Prescription drug are drugs used locally to treat people of various illnesses and disorders (Wolny,6), when these drugs are used illegally or without following prescribed instructions, these drugs will be abused. Illegal prescription of drugs is biggest health problem in not only United States but also Europe and other parts of the world. Prescription drug abuse occurs in all socio-economic and ethnic groups and nobody is immune of these drugs.
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Prescription drug abuse causes series of health problems, which may include irritation, restlessness, and increased rate of nausea, terrible mood swings and other minor ailments. Furthermore, greater use of abused drugs causes major problems including changes in brain activity, body physiological changes and in some circumstances leads to death.(Wolny 6). Prescription drug abuse is illegal, anybody found selling of those drugs is prosecuted.
Types of prescription drug abuse
Abused prescription drugs include depressants, stimulants, antidepressants, opioids and morphine derivatives. There many types of depressant drugs that have been abused for instance, Xanax, valium, Librium, amytal, Nembutal and other drugs. These drugs vary in their names and sizes. Opioids and morphine derivatives are drugs that are used to relieve the nervous system. They are mostly known as painkillers. They are in different forms e.g. liquid, tablets or capsules.
These drugs are most abused. Apart from morphine derivatives and depressants, stimulants are mostly used drugs. They increase alertness andenergy; stimulants also increase heartbeat, increase blood pressure, and increase the rate of breathing. When used for long time these drugs causehabit and the users cannot live without using them. In most instances, depressants appear as liquid and tablets, but can also appear as capsules. Another category of abused drugs is antidepressants. These include Prozac, Paxil, celexa and others. These drugs are mainly used to handle depression.
Effect of prescription drug abuse
Prescription drug abuse are associated with many effects both long terms and short term effects. Depressants causes many short term effects, including, slow brain function, dizziness, fever, confusion, slow pulse and breathing, poor concentration, addition, sluggishness, lack of coordination, lowered blood pressure and depression. High doses of depressants cause memory impairment, paranoia, irritability and poor coordination. Heavy use of sedatives and tranquilizer slow breath and rate of heart beat and even lead to death.
Heavy use of depressants lead to long term effects including depression, breathing problems, chronic fatigued, sexual problems and sleeping disorders. Continued use of these drugs causes dependency that increases cravings, panic and anxiety if user cannot get more. When addicted user withdraws from depressants, they get insomnia, nausea and body weakness. For the high users, withdrawal leads to detrimental effects such as high body temperatures, agitation, hallucination, convulsion and delirium. (Roberts,10) In addition, increase use of depressants can increase risk of high blood sugar, diabetes and weight. Furthermore, in a study conducted by Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) antipsychotic drug, a depressant, caused liver failure, heart problems and increased suicide cases.
Opioids and morphine derivatives, also known as painkillers have many short term and long term effects that are detrimental to human health. The short-term effects of these drugs include drowsiness, slowed breathing, constipation, unconsciousness, coma and nausea. Continued use or long term use of drugs lead to physical dependence and addition. Long-term use of these drugs leads to body adaptation to these drugs and withdrawal leads to effects such as restlessness, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes, muscle pain and bone pain. In addition, continued use of morphine drugs lead to body tolerance, this means that body cannot function without increased amount of dose to achieve desired high effect, this leads to addiction which lead to high problems like stealing. Opioids and morphine drugs can cause death when use in high doses. (Compton, Wilson &Noran, 20-30)
Depressants are most common abused prescription drug, user of stimulants cause depression, exhaustion and apathy. Stimulants cause addition, the user feel weak and long lasting exhaustion, this means that the user must always use these drugs to feel the energy. The long-term effects of stimulants are feeling of hostility or paranoia. High doses of stimulant may result in irregular breathing and high body temperatures. In addition, most stimulants also lead to headache, increased heartbeat as well as muscle weakness.
Antidepressant drugs are widely used and have high range of effects. The short-term effects of antidepressants are irritability, insomnia, violent actions and thoughts, nervousness or anxiety, hostility, tremors and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, antidepressants causes sweating, confusion and incoherent thoughts, psychosis, aggression, hallucinations, and paranoia. High doses of antidepressants lead to heart problems, liver failure, kidney failures and even death. The withdrawal symptoms of antidepressants are headaches, vomiting, insomnia, aggression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and tremors. Antidepressants increase addition when use and increase dependence. Also, antidepressants alters all boding functions and increases aggression especially to young people. (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 3-10)
Solution to prescription drug abuse
Getting solutions to prescription drug abuse is not an easy task; it needs combination of approaches and measures to tame this pandemic. The U.S Center for Disease and Prevention declared drug abuse as national pandemic, CDC further says that many lives and thousands of dollars are use every year. Therefore, prescription drug abuse needs formidable solutions and those solutions must be able to control the spread of prescription drug abuse. Some of the prosed solutions are, first, government must develop prescription-monitoring program, this programs should control and monitor drug prescriptions and ensure that all the drugs are clearly prescribe before use.
Importantly, the government must ensure that this program is funded and supported, monitoring program will be able to manage production and sell of drugs. Secondly, enact good legislative framework to govern prescription drugs, this legislative framework will assist clinicians adequately use prescription monitoring program. Legislation will enable the Food and Drugs authority and CDC to manage production and sale of genuine drugs. Good legislative framework also describe penalties and strict measure for those found producing, selling and even using prescription drugs abuse. Important, the government must not support the enforcement of legislations. (Estren, 24-37)
Thirdly, negotiate and facilitate data sharing, data sharing between different states and regions to curb drug trafficking. Different states must ensure that there is communication and information sharing within the concern departments. The data sharing include information on type of illegal prescription illegal, information of drug trafficking and information of stores and main sources of drug abuse. (Estren, 24-37)Information sharing include laws and regulations.
The negotiation and data sharing between different departments is important, this communication will enhance enforcement of necessary legislations. This is importantly because the police and law enforcement officers will use laws to curb spread of abused drugs. Another important solution to prescription drug abuse is requiring doctors and health care department to create database to record and track patient prescription. This is important because it will enable other doctors in future to follow patients’ drug use. In addition, creating a database will enable the doctor to know whether other doctors had prescribed the drug earlier.
For instance when doctors give patient prescription for a painkiller like OxyContin, the doctor could consult the database to see whether it had been prescribe earlier. Another important solution to prescription drug abuse is educating both patients and doctors, the patients must be thought about the importance of keeping the required prescription and importance of safeguarding the drugs. The patients need to understand the importance of safekeeping the drugs away from children. The doctors need to understand importance of basing prescriptions on scientific knowledge and not patient satisfaction.(Estren, 24-37)
Prescription drug abuse is using drugs in inappropriate manner without following the requiredprescriptions; this phenomenon is national disaster and needs immediate redress. There are many effects of prescription drug abuse; some are long term while others are short term. The types of prescribe drug abuse range from antidepressants to stimulants. Prescription drug abuse needs immediate solution that will address issues to its conclusive end.
Compton, Wilson M., and Nora D. Volkow.”Abuse of prescription drugs and the risk of addiction.” Drug and alcohol dependence 83 (2006): S4-S7.
Estren, Mark J. Prescription Drug Abuse. New York: Ronin Publishing, 2014. Internet resource.
Foundation for a Drug-Free World, The Truth About Prescription Drug Abuse. Drug-Free World publisher.print
Roberts, Jeremy. Prescription Drug Abuse.New York: Rosen Pub.Group, 2000. Print
Wolny, Philip. Abusing Prescription Drugs. New York: Rosen Central/Rosen Pub, 2008. Print.