Prescription Drug Abuse

“At the age of twenty, I became an addict to a narcotic which began with a prescription following a surgery. In the weeks that followed [the operation] in addition to orally abusing the tablet, crushing it up enabled me to destroy the controlled release mechanism and to swallow or snort the drug. (It can also be injected to produce a feeling identical to shooting heroin.) The physical withdrawal from the drug is nothing short of agonizing pain.” —James

90% of Americans with a substance abuse problem starting smoking, drinking or using other drugs before age 18.

Prescription drug abuse is a reality we face today. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the three classes of prescription drugs that are often abused include: Opioids used to treat pain. Central nervous system (CNS) depressants, such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin), used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.

According to results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time within the past year.

In most cases prescription drug abuse is the leading factor in to why people use heroin. They can not afford to buy the pills anymore and move to something cheaper to give them a high. A pill on the streets is a $1 per milligram, so a 60 mg pill is $60. That is an expensive habit to have. Now a days heroin is about 4 or 5 bucks(or cheaper) for a bag which to keep from getting withdrawal symptoms someone might need $60 dollars worth of it. So to them it is either one pill or a days worth of heroin.

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Twelve reasons teens use prescription drugs:

62%: Easy to get from parent’s medicine cabinets
52%: Available everywhere
51%: They are not illegal drugs
50%: Easy to get through other people’s prescriptions
49%: Can claim to have prescription if caught
43%: They are cheap
35%: Safer to use than illegal drugs
33%: Less shame attached to using
32%: Easy to purchase over the internet
32%: Fewer side effects than street drugs
25%: Can be used as study aids
21%: Parents don’t care as much if caught

Many teens think prescription drugs are safe because they were prescribed by a doctor. But taking them for non-medical use to get high or “self-medicate” can be just as dangerous and addictive as taking illegal street drugs.

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