Prescription Drug Abuse

One of the most commonly abused drugs are prescriptions, including anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, stimulants, anti-seizure medications and painkillers such as Vocodin and Oxycodone.  Even thought the majority of people take their prescriptions responsibly, an estimated 54 million people have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at least once in their lives (National Institute of Drug Abuse).

For most people, the initial decision to take prescription drugs is voluntary and usually due to an injury, chronic pain, or other medical issues.  However, continued use can lead to a variety of adverse health effects, including addiction.  Addiction is a primary, progressive and chronic disease, which can affect a person’s self control and ability to make sound decisions.

Common misconceptions about prescription drugs:

  • Prescription medications are safer to abuse than other illicit substances
    • FACT: Prescription drugs are sometimes more powerful than their illegal counterparts and while designed to treat a particular illness or condition, they can also have a number of side effects that could potentially be dangerous. When abused, prescription drugs may be taken in inappropriate doses that could risk an overdose.
  • Sharing prescription medications is acceptable and not illegal
    • FACT: Sharing prescription drugs is in fact illegal.  Only a doctor or pharmacist can give you prescription drugs legally and if you have a prescription, do not share with friends or family.  You could be putting them in potential danger as the prescription was written for your specific age, weight, and medical need.
  • Misusing prescription drugs a few times will not hurt
    • FACT: While some might believe that using prescription drugs here and there can help them manage their daily lives by reducing stress and anxiety, increase stamina or booting their mood, it could put you at risk for an addiction, overdose or other health concerns. Instead, consider exercising more, changing your diet, developing better sleep habits or seeking professional help to alleviate life stressors.

Meridian HealthCare offers a number of treatment programs and services for individuals struggling with prescription drugs – from education sessions to residential treatment.  Each treatment plan at Meridian is customized to meet and address each person’s specific need and goals.

Contact Meridian HealthCare at 330.797.0070, or Contact Us.

Meridian HealthCare programs that address prescription drug addiction include: