Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a prescription drug that was prescribed for someone else or in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed. Abuse can include taking a friend or relative’s prescription in order to get high, to help with studying or even to treat pain.

What are the most commonly abused prescription and over-the-counter drugs?
Opioids (such as the pain relievers OxyContin and Vicodin), central nervous system depressants and stinulants are the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Some drugs that are available without a prescription (also known as over-the-counter drugs)can also be dangerous if they aren’t taken according to the directions on the packaging. For example, DXM (dextromethorphan), the active cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cough and cold medications, is sometimes abused, particularly by teens.

Where do teens get prescription drugs?
Both teens and young adults obtain the majority of prescription drugs from friends and relatives, sometimes without their knowledge. And in one survey, 35 percent of high school seniors said that opioid drugs other than heroin (ex Vicodin or Methadone) would be very easy to get.

Long-term effects include: Malnutrition, damage to liver, kidneys and lungs, long term or permanent neurological damage, depression (with headaches for 2-5 years post) and psychiatric problems.

Take It To The Box
The MEADA Coalition of McLeod County has worked to develop a program to help properly dispose of Prescription drugs in order to help keep them out of the hands of our youth and to prevent unused or expired prescriptions from being abused. Click Here to learn more.