Who Engages in Prescription Drug Abuse?
The epidemic of prescription drug use is a serious one. Most people that abuse prescription drugs are doing so without a doctor’s approval. They are using their medication in other ways other than prescribed by a doctor. Some may also be getting it from someone else. This can lead to drug dependence and addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug abuse continues to be a significant problem in the United States. In 2010, approximately 2.7 percent of the population were users of psychotherapeutic drugs taken non-medically. Among adolescents, prescription drugs and over the counter medications account for most of the commonly abused illicit drugs by high school seniors.
Engaging in Prescription Drug Abuse
Anyone who uses a prescribed medication in any form other than prescribed use is engaging in abuse of the drug. This can be done by anyone who has been prescribed medication to take at certain times, but takes it more often than necessary. Others who engage in the misuse of prescription drugs can include:
- Someone who steals another person’s prescription and uses it without a medical purpose. Most often, these individuals may use the drug for getting high.
- A person who takes the drug in other than how it should be taken. This can mean that a person might crush it to smoke it or snort it, and even inject it.
- If a person takes a larger dose than directed, then they are misusing their medication. Many prescription drugs can become addictive when misused this way.
Prescription drugs can be effective in treating many painful disorders when used as directed by a doctor. When they are used the wrong way or for the wrong reasons, such as getting high, then it is considered abuse, and it is also illegal.
Can a Person Get Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse?
If someone has developed a dependence on a medication, then they may need to seek treatment. Prescription abuse is as serious problem and many people are not aware of the risks involved, including how easily a person can get addicted to certain types of drugs. Many think that since they are prescribed medications, that they will not develop dependence to them. But, on the contrary, they can cause harm to a user both physically and psychologically.
If you or a loved one need help with an addiction to prescription medications, then contacting an addiction counselor will be the best decision. You can talk to them about the various treatment options available, and ask them any other questions you may have regarding the consequences of medication misuse.
Can a Person Get In Trouble for Engaging in Prescription Drug Abuse?
Misusing prescription drugs, sharing them with others, and selling the prescription drugs can get you or a loved one in legal trouble. A person can go to jail and be charged with illegal use of prescription drugs. Most of the abused drugs are considered controlled substances. Many of the people that face charges are using them without a prescription. There are federal laws against the use of prescription medications in illegal ways.
The best way to avoid legal issues is to stop misusing prescription medication, and talk to a drug counselor as soon as possible if you or a loved one requires addiction treatment.