Prescription drug addiction is reaching alarming levels. In the United States alone, about 20 percent of the population uses prescription drugs irresponsibly. But there is even more alarming news ? this statistic involves children and teenagers.

Starting young

In a latest survey, children in the 12th grade reported having used prescription drugs outside their medical use. Among the drugs named, two came up as the most commonly-abused substances ? Vicodin and OxyContin.

Adult addiction

The elderly are also increasingly vulnerable to prescription drug addiction because they tend to be given more drugs to treat diverse illnesses. Adults tend to stretch prescription drugs beyond their intended usage.

Surveys show that addicted adults rely on prescription drugs to stimulate emotions of happiness or contentment. Mothers, for example, sometimes turn to prescription drugs to help them cope with postpartum depression. This reliance on the drugs lessens productivity, self-esteem, and dignity. Studies show that it eventually leads to disintegration of relationships, and that, in the long run, it can even prove to be fatal.

Abused prescription drugs

The most common prescription drugs abused today are those used to cure depression. Why? Because they are the easiest to access. Most pharmacies carry them, and many psychiatrists are quick to give prescriptions. Even children can buy these drugs online because of websites that do not require prescriptions.

Narcotic analgesics (also knows as Opioids) such as morphine, codeine, and demerol are some of the most misused prescription drugs. They essentially block pain messages to the brain. Taken in the wrong dosage, these prescription drugs can cause respiratory depression and even death.

Also misused are depressants for the central nervous system ? drugs that are used to remedy anxiety attacks, panic attacks, and some sleeping disorders. Valium and Xanax are among the most popular brand names. They work by slowing down normal brain function and inducing sleep ? a feeling that some people get addicted to. On the other end of the spectrum are ?uppers? such as Ritalin and Dexedrine, which are addictive because they boost energy and enhance brain activity by elevating blood pressure and heart rate.

Sources: healthygenius

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