Taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain; or taking a medication to feel euphoria.
Three of the most commonly misused classes of prescription drugs are:
- CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants like tranquilizers or sedatives
- Stimulants commonly used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) such as Adderall and Ritalin
Due to the wide range of prescription drugs available, their appearances vary. Though commonly contained inside of pills or small, colored capsules, medications may also come in liquid or powdered form.
Prescription drugs in pill form have uniquely identifiable letters or numbers on either side. Pills are commonly color coded as well to improve identifiability.
Symptoms and Behavior
Effects may vary depending on the individual and the medication.
Opioid abuse can lead to vomiting, mood changes, cognitive impairment, coma, or death.
Stimulant abuse may cause heart failure or seizures. And taking too much of a stimulant can lead to a dangerously high body temperature or and irregular heartbeat.
When mixed with some OTC medications or alcohol, CNS depressants can slow or stop a person’s heartbeat and breathing.
The risk factor of overdose is significantly higher when prescription drugs are taken with other substances such as alcohol or CNS depressants.
Withdrawal from prescription medications is best treated my a medical professional at a qualified medical facility.