Prescription drugs are incredibly helpful, for those who need them. There is a growing trend in society of abusing prescription drugs when they serve no useful purpose to the user. The side effects to such behavior are many and severe.Prescription drugs help people to live more productive lives, and alleviate symptoms manifested in the form of depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. When they're prescribed correctly to treat a specific condition, prescription drugs are invaluable. However, if taken recreationally by an individual who doesn’t suffer from the condition that requires medication, prescription drugs are dangerous.
The reasons people take prescription drugs without needing them can vary. Some are prescribed for concentration, so teenagers may take them during exams. Others will encourage weight-loss, so people believe one or two could be just what they need. Of course, many prescription drugs are given to ease pain: when that headache just won’t go away, strong medication might seem like the only option. But each and every time an individual takes unnecessary prescription medicine, that individual is risking more than they can know.
A whole host of side effects are the first major risk, and each type of drug comes with its own extensive list of potential problems. For example, abusing opioids (or pain relievers) can decrease your cognitive functions, and harm the respiratory system to the point of inducing coma. Depressants, taken for anxiety, have significant risks too. Excessive use can lead to seizures, or slow your heartbeat and breathing. Stimulants, used to treat ADHD, can also cause heart failure and seizures, even raising your body temperature to dangerous levels.
Of course, the second major risk is addiction. Prescriptions drugs can be extremely addictive, which is why many GPs refuse to repeat a prescription without seeing the patient first. If the medication hasn’t been prescribed to you by a GP in the first place, it’s highly likely that abusing the drug will turn into a dependency.
Understanding and admitting that you have an addiction is the first step to recovery. It may be difficult to come forward, but millions of people are treated for prescription drug addiction every year. With help, support and understanding, an addiction to prescription drugs can be overcome.