What exactly constitutes prescription drug abuse?
Prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication not prescribed for you, in a way other than prescribed (for example, taking too much or for other reasons like to get high. When abused, prescription drugs can be as dangerous as “street” drugs, with similar effects on the brain, including the possibility of addiction. Prescription drug abuse is illegal, even though most abusers get them from friends and family. Almost 2.2 million people 12 and older abused prescription opioids, including pain relievers, stimulants, and sedatives, for the first time in 2009 (similar to marijuana).
Abuse of prescription drugs can produce serious health effects, including addiction. Commonly abused classes of prescription medications include opioids (for pain), central nervous system depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy). Opioids include hydrocodone (Vicodin®), oxycodone (OxyContin®), propoxyphene (Darvon®), hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), meperidine (Demerol®), and diphenoxylate (Lomotil®). Central nervous system depressants include barbiturates such as pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal®), and benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium®) and alprazolam (Xanax®). Stimulants include dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®), methylphenidate (Ritalin® and Concerta®), and amphetamines (Adderall®).
Long-term use of opioids or central nervous system depressants can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Opioids can produce drowsiness, constipation and, depending on amount taken, can depress breathing. Central nervous system depressants slow down brain function; if combined with other medications that cause drowsiness or with alcohol, heart rate and respiration can slow down dangerously. Taken repeatedly or in high doses, stimulants can cause anxiety, paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures, irregular heartbeat, or seizures.And this is illegal….results could be getting fired from your job, not getting offered a job, or getting arrested.