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Prescription Drug Abuse Signs and Symptoms

It is no wonder that America has the highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the world. We have drugs for everything that ails us and drugs to counter the unwanted effects of those drugs. The most widely abused pharmaceutical drugs are opiates and opiate derivatives for pain, CNS stimulants for ADD, ADHD, and narcolepsy, and CNS depressants for anxiety and many other psychological disorders.

Prescription Drug Exposures

The current exposure to prescription drugs involves many factors that increase the possibility of abuse. They are easily obtainable in the family medicine cabinet, on the street, and over the internet. But a major concern is the profitability of these drugs through illicit sales. Any person who has access to prescription drugs becomes a prime candidate for other abusers to obtain their drugs. The social network integrates people for money, including dealers, “pill mills”, and those who receive legitimate prescriptions, but, sell their excess to others.

Prescription Drug Effects

Each type of drug presents different signs and symptoms as they work for different reasons. Opiate drugs and CNS depressants slow down brain and bodily activities while CNS stimulants speed them up. Abuse of any of prescription drug can be dangerous when used by someone other than intended, in high amounts or frequencies, or by alternative routes of administration.

Prescription Drug Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Each type of drug may present different signs and symptoms. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse,Prescription drug abuse is the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes.” Prescription drug abusers often exhibit signs of abuse by:

drug abuse signs

Changes in behavior and sleeping patterns are signs someone is abusing prescription drugs.

  1. Obsessing or compulsively using prescription drugs
  2. Using more of the drugs than prescribed or more often
  3. Fraudulently obtaining prescriptions through forgery, lies, or doctor shopping
  4. Running out of prescriptions before time to refill
  5. Crushing and snorting, or injecting prescription drugs
  6. Signs of paraphernalia such as needles, spoons, straws, or rolled up dollars
  7. Using prescription drugs to enjoy activities, to elevate mood, or to enhance physical or psychological functions
  8. Using prescription drugs to alleviate unwanted physical or psychological symptoms
  9. Withdrawals symptoms
  10. Changes in behaviors
  11. Increased behaviors revolving around drug use
  12. Changes in sleeping patterns
  13. Psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, confusion, memory and other cognitive difficulties.
  14. Signs of physical effects such as nausea, stomach pains, headaches, rapid or slow breathing, sweating, dilated or pinpointed pupils, hypertension, hypotension, increased or decreased energy, motivation or alertness, drowsiness, sedation, or “nodding off”
  15. Overdose
  16. Engaging in risky, unethical, criminal, or other dangerous behaviors

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