Prescription Drugs. What is prescription drug abuse?. Taking a prescription drug that is not prescribed for you, or taking it for reasons or in dosages other than as prescribed. This can lead to serious health effects and addiction. Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs. opioids (for pain),
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What is prescription drug abuse? Taking a prescription drug that is not prescribed for you, or taking it for reasons or in dosages other than as prescribed. This can lead to serious health effects and addiction
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs • opioids (for pain), • central nervous system (CNS) depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders) • stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy).
Opioids Reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus
Opioids Include: Hydrocodone (Vicodin®) Oxycodone (OxyContin®) Oxymorphone (Opana®) Propoxyphene (Darvon®) Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®) Meperidine (Demerol®) Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®)
How do they affect the Body? • Attach to specific proteins called opioid receptors • found in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs in the body. • Once attached to their receptors, they reduce the perception of pain. • Can produce drowsiness, mental confusion, nausea, constipation, and, depending upon the amount of drug taken, can depress respiration.
Short Term Effects: Death Relaxation Constipation Drowsiness Slow breathing Indifference to emotional or physical pain
Long Term Effects Highly addictive. The body builds up tolerance and more is needed to maintain the desired feeling. Withdrawals can be long and physically painful. Combining opioids with alcohol and other drugs can lead to death from respiratory failure.
Addiction Facts Opioids • Body builds a tolerance • Body can become dependent and withdrawal (intense flu like symptoms may occur) • Signs of Addiction: • Craving and loss of control
Stimulants Prescribed to treat individuals diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These medications have a paradoxically calming and “focusing” effect on individuals with ADHD. Researchers speculate that because methylphenidate amplifies the release of dopamine, it can improve attention and focus in individuals who have dopamine signals that are weak
Stimulants Include: Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®) Methylphenidate (Ritalin® and Concerta®) Amphetamines (Adderall®)
What do they do to the body? • Enhance the effects of these dopamine and norepinephrine (associated w/pleasure and attention) in the brain. • Increase in dopamine induces a feeling of euphoria when stimulants are taken non-medically. • They also increase blood pressure and heart rate, constrict blood vessels, increase blood glucose, and open up breathing passages.
Short Term Effects Increased blood pressure and heart rate Alertness Focus High body temperature Sleeplessness Loss of appetite
Short Term Effects Alertness Increased blood pressure and heart rate Focus High body temperature Loss of appetite Sleeplessness
Addiction Facts Stimulants • If abused a person can become physically and mentally addicted • Withdrawal from prescription stimulants brings on fatigue, depression and disturbance of sleep. A person taking stimulants over a period of time may experience hostility and paranoia
Central nervous system depressants: Sometimes called “downers,” these drugs come in multicolored tablets and capsules or in liquid form.
Drugs in this category: Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol, are known as “major tranquilizers” or “antipsychotics,” as they are supposed to reduce the symptoms of mental illness. Xanax, Klonopin, Halcion and Librium are often referred to as “benzos” (short for benzodiazepines). Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal, are classed as barbiturates—drugs that are used as sedatives and sleeping pills.
Short Term Effects Slow brain function Slowed pulse and breathing Lowered blood pressure Poor concentration Confusion Fatigue2 Dizziness Slurred speech Fever Sluggishness Visual disturbances Dilated pupils Disorientation lack of coordination Depression Difficulty or inability to urinate Addiction
Long Term Effects Addiction can result, withdrawal can be painful, and the drug may cause seizures and death. Mixing these depressants with alcohol or other drugs can kill you.
Addiction Facts CNS - Depressants • High usage can lead to physical dependence • It works by slowing the brain's activity, so when someone stops taking a CNS depressant, activity in the brain can rebound and race out of control to the point that seizures can occur.
Other Facts Abuse of prescription drugs is highest among young adults aged 18 to 25, with 5.9 percent reporting nonmedical use in the past month (NSDUH, 2010). Among youth aged 12 to 17, 3.0 percent reported past-month nonmedical use of prescription medications. Youth who abuse prescription medications are also more likely to report use of other drugs. In 2007, the number of overdose deaths from prescription opioids outnumbered deaths from heroin and cocaine combined.
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