Prescription drugs and their use have been increasing in this nation for decades. The big pharmaceutical companies have become massive, too big to fail big, because of the overwhelming success of their business. They continued to push these drugs to their vendors and the public without fully understanding the damage the drugs could cause. Over time it has become widely understood that prescription drugs are incredibly dangerous and addictive. There are a number of new studies that show the dangers of prescription drug use, especially over the long term and when they are abused.

Amitriptyline is a prescription drug that is used to treat debilitating migraines. It is also prescribed for those suffering with depression and anxiety. The drug is a tricyclic antidepressant. This drug works by affecting the chemicals in the brain of an individual which are unbalanced. The drug can also help individuals sleep better and relieve tension. It should only be taken as prescribed by a medical professional because it is dangerous to abuse.

Amitriptyline Abuse

The abuse of this drug is not common, but that does not mean it does not have the potential for abuse or increased tolerance. There are many cases of amitriptyline tolerance, which took users several months to completely wean themselves off. There is a long, long list of side effects from this drug; even if it is taken as recommended. This drug does have the potential for overdose. The side effects of overdose are: low body temperature, clumsiness, drowsiness, muscle aches, tiredness, sleepiness, muscle weakness, weak and feeble pulse. This is a rather old drug and not very popular, but the high tolerance that it creates is dangerous. Those individuals wanting to reduce their dosage of the drug for health concerns should speak with a medical professional. Withdrawal symptoms are present with long term use.

Patterns of Prescription Drug Abuse

A study conducted by the University of Georgia found that people who have abused illicit drugs have a higher likelihood of misusing prescription pain killers as well. This nationwide study was recently published in the journal Addictive Behaviors. At UGA, the school of Social Work found that individuals that have used illicit drugs in the past are more likely to misuse prescription drugs in their future. Prescription painkiller abuse is a problem that has been growing since the 90’s. The Study also looked into non-opiate prescription painkillers. The students came to this conclusion by using more than 13,000 responses to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study found that young adults are the most likely to misuse prescription drugs and develop addictions to prescription painkillers.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse in the United States is growing out of control. The United States consumes the majority of the world’s prescription drugs. In the short four year span between 1999 to 2003 the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and consumed had quadrupled. Prescription drugs have directly increased the amount of heroin abuse in the country. This study shows that young adults who abuse illicit drugs are at an increased risk for abusing prescription drugs, which can lead to heroin use. Prescription drugs have taken over as the leading gateway drug. This study does show that people who have used illicit drugs are more likely to abuse prescription drugs, but it can be easy to imagine that prescription drug abuse can lead to other drug abuses.

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

This study adds to the call for increased measures for preventing further prescription drug abuse. Professionals in the study believe that physicians can greatly reduce the chance of prescription drug abuse and addiction by speaking with their patients about the possible dangers. By informing patients about the dangers of prescription drug use, abuse, and addiction physicians can greatly reduce the likelihood of prescription drug abuse. A more efficient and easier system of monitoring prescription drugs can help cut down on prescription drug abusers and those illegally selling them. Those individuals who use prescription painkillers should monitor them more carefully. Any drugs that go unused or expired should be disposed of properly. The government has created drug disposal programs and programs to better educate communities about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Families should practice safe and responsible prescription drug consumption and use them only when necessary. Children should not be exposed to prescription drugs until they are able to understand the possible dangers. All other alternatives should be exhausted before an individual turns to prescription drugs. Anyone that is suffering from an addiction to prescription drugs should contact their physician, family, or any substance abuse professional for help.

Recent Study of Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse

A recent online survey has collect data involving teenage drug use and their lives. The survey asked questions regarding popularity, affinities for risky or exciting behavior and overall levels of anxiety. The researchers found that teenage prescription drug abuse increased with teenage anxiety levels. The highest rates of prescription drug abuse were found among teens that had peak levels of anxiety or desire to be popular. The study also found that teens who were predisposed to abuse other substances (alcohol) were more likely or willing to abuse prescription drugs.

Anxiety and Medication

Teenagers today are more medicated than they have ever been before. Research has now shown how anxiety and anxiety medication is a double edged sword. Teenagers with higher levels of anxiety are more likely to abuse prescription drugs. Teenagers who are on anxiety medication are 12 times more likely to abuse these drugs. Teenagers that are guided and educated properly on the danger of prescription drug abuse are less likely to abuse those drugs. Unfortunately teenagers who understand the dangers were not completely opposed to abusing prescription medications.

Parental Guidance

The researchers concluded that parents should be aware of their children’s mental state and activities. Any teenager that might be abusing alcohol or other drugs is also at a higher risk for abusing prescription drugs. Shockingly the researchers also found that teenage males placed more value on peer popularity, which makes them more likely to abuse prescription drugs. Studies have shown that education is still the best weapon against prescription drug abuse. Parents should monitor prescription drug use diligently. Teenagers must understand the risks involved in using and abusing prescription drugs. Parents must monitor their own prescription more carefully to reduce chances of their children stealing them. More importantly, parents should exhaust all other avenues for treating teenage depression and anxiety before using prescriptions.

Prescription drug abuse is a real problem in the United States, one that needs a complex and definitive solution. The rise in prescription drug abuse and related issues are a danger to our society as a whole. It is imperative that local, state and federal governments work together to overcome this obstacle. Addiction is a serious problem that must be dealt with as a disorder, rather than a criminal issue. To solve the crime problems associated with addiction, we must first treat addicts. Treatment is statistically proven to be the best method for overcoming an addiction. More resources and attention must be provided to the goal of addiction research and treatment. It starts in the home, where families must educate their own properly and monitor their medications diligently.