why is prescription drug abuse so dangerous

In the 1970s, parents worried that their longhaired, bell-bottomed teenagers were getting drunk or. Today, dangers also come in the form of prescription medicines -- from
pain relievers such as to drugs such as. appears to be on the rise in this country. Wilson Compton, MD, director of the division of epidemiology services and prevention research at the National Institute on (NIDA), says the reasons aren't clear. But he suspects that increasing numbers of prescriptions written for certain drugs, such as, afford greater opportunity. "A certain portion of those will be diverted for abuse purposes," he says. Compton also says that in the current environment it seems almost normal to pop pills. "All of the advertising for pills may play a role in our willingness to try them. " Roughly 6. 3 million Americans report that they're currently using for nonmedical reasons, according to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. knows no age.

The elderly are vulnerable because they're more likely to take many medications, often long term. Also, women may be as much as 55% more likely as men to be prescribed drugs that can be abused, such as narcotics and ; therefore, their risk is greater, according to the NIDA. Abuse is most common among young people, Compton says. "Prescription drug abuse -- like most drug abuse -- tends to peak in the and 20s," he tells WebMD. Almost one in five teens -- roughly 4. 5 million -- has tried getting high with prescription drugs (typically with pain relievers such as or OxyContin, or stimulants, such as Ritalin and ).

That's according to a recent national study on teen abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs by the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The study also found that teens' abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines is equal to or higher than abuse of drugs such as and crack, Ecstasy, and. Some teens say that prescription medicines are much safer to abuse than illegal drugs.

But just because prescription drugs aren't cooked up in someone's garage doesn't mean that they're safe. According to Compton, the main risk for many drugs is addiction. Recreational use of prescription drugs is a serious problem with teens and young adults. National studies show that a teen is more likely to have abused a prescription drug than an illegal street drug. Many teens think prescription drugs are safe because they were prescribed by a doctor. But taking them for nonmedical use to get high or Бself-medicateБ can be just as dangerous and addictive as taking illegal street drugs.

There are very serious health risks in taking prescription drugs. This is why they are taken only under the care of a doctor. And even then, they have to be closely monitored to avoid addiction or other problems. Many pills look the same. It is extremely dangerous to take any pill that you are uncertain about or was not prescribed for you. People can also have different reactions to drugs due to the differences in each personБs body chemistry. A drug that was okay for one person could be very risky, even fatal, for someone else. Prescription drugs are only safe for the individuals who actually have the prescriptions for them and no one else.

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