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Myths and Lies: Prescription Drugs
Take advantage of the reference material below to get inspiration for your video.
What is prescription drug abuse? Most people take medicine only for the reasons their doctors prescribe them. But an estimated 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. This is prescription drug abuse. It is a serious and growing problem. ( http://www.rit.edu/ntid/saisd/info/facts/prescription: Prescription Facts. Retrieved July 2014)
(Consumer Resources for You: Federal Drug Administration, September 2013) A medication is a substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The main differences between over-the-counter (OTC) medications and prescription medications are:
Prescription medications are:
It is unsafe AND illegal to take a prescription medication unless it has been prescribed FOR YOU. It is also illegal to share your prescription medications with others.
Prescriptions are strong medicines. They are designed to change the way the body works. They can relieve pain; control symptoms and help people heal. But they are unsafe when taken differently than directed by your doctor. They must be used under a doctor’s care.
Whether you realize it or not, using one of these medications without a doctor’s order is drug abuse.
“Abuse” vs. “Misuse”… Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that the difference between abuse and misuse has to do with the individual’s intentions or motivations. For example, when a person takes a prescription medication to get a pleasant or euphoric feeling (ie, to “get high”), especially at higher doses than prescribed, that is an example of drug abuse. Combating Misuse and Abuse of Prescription Drugs: Q&A with Michael Klein, Ph.D. FDA Consumer Updates (July 28, 2010)
According to FDA, prescription drug misuse may involve not following medical instructions, but the person taking the medication is not looking to “get high.” For example, if a person isn’t able to fall asleep after taking a single sleeping pill, he or she may take another pill an hour later, thinking, “That will do the job.” Or a person may offer his headache medication to a friend who is in pain.
Use CAN cause an overdose. Taking a large dose of a prescription medication or injecting or snorting ground-up pills can cause a fatal overdose. After car crashes, medication overdoses are the next leading cause of unintended death in the U.S.
To get high – Many medications act on the brain to produce a rush or good feeling
To stay awake, concentrate or study
To reduce pain or stress
They are dependent or addicted – Some people start out using a medication legally, then abuse it
They can get these medications easily – from family, friends, multiple pharmacies or the internet
Ask for a prescription from more than one doctor
Lie about your health to get a prescription
Keep using a medication after your original medical condition has been treated
Use a prescription medication to get high or to deal with stress
Put drugs ahead of family, friends, work, school or health
Abuse of prescription pain medications is leading to an increase in opiate overdoses, but in the past opiate overdoses were most often due to heroin use. Abuse of prescription pain pills is a growing problem with a growing number of fatalities. – “Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis” (PDF), ODCP, April 2011
ADHD Medication: When properly prescribed and used, medications approved for the treatment of ADHD have been shown to be highly safe and effective. Most ADHD medications are stimulants and categorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration as Schedule II medications. This means that any improper use of them—including providing them to someone without a prescription or taking them without a prescription—is a federal crime. Medicines used to treat ADHD can, like any medication, be abused in a variety of ways. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines prescription drug abuse as: taking a prescription medication that is not prescribed for you OR taking a prescription medication for reasons or in dosages other than prescribed. (www.drugabuse.gov: NIDA-Drug Terms. Retrieved July 2014)
Athletes at greater risk: According to sports medicine experts, abuse of prescription painkillers and stimulants is on the rise among both professional and amateur athletes. Athletes looking to increase speed or strength or to play through anxiety or injuries may be at risk for abusing these drugs. There is a growing concern about abuse of drugs prescribed to treat on-the-field injuries and drugs prescribed to treat attention deficit disorders. (Teen Athletes at Risk for Medication Misuse, Journal of Adolescent Health, Nov 10, 2013)
Dental Work: Sometimes after a dental procedure, your dentist may prescribe a narcotic analgesic, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, to help relieve pain. When used as prescribed, you should know these medications are effective at minimizing post-operative pain. But using these drugs for any other purpose is illegal, dangerous, and can even be fatal.