Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor. Prescription drug abuse or problematic use includes everything from taking a friend's prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high. Drug abuse may become ongoing and compulsive, despite the negative consequences. An increasing problem, prescription drug abuse can affect all age groups, including teens. The prescription drugs most often abused include opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants. Early identification of prescription drug abuse and early intervention may prevent the problem from turning into an addiction.
Revised May Prescription drugs are often strong medications, which is why they require a prescription from a doctor or dentist. There are three kinds of prescription drugs that are commonly misused:. Prescription drug misuse has become a large public health problem, because misuse can lead to addiction, and even overdose deaths. Every medication has some risk for harmful effects, sometimes serious ones.
Margie Skeer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. When you think about substance use and teens, drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy might come to mind.
Substance abuse , also known as drug abuse , is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others, and is a form of substance-related disorder. Widely differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, medical and criminal justice contexts. In some cases criminal or anti-social behaviour occurs when the person is under the influence of a drug, and long term personality changes in individuals may occur as well. Drugs most often associated with this term include: alcohol , cannabis , barbiturates , benzodiazepines , cocaine , methaqualone , opioids and some substituted amphetamines like methamphetamine and MDMA.