Have you taken Rx drugs you weren’t prescribed? Have you ever taken Rx drugs more than prescribed or when you didn’t need them? Have you taken Rx drugs that were prescribed to your parents or your friends?
Have you taken Rx drugs:
- to manage stress
- because of depression
- you were lonely
- wanted to escape
- needed to focus
- to get better grades
- for social reasons
Did you know that prescription drugs can have all the same adverse effects as illegal drugs? They are highly addictive, often lead to using more dangerous drugs, and can cause death.
According to research conducted by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids:
- 1 in 4 teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.
- 90% of addictions start in the teen years.
- More people die from abusing prescription pain relievers than cocaine and heroin combined.
The symptoms of substance abuse and addiction are extensive and can vary from person to person. The most common signs of substance abuse include unusual behavior, changes in habits and patterns, including:
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Distancing from family members, friends and loved ones
- Drop in attendance or performance at work or school
- Unexplained need for money or financial problems
- Sudden change in friends, hangouts and hobbies
- Getting into trouble, such as fights, accidents and illegal activities
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude
- Sudden mood swings, irritability or angry outbursts
- Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation or giddiness
- Lack of motivation; being lethargic or spaced out
- Appears fearful, anxious or paranoid
Here is one guy’s story:
In high school, I was captain of all the sports teams I was on, had good grades, and I was liked by the majority of the school population. I would go out to parties and drink frequently, which turned into a daily habit by college. I dropped out of my first college because getting drunk and smoking pot became more important than going to class. At least I had plenty of friendsto drink with. I enrolled in a community college and started working for a small company. The drinking began to subside but smoking pot was now an everyday thing.
I was working from 8am to 5pm and attending night classes from 6pm to 10pm, still smoking everyday and drinking every now and again. The company I worked for was beginning to grow and my responsibilites between work, school and home were beginning to weigh on me.
My doctor prescribed me Xanax to deal with the stress and anxiety. At first, I was only taking the Xanax when I was really stressed or anxious, but that soon turned into 3 or 4 times a day. Shortly after, my life changed forever.
Read more of Tyler’s story here: My Life as a Pharmer
THERE IS HOPE
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has a National Helpline. Call them at: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Here is David’s story of overcoming his drug addiction that started with prescription drugs:
For more information on breaking addictions, download our free Understanding Substance Abuse eBook.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Popping Pills: Prescription Drug Abuse in America. Web. 06. July. 2015
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. http://www.drugfree.org/stories-of-hope/my-life-as-a-pharmer/ Tyler. My Life as a Farmer. Jan. 10, 2013. Web. 06 July 2015
Robinson, Lawrence, Melinda Smith, and Joanna Saisan. “Drug Abuse and Addiction” : Signs, Symptoms, and Help for Drug Problems & Substance Abuse. HelpGuide.org, 01 Apr. 2015. Web. 04 June 2015.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2k11Results/NSDUHresults2011.htm 2011. Web. 06. July. 2015