Prescription drugs are commonly used in the United States. This country is the most medicated nation in the entire world. We consume 80% of the world’s prescription drugs, but maintain less than 5% of the world’s population. Prescription drugs are used daily by millions of Americans over a long period of time, while they are never meant to be used for long term periods. Taking prescription drugs over a long period of time can cause dependence and addiction. Prescription drug abuse and addiction have grown exponentially in the United States since the 1990’s. Drug overdose fatalities have taken over motor vehicle accidents as the number one cause of death. Prescription drugs have also taken over marijuana as the most commonly abused gateway drug. Both of these statistics are frightening because the previous holders of those titles were in place for decades. Zaleplon is a safe drug when it is used properly, but anyone who is abusing the drug should seek professional help immediately before the problem grows out of control.

Zaleplon

Zaleplon is a prescription drug that individuals use when they have difficulty falling asleep. This drug is normally used to treat someone in the short term. The drug works by acting on the parts of the brain that are associated with sleep regulation and insomnia. Similar drugs that are used to treat insomnia and sleeping troubles are: Lorazepam, Zolpidem, Benadryl and Lunesta. Like other sedative/stimulants target various areas of the brain and affect the GABA receptors. Zaleplon or Sonata, is classified as a hypnotic.

Zaleplon Side Effects

The side effects of Zaleplon are: drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, nervousness, loss of appetite, nausea, memory and vision problems. The long term side effects include: stomach cramps, trembling, vomiting, increased possibility of visual hallucinations, liver damage and seizures. This drug should only be taken before bed and never before naps. The drugs is only recommended to be taken as prescribed; any other reason for using the drug is considered abuse. Zaleplon should not be taken after large meals or with alcohol. Drinking alcohol while on Zaleplon can be hazardous to your health. The drug is not meant to be taken for more than thirty days. It can cause addiction, dependency, liver problems and depression.

Those who take the drug for extended periods of time may feel that the effects are weaker than when they first started taking them. That is a sign of tolerance, which should not be remedied by consuming more than prescribed. This drug does not normally cause overdose, but is a possibility if it is abused or taken with alcohol or other drugs. Anyone experiencing confusion, stifled breathing or loss of consciousness should seek medical assistance.
Signs of Abuse or Addiction

Depending on the drug of choice, addicts or substance abusers will display a multitude of signs of their addictions. The one common factor that all addicts show is their negligence of normal activities, interests and responsibilities. Drug abusers and addicts slow become shells of themselves. They will display less interest in their normal hobbies or interaction with friends and families. Addicts seclude and isolate themselves from their loved ones because they understand the wrong they are doing. When a loved one becomes secretive and irresponsible without a reason, it could be a drug problem. Addicts normally have difficult times managing social relationships, finances and will have legal troubles.

Sedatives and Stimulants

Benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system. Drugs that contain benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin), are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders; they are used by millions and also used for insomnia. These drugs attack the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Which, decreases brain activity resulting in a drowsy or calming effect. Nembutaland and Mebaral, also central nervous system depressants, are used for anesthesia, seizures, insomnia, or anxiety. Like any other drug, the longer one consumers it the more they need to take to achieve the same effects as the first time. Quitting central nervous system depressions abruptly can lead to severe withdrawal effects, such as withdrawal seizures.

Stimulants were initially prescribed to treat asthma and obesity. Stimulants increase heart rate, blood pressure, constrict blood vessels, increase blood sugar and open the pathways of the respiratory systems. Today, stimulants are prescribed for ADHD, ADD, depression, narcolepsy, and other problems. Ritalin, Concerta Dexedrine and Adderall are all types of stimulants. Like other prescribed drugs, if taken as prescribed they are safe. Unfortunately, they are misused and have a high potential for addiction. Polydrug use of stimulants and decongestants can cause irregular heart rhythms and misuse can cause high body temperatures.

Over Prescribing

Experts today are torn on why prescription drug abuse is on the rise. Doctors are writing more prescriptions for people than ever before. With a higher quantity available to the public, this results in higher abuse. Adding to the number prescriptions written by doctors, there are now online pharmacies where individuals can get the prescription drugs they want. Since there is such a high number of prescription medication available, kids today need only open their parent’s medicine cabinets to get high. Some even reporting to have pill parties, where they gather at someone’s house with all the pills they can grab. Only to pour the mixture in a bowl and blindly take whatever looks good.

Government Programs

In an attempt to battle this ongoing epidemic of prescription drug misuse, authorities have created several programs. The education of our youths is the first line of defense against prescription drug abuse. Informing the next generation of the dangers of misusing pills is paramount in changing the culture created by the country and pharmaceutical industry. Which, just to iterate is one of the most profitable industries today, even in recession. The next stage of the battle against prescription drug use is the dispensaries that authorities have set up. Several cities and towns have set up places where individuals can come to properly dispose of their unused or expired medications. Prescription drug abuse is very high in youths under the age of 18 because they are getting the drugs from their parents for free. If communities come together and get rid of their medications properly, then the problem with prescription drug misuse will be dealt a heavy blow.

Getting Help

Years of research have shown that successful treatment must be specific to the drug being abused. The treatment for prescription drug abuse includes both pharmaceutical and behavioral management. A system is established of detoxification, counseling, and if needed addiction medication. The medication is used to reverse the effects of the abused drug, while the behavioral counseling helps deliver methods to deal with cravings and drug abuse triggers. Seeking professional help for prescription drug abuse is the first step to rehab.