as medication, which help them relieve their pain. But these drugs also have an effect of providing a pleasurable feeling. Also, these drugs may gradually develop a tolerance, so that it is needed to increase the amount of drugs administered in order to produce the required effect. This is why many prescription drugs can become physically or psychologically addictive, leading to Prescription Drug Addiction.
What are the dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction? As any other drug abuse, this one also is dangerous. The risks may differ depending on the type and quantity of drug abused. Most of the effects include:
- Altered states of consciousness
- Lack of coordination
- Gastrointestinal complaints, which may include nausea, diarrhea, and constipation
- Changes in appetite
- Depressed respiration
- Changes in blood pressure or heart rate
Can the Prescription Drug Addiction be treated? Yes, of course it can, like any other drug addiction. But the abrupt discontinuation of prescription drugs can lead to serious medical complications, such as convulsions or seizures. The withdrawal from these drugs needs to be attempted only under close medical supervision, as it can be dangerous otherwise. Withdrawal from drugs without appropriate medical monitoring can be life-threatening.
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