Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription drug addiction starts with a person becoming dependent upon a medication. The addiction can be a result of taking a drug in a manner that's inconsistent with doctor orders, such as taking it in a higher dose or more often than prescribed. Addictions can arise when people take medicines for non-medical reasons, or when they take medicine prescribed to someone else. Pain killers, tranquilizers, sedatives and stimulants are among the prescription drugs that can lead to addiction, as can the use of steroids.
When most people think of drug use, they think of drugs such as meth and cocaine. However, addiction can also occur where the drug in question is legal. Some health care experts believe that the legality and perceived safety of the drug can lead people to trust them and believe that they are harmless. Drug abuse can result from factors such as a need to relieve pain or to relax. Some prescription drug addictions come over time as a person uses medicines long after the prescription period has ended, and some come on rapidly.
Prescription drug addiction can strike people of both genders and at any age. Pain relievers such as oxycodone, codeine and morphine are the most frequently abused, due to the euphoric feeling they provide. That euphoria can lead to a psychological dependence, and if the addict tries to stop, they often endur painful withdrawal symptoms.
Tranquilizers and sedatives are usually prescribed for anxiety and sleeplessness. They do induce drowsiness, and can lead to dependency. The effects of sedative intoxication are similar to those of alcohol intoxication- people feel a lack of inhibition, but sedatives can cause dependence even if they are taken as prescribed. Tranquilizers can lower the heart and respiratory rate to dangerous or fatal levels.
Stimulants and steroids have been used to treat issues such as obesity, asthma and neurological problems. The potential for misuse has caused the rate of prescription for these drugs to decline, and these drugs are attractive to users because of their effects on energy, attention span and alertness.
The symptoms of prescription drug addiction can include the selling or stealing of prescriptions, taking the drug in a higher-than-prescribed dose, and doctor-shopping (getting prescriptions from multiple doctors). The complications from the abuse of prescription drugs can include hallucinations, memory loss, reduced respiration and tremors. It can easily lead to overdose, coma and even death.