Prescription Medicine Abuse on the Rise

Topics: Drug addiction, Pharmacology, Prescription drug Pages: 5 (1757 words) Published: January 16, 2013
The Rate of Young Accidental Overdoses have Recently Increased Because Prescription Medication Abuse is Now on the Rise. Why are prescription medications quickly becoming the most abused drug throughout today's youth. Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, estimates that forty eight million people misuse prescribed medicine. That is about twenty percent of the United States population (1). Maybe because these medications are fairly easy to posses, no matter of the age trying to acquire them. It is less expensive than street drugs such as ecstasy, marijuana, or cocaine. A thought of prescription pills may be less addictive and entertaining as well. Some people may also find drugs in their medicine cabinet to be more safe than street drugs. Most people at some point in life are appointed medicine, whether it is for pain relief, depression, lack of sleep, or help to lose weight or even study. Who would think that they would get into trouble from having a few pills in their car or even in their bodies? According to the website, Illinois Drug Laws, the state of Illinois, For the first non-prescribed pill a person possesses while getting arrested, a felony will be given, a fine up to $100,000.00, and up to three years in prison. For every pill after that a second felony will be given, a fine up to $200,000.00, and up to five years in prison. If being caught with in 1500 feet of a school, church, public park, or movie theater the court can double the fine and sentencing of the penalty (1). So why are the numbers of teenage overdoses from prescribed medicine inclining yearly? An addict is someone who is dependent on a substance physically, emotionally, or even mentally. Abuse is to wrongly use or handle a substance. An overdose can be a combination of things, such as taking a large quantity of pills. Some overdoses may be accidental or may even be on purpose. The number of deaths caused by maltreatment of medicine have increased by about three times as many since 1997 (Szabo, 1). The government has noticed these additions in deaths and has recently started a program in 2009 to help rid the problem of drug abuse of prescription pills. This program is called Stericycle. Basically the creators of this program want people to go through medicine cabinets and bring expired medications to a hospital or doctors office. They then dispose of your unwanted medicines. The problem is that children or teenagers are stealing medicines that are currently being used and refilled by parents with out parents even realizing. The drug industry is such a compelling issue. The news shows stories everyday from mobile methamphetamine labs being blown up, to political and authoritative figures wanting to legalize marijuana to help boost our economy by taxing and regulating the drug. So why are more teenagers abusing and overdosing more on prescription pills that street drugs now? Pills are more dangerous than most people will think. Who has ever began a diet and wished it would work quicker? Or who has stayed up all night to study for a major exam? Young people have their mind set to knowing it is very possible to get medications to abuse to assist both of these scenarios. A pill called Adderall is said to be the most abused pill by teenagers currently. It is abused simply for the effects on people it has. It is to treat someone who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, or a combination of all them. It is also used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks (Monson, 1-2). For the teenagers who do not require the use of the drug, Adderall has opposite effects. It causes an increase of alertness, attention, and energy, which leads to an increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Weight loss is also side effect of Adderall, which is why most young people may start...
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