Medications that are prescribed relieve pain, calm stress or bring sleep are a benefit for millions of patients. However, when these drugs are used for non-medical reasons they can lead to addiction.
Experts conclude that some patients who take sedatives, stimulants, tranquilizers, pain killers or opioids often begin using the drugs inappropriately and can fall into addiction that can dominate their life and damage health.
The other danger is that patients with chronic pain may keep a supply of drugs in their home for their medical use and in some cases the drugs are stolen by a family member and sold on the street. Including morphine, which is often used in large doses for patients with terminal cancer.
Pain prescription drugs used after surgery, and can often be taken longer than needed and the patient can eventually become addicted. Some people even mix the drugs with alcohol and other drugs, which can be deadly.
Addicted prescription drug abusers will often go from doctor to doctor to find physicians who will prescribe pills and then use different pharmacies to escape detection and hide their addiction.
Ritalin is a drug used to treat children with attention deficit disorder. It is becoming a drug for abuse. It is crushed and snorted, dissolved and injected or mixed with other street drugs to create a “speedball”.
Other concerns of misuse are centered on the codeine pill Vicodin and OxyContin, a form of synthetic morphine. OxyContin has taken hold of places where some street drugs are more difficult to obtain. When this drug is used properly it is can be life saving. When it’s abused it has the potential to take lives.
There is a mounting fear in rural areas in the eastern states that they will be combating a growing wave of drug abuse involving the painkiller prescribed for terminal cancer patients and others with extreme pain. Addicts crush the tablet and snort it and one dose can cause a euphoric wallop. Transition from patient to addict is happening in an alarming rate.
. Anyone is susceptible to prescription drug addiction, with the greatest risk among women, the elderly and adolescents. Prescription drug abuse among ages 12 to 17, and 18 to 25, is particularly damaging to health because their brains are still developing and the drug use can cause severe problems to their health.
There is an estimated 5 million heroin and crack cocaine addicts.
Now we have 4 million people addicted to prescription drugs. Where will it end?
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