Teen prescription medication abuse or over the counter drug abuse also known as OTC are way too popular among out teens. This is mostly because of two reasons. Reason number one is that they are very easy to get, as from the house and from other sources. Reason number two is the misconception that these drugs are not harmful as they are prescription drugs that are legal.
As for the reason number two connected to OTC drug abuse the fact is that more than half of the kids that started using prescription drugs had no clue what they were doing. In most cases teens take medication without a prescription from their parents in order to relieve pain or to lose weight without thinking. But there are teens that abuse OTC drugs because of the high some of these drugs may induce.
To help you understand OTC drug abuse better we will define it: Over the counter drugs abuse also known as prescription medication abuse is when a person takes prescription medication not prescribed for them or taking that medication in higher doses than prescribed and for reasons they are not meant for.
Teen OTC drug abuse is a serious problem and it can lead to serious health problems, and in some cases it can even lead to addiction. There are three distinctive types of OTC drugs that are abused:
- Opioids which are used as pain relievers
- CNS depressants (Central Nervous System Depressants) which are used for depression, anxiety and even sleep disorders
- Stimulants like those for narcolepsy and ADHD
Here is a list of the most common drugs that fall under each of these groups:
Unlike stimulants, long term use of CNS depressants and Opioids can lead to addiction. Opioids lead to drowsiness and constipation as side effects and in some cases they can cause breathing issues. CNS depressants slow down our brain functions, they are extremely dangerous if mixed with alcohol and may cause extremely slow heart rate and respiration to dangerous levels. Stimulants when taken over a longer period of time can lead to anxiety, paranoia, increased body temperature and even seizures.
Treatment of teen OTC drug abuse is different for each type of medication abuse. The most common type of treatment is behavior therapy, there is no medication produced that can be used to fight teen prescription medication abuse.