Health

Prescription drug abuse in the US

If you have a loved one in Los Angeles suffering from prescription drug abuse, there are many Los Angeles drug rehab and California drug rehab centers and alternatives available. It is the fastest growing drug abuse area in the US.

Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in the US. People begin using prescription medications under valid reasons but continue using them even after the prescribed days are over. These are mostly to manage pain after surgery, psychiatric disorders, insomnia, etc. the use of such drugs continue months and years later.

Under these circumstances, even people with no history of substance abuse find themselves in this trap. People who have a history can easily fall into the dependence of prescription drug leading to a full-blown addiction.

The most commonly-abused drugs are Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants, Stimulants, and Opioids:

  • CNS depressants: These drugs are used as sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxers, anti-convulsions, anesthetics.
  • Stimulants: These include amphetamine drugs including methamphetamine. These are sometimes called black beauties, speed, and uppers. They are used to treat conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Narcolepsy.
  • Opioids: They are used as anesthetics for pain relief and to treat coughs. Opioids also include oxy, PERCS, footballs, blue heavens, and demmies which are used to treat pain and opioid addiction.

Warning signs
Prescription drug abuse is taking more than the prescribed dosage. Abusers always change the method of ingestion: crushing and snorting pills, dissolving them, and injecting. They also use prescriptions of friends and family for recreation. Prescriptions run out faster; they seek prescriptions from more than one doctor; steal, forge, or sell prescriptions; lose prescriptions quite often; and take medication in private.

Dangers

  • CNS Depressants/Sedatives cause memory loss and low blood pressure, slow breathing, and an overdose can cause coma/death.
  • Stimulants cause high blood pressure, high body temperature, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, unconsciousness, chest pains, seizures, muscle cramps, and dizziness. Overdose results in heart attack/stroke.
  • Opioids lead to low blood pressure, breathing slowing down, muscle spasms, unconsciousness, seizures, and an overdose causes coma/death.

Withdrawal symptoms
It depends on the drugs that are abused. It can begin within a few hours of stopping the drug. Users with short-term, less intense addictions are able to quit without any medical help. Users with full-blown addiction should consider medical supervision for quitting.

  • CNS Depressants/Sedatives: Withdrawal can be extremely dangerous. Symptoms include restlessness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, tremors, blurred vision, sweating, delirium, insomnia, and seizures. People suffering from an addiction to sedatives should seek medical assistance before stopping drugs.
  • Opioids: Withdrawal symptoms begin within a few hours of stopping and peak between 24 to 48 hours later. Symptoms include restlessness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, achiness, headaches, anxiety, intense cravings, insomnia, flu-like symptoms, and moodiness.
  • Stimulants: Withdrawal from stimulants can be uncomfortable, but not life threatening. Symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, excessive sleep.

California drug rehab centers help in curbing addiction. It is the third leading cause of injury, accident, and death. The increase in death due to drug overdose has led to more use of prescription drug abuse.

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