The untimely death of pop star Michael Jackson has once again raised the question “Are prescription drugs beneficial or harmful for health?” I believe that a majority of people will speak for the motion. But a few, like me who have had the opportunity to know the reality, will speak against it. Yes, addiction to prescription drugs is scaling up.
Such drugs are definitely useful when used as directed by the physician. But often they are misused – taken in larger doses.
A survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2007 has shown that around 15% of the US high school students abuse prescription drugs. Addiction to such drugs is prevalent mostly among young adults between 18 – 25 years who are unaware of the inherent danger.
The causes are easy availability and a common belief that such drugs are not harmful since they have been prescribed by doctors. “A safe way to get the high” said a senior student.
3 groups of prescribed drugs are generally abused –
• Opioids prescribed for relieving pain e.g. Morphine like Kodian and Avinza, Oxycodone like OxyContin and Percocet.
• Central Nervous System depressants that are used for treating anxiety, sleeplessness, e.g., Barbiturates like Mebaral and Nembutal, Benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax.
• Stimulants that are prescribed to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), obesity, narcolepsy e.g. Detroamphetamine like Dexedrine and Adderall, Methylphenidate like Ritalin and Concerta.
So please be aware of prescribed drugs. Keep in mind the fine line that differentiates between using and abusing such drugs. Remember they are as dangerous as illegal drugs like brown sugar since they are highly addictive and dangerous. Consult a doctor immediately if you feel that someone in your family is abusing prescription drugs.