The Hidden Dangers of Prescription Drug Use

Painkillers have become a necessity and an everyday item for millions of people all over the world. Getting a prescription for a drug to relieve pain or treat a medical condition is nothing unusual these days, and we’re somehow lucky to live in a world of such medical advancement.

However, this is undoubtedly a two-way street, and getting a ‘simple’ drug has its price. Even though this is not noticeable in the majority of cases, sometimes these drugs hide more power than we know.

This article will reveal the hidden dangers of prescription drug use and show why everyone should be careful using them.


The biggest problem of prescription drug use is that it involves the risk of getting an addiction. These risks are affected by several different factors, and some of them include the age and health of the patient, the addictive strength of the drug, and more.

However, some general signs that someone is dealing with addiction include restlessness, sweating, mood swings, disrupted sleep habits, inability to speak clearly and concentrate, dizziness, memory lapses, lack of coordination, etc.

One of the first things you can notice is irritability and mood swings, especially when talking about the pills they are taking or their health. If you notice any of the signs with your loved one, be sure to react immediately.

Behavioral issues due to substance misuse

Misusing drug prescriptions is not always easy to recognize, but there are some changes in behavior you can notice if someone around you is taking more of the drug than necessary. Firstly, look at how much or how often they use it.

Frequent prescription refills requests or taking a higher dose than it’s prescribed is one of the first signs. Also, there’s going one step further to get the prescription, even though the treatment is over.

This can result in switching doctors to find the one who will give out the prescription or even going for illegal means to get the drug – forging a prescription, getting medications illegally online, or even stealing.

These events often come together with other behavioral issues, as those patients are often easily irritable, have extreme reactions to specific events, etc.

Combining different prescription drugs for a stronger effect

Mixing different drugs is one of the hidden dangers of prescription use. In order to augment the effect of the first prescription drug, some patients will use something else – alcohol, marijuana, other prescription drugs, or substances.

These interactions often result in harmful effects to the user, putting them in danger in so many different ways. Such a combination can have a strong sedation effect or trigger a harmful reaction or overstimulation, which can lead to dangerous side effects and even death.

Long-term effects of prescription drug use

Unfortunately, the long-term effects of drug abuse are a constant threat. These depend on the health condition of the user, the type of drug, and how long they have been taking it.

Some of the long-term effects include cardiovascular system issues, permanent damage to kidneys, liver, or lungs, depression, and mental illnesses that can develop into more serious cases of suicidal thoughts.

Common medications involved in prescription drug abuse

Not all medicines have the same effect, and not all of them cause the same abuse issues. In general, there are three types of prescription drugs that can cause addiction:

  • Opioids – these are often used to treat pain, and common examples are hydrocodone (Vicodine®), oxycodone (OxyContin®), morphine (Avinza®, Kadian®), and oxymorphone (Opana®)
  • Stimulants, also known as ‘Uppers’– are typically prescribed to treat ADHD. They help with focus and alertness and speed up mental processes. These include amphetamine (Adderall ®), Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®), and Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin®).
  • Central nervous system depressants – are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders; these include different tranquilizers, sedatives, and hypnotics. The most common examples are Xanax®, Ambien®, Valium®, etc.

Xanax® is actually one of the most commonly misused drugs and addiction causes. It belongs to the category of depressants or ‘benzos’ that generate a sense of calm and peace.

In short-term results, they are used to treat anxiety or panic attacks, yet they are not intended for long-term use. Unfortunately, the feeling of peace they give is what lures users into using them more frequently, resulting in addiction.

Luckily, treating such addiction is possible to do, so be sure to get in touch with experts if you or someone you care about needs Xanax detox.

Main steps in treating addictions caused by prescription drug use

We should know that nothing happens overnight, and both starting an addiction and recovery take time. Starting an addiction by using a prescription drug is a process, which is why we can’t expect immediate results at the beginning of the recovery treatment.

Every person has a different detox timeline which is affected by so many personal factors.

The first thing is to be aware of all the hidden dangers of drug prescription use and be attentive to any signs of potential problems. This can lead to prevention or on-time reaction that can speed up the detox process.

Secondly, try to act on time. Whether it’s you or someone you love, don’t neglect the symptoms or any behavioral changes. The on-time reaction is one of the main factors that help users overcome their addiction.

Next, it’s essential to trust a professional. Archstone Behavioral Health experts remind you there are different treatments suitable for various addictions, which is why it’s necessary to trust a professional to help you choose the right program.

They will also assess the patient’s symptoms and overall health condition and decide the situation’s severity.

Finally, have patience and seek strength wherever possible. Detox is a process that can last, and recovery can be quite severe, so staying strong and seeking help from the people you love and trusted professionals is essential.

Final words

Even though getting a prescription for a painkiller or a depressant may seem innocent at first, there are several hidden dangers of prescription drug use. They lead to serious addiction problems, so it’s essential to be very careful and stick to the instructions from your doctor you got in the first place.

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