What is Prescription Medication?

A prescription drug is a pharmaceutical drug that legally requires a medical prescription to be dispensed. In contrast, over-the-counter drugs can be obtained without a prescription.

What is Prerscription Medication Addiction ?

Unlike general addiction , prescritpion addiction is when a person takes the medication in a way or for a duration which is not intended to be taken.

About Prescription Medication Addiction

It can be said that a person would not generally intend to form a dependency by taking scripted medication but as time goes on, some people feel that they are unable to cope without taking the medication. This could be because they like the comfort or action attached to taking the medication or they fail to believe that they actually can live without these drugs. They have formed not only a chemical dependency on the medication but also an emotional one. Worse yet, these typical addictive medications can be easily accessed, some without a script.

Causes that lead to prescription / over the counter medication addiction :

There are some over-the-counter and prescription medicines such as slimming tablets and painkillers have led to a prevalent drug abuse in South Africa.  

Reasons why people might abuse medication:

  • to feel good or get high
  • To relax or relieve tension
  • To reduce appetite or increase alertness
  • To experiment with the mental effects of the substance
  • To maintain an addiction and prevent withdrawal
  • To be accepted by peers or to be social
  • To try to improve concentration and academic or work performance
  • Past or present addictions to other substances, including alcohol and tobacco
  • Family history of substance abuse problems
  • Certain pre-existing psychiatric conditions
  • Exposure to peer pressure or a social environment where there’s drug use
  • Easier access to prescription drugs, such as having prescription medications in the home medicine cabinet
  • Lack of knowledge about prescription drugs and their potential harm

Some effects of prescription drug abuse:

If such medicines are used as instructed by medical professionals, they can be very beneficial in aiding a person but if abused it can cause harmful consequences and well as a dependency.

The damage that these medications can cause if abused are the likes of:

  • kidney and liver damage
  • seizures
  • abnormal heart-beat
  • stroke
  • Extreme agitation or irritability.
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperatures not explained by environment or physical activity.
  • Cardiovascular failure.
  • Increasing hostility.
  • Feelings of paranoia.
  • In some cases, death

People who abuse strong prescription drugs are likely to have an overdose. When it comes to an overdose‚ many assume that it’s only a threat from illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine‚ but people can overdose using prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication. People also do not realise that most painkillers‚ cold and cough medication contain codeine‚ which is part of the opioid family like heroin and morphine and could lead to extreme drug abuse.

GET HELP – a prescription addiction does not have to be permanent or “severe” for you to seek the right help from people who can aid you in understanding your addiction, turn away from it and create a happy and healthy lifestyle for yourself.