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Most Commonly Abused Drug Types

There are basically two types of drugs, those that cannot be bought without prior prescription and those that can be even without prescription. Prescription drugs are medicines that are licensed and regulated by law to require prescription like "Rx". Only primary care physicians and specialist are able to do the prescription, otherwise it is considered as invalid and is not recognized by prescription pharmacies. These drugs may contain strong elements that are only needed when medically necessary, hence; prescription from doctor is needed. On the other hand, non-prescription drugs or most commonly known as over-the-counter drugs are used to treat conditions that do not necessarily require care from primary health care professionals and which may contain lower strength of elements. This includes antacids, laxatives, antidiarrheal, and pain relievers which can simply be bought from the nearby pharmacy without prior prescription from doctors.


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However, it should be noted that both drugs should still be taken with precaution. The availability of these actually has actually given rise to prescription drug addiction which is now a growing problem in the United States. Prescription drug contain strong additives that lead to unanticipated obsession. This is common to prescription drugs with contents like opiates, cocaine, and marijuana. Factors like peer pressure and the need for emotional relief may also add up to the factors of drug addiction. An update from the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that there are roughly 7.0 million persons who are using psychotherapeutic drugs for recreational purpose only. As for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) data, there are about 20% of the people who are engaged in prescription drugs alone while 40% feel safer for nonprescription drugs of which most are high schools and teens.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is about taking up prescription medication in an appropriate dosage which is not primarily prescribed by the doctor but only for the purpose of recreation. The most commonly abused prescription drugs include pain relievers (Opioids), Tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.

Pain Killers - Pain killers such as oxydone-based drugs, hydrocodone-based drugs, and narcotic analgesics are basically prescribed by doctors to treat mild to severe pain. However, in just a matter of weeks folks can become addicted as they induce tolerance which forces patients to take larger dosage over time to achieve the desired result. According, to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, prescription drug abuse has increased from 22 to 24 percent over the past few years of which users involve 18 to 25 years old. According to records, the highest abusers consist of Native Americans with a total of 12.5% and the lowest are Asians which only comprise 3.1 %.

Tranquilizers - Tranquilizers are basically used in psychiatric medication and are commonly prescribed by doctors to reduce anxieties as well as induce good sleep by depressing the central nervous system. They can be classified as minor or major depending on its effect to the person and are administered through tablet, gel, and injection. Minor tranquilizers are given out as sleeping pills like the "Benzos" or benzodiazepines which include Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Librium as well as the sedatives like Restoril, Halcion, Dalmane, Serax. Major tranquilizers, however; are given out to patients who have severe psychosis and any agitation associated with Delirium Tremens (DTs). Unlike benzodiazepines, they sedate in higher doses like Haldol, Navane, Thorazine, and Mellaril. Their effect on the central nervous is almost similar to barbiturates and alcohol, however; abusive use of such would lead to paradoxical effect wherein a person becomes more aggressive and sensitive as time progresses. Drug testing may extend their assay to tranquilizers like Valium, Librium, Xanax through their metabolite Diazepam which is considered to be a Schedule IV controlled substance. According to the Food and Drug administration, there are over 60 million people that are given with tranquilizer medication. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, however; accounts 2.0 million teens who are abusing tranquilizers.

Stimulants - Stimulants are psychoactive drugs that are prescribed by doctors to treat different respiratory problems and neurological disorders. They basically function as neurotransmitters like Norepinephrine and dopamine that boost up energy level in the body. The most common stimulants include extroamphetamine such as Dexedrine and Adderall; and methylphenidate such as Ritalin and Concerta. Dangers, however; arise when stimulants are mixed with other decongestants leading to adverse effects such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, hostility, and aggression. Any person who is addicted to it may exhibit seizures and cardiovascular complication. However, due to its addictive factors, National Institute on Drug Abuse recorded 1.3 million of US population to be abusing stimulants. One f the most commonly abused for its stress relieving effect is amphetamine. Drug testing kits detect amphetamine positive in a person's body through its minor metabolite amphetamine under Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA's cut-off level of 250 ng/ml.

Sedatives - Sedatives are specifically designed to induce drowsiness or sleepiness. They include barbiturates such as Nembutal, Seconal, Amytal, and Phenobarbital which directly affects the areas of the brain and spinal cord that are responsible for wakefulness and alertness. Sedative addiction is hypnotic and hazardous when overdosed. Aside that this is one of the main reason why folks tend to become suicidal, adverse effect are largely associated with hallucinations, delusions, and memory disorders. In the past few years, National Institute on Drug Abuse states that nonmedical use of sedatives by teenagers, mostly high schools, have increased to 6.5%. Barbiturate presence in the urine can be detected within one to four days or two to three weeks through extended drug test. Drug testing kits usually detect for the presence of Phenobarbital, Secobarbitol, and Butalbital at 300 ng/ml.

Commonly Abused Non-Prescription Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration states that non-prescription drugs are safe for general consumption to treat common ailments coughs and colds, however; teenagers age 12 and above have found it easier to abuse these types of drugs as they can easily be bought in pharmacies and groceries eve without prescription. Non-prescription drug abuse means taking such beyond required dosage just to feel high while they contain dextromethorphan (DXM). The most commonly abused non-prescription drugs Viagra, vicodin, oxycontin, vicodin, hydrocodone, and phentermine.

Viagra - College students usually misunderstood this drug as an aphrodisiac or party drug on which they spend $25 to $30 in the black market. In truth, Viagra is basically an anti-impotence drug which creates a placebo effect or erections in male whenever is taken. They are taken in doses of 25, 50, or 100 milligrams once a day before sexual intercourse for couples who encounter fertility problems associated with eryctyle dysfunctions. In records there have been have 3,700 people evaluated for Viagra usage. However, as for teens who do not have erectile dysfunction at all and are merely taking such for party reasons, longer engagement to such can cause several perilous physical effects such as dizziness, headache, chest tightness. In rare cases, it can cause non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) which is associated with severe vision problems as well hearing problem. More of its adverse effect include bleeding in the lungs or in some parts of the brain, high risk heart attack especially in men, and heart problems such arrhythmias and angina pectoris.

Vicodin - Vicodin which is a brand name for hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen is basically an opioid analgesic popularly used as painkillers and anti-cough medicine. Whilst considered as a semi-synthetic narcotic analgesic it exhibits results almost the same as codeine. According to the National Institute on Drug abuse the nonmedical usage of vicoden have remained at a high level especially in teenagers. As per record shows that there are about 9.7 percent teenagers found to have been abusing such in 2008 and the numbers are yet flourishing today. Prolong over dosage of vicodin can be fatal. Meanwhile, symptoms of vicodin abuse may include clammy skin due to heavy perspiration, unresponsiveness or numbness of the body, limp and muscle failure, slow heartbeat, slowed breathing, and vomiting.

Oxycontin - Oxycontin is basically swallowed as a whole to treat pain, however; its heroin effect has made it one of the most commonly abused nonprescription drugs today. It basically works to bind with the opioid receptors in the brain and result to various psychological effects such as pain relief, relaxation, and euphoria. In records, teenagers show to be so prone to Oxycontin addiction. Statistics show 4.7 percent teenager usage in 2008 and yet still flourishing today. When taken beyond normal dosage, Oxycontin can cause respiratory depression, altered mental state and postural hypotension.

Phentermine - Phentermine acts like amphetamine and is commonly found in diet pills. It basically works to suppress the appetite and is given as treatment medication to obesity. However, whilst it contain addictive ingredients such as caffeine, ephedrine and phenylpropranolamine, this type of over-the-counter-drug have been noted to be dangerously habit forming and highly addictive. Prolonging the medications to such may result to various unfavorable effects like shortness of breath, uneven heartbeat, and high blood pressure.

Prescription vs. Non-prescription Drugs Symptoms

Symptoms of drug addiction may vary depending on the number of years a person has been dependence to such drugs and the strength of additive such drugs contain. Abusing both prescription and non-prescription simply leads up to one conclusion that is danger. Although the symptoms may vary a bit, an addicted person must up end in a drug rehabilitation center otherwise will suffer the adverse consequence of being a drug addict. Prescription and non-prescription drugs have intense effect to the psychological aspect of a person. Prolonged addiction to these drugs basically impair a person's thinking and lessen the ability to think straight and decide carefully; develop severe anxiety, change in behavior and personality such as constant mood swings; poor memory, sleep disturbance, hallucinations, and obvious physical change. They may be seen in red watery eyes that look sunken under dark eye bugs and pale or flushed face. They may be going around with running nose, sweaty and shaking hands, however; may talk actively and rapidly with a bit of paranoia. When not treated, the worst outcome may be death.

Resources

http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-drug-abuse/teen-drug-abuse-statistics.html
http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-drug-abuse/OTC-abuse-statistics.html
http://www.nida.nih.gov/tib/prescription.html

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