Prescription drug abuse is commonly described as the excessive and harmful usage that certain people have with prescription medications, typically sedatives (tranquilizers and sleeping pills). Many abusers find that they need to use drugs to feel “normal”. They exhibit drug seeking behavior and are often preoccupied with using and obtaining the drugs of choice.
Another type of “legal” drug addiction is an addiction to cough syrup. It can be purchased over the counter or even prescribed by a doctor. The types prescribed by doctors contain codeine or DXM (dextromethorphan) which are opiates and are very effective cough suppressants, but also very addictive. Aside from the risk of addiction, cough syrup use is associated with increased fatigue, poor coordination and many other problems. There have been overdose deaths reported.
Cough syrup addicts will use the drug to get a marijuana-like high. Some other less-than-desirable side effects are:
- high blood pressure
- hot and cold flashes
- panic attacks
Common symptoms of prescription drug addiction:
- relief from anxiety
- changes in mood – from a sense of well being to belligerence
- false feelings of self-confidence
- increased sensitivity to sights and sounds, including hallucinations
- altered activity levels–such as sleeping for 12-14 hours or frenzied activity lasting for hours
- unpleasant or painful symptoms when substance is withdrawn
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