Prescription drug abuse effects on the body. Prescription drugs are generally vital medicines, which is why they need a prescription from a doctor. Various prescription drugs are usually often misused. However, opioids, stimulants, and depressants are among the major prescribed drugs that are abused. Prescription drug misuse has become an enormous public health problem because it often leads to severe addiction and even overdose deaths.
Prescription drug abuse and the brain
The impact of prescription drug abuse on the brain depends on what class of medication you’re taking. However, it is well-known that drug abuse results in tampering with the brain’s communication system by disrupting the way nerve cells usually deliver and receive information. Most medications can alter the brain’s ‘reward’ circuit, resulting in overwhelming feelings of pleasure or being ‘high.’ This feeling comes from the increased production of dopamine in the brain.
Prescription drug abuse and heart
Prescription drug abuse effects can be life-threatening. It is because too much drug use can have an adverse impact on the heart and can induce abnormal heart rates and other problems. It can lead to heart failure, collapsed veins, heart attacks, and more. Whether it’s alcohol or prescription drugs, too much of anything can put a heavy strain on the heart.
Prescription drug abuse and liver
The liver is responsible for assisting in digesting anything you put into your body. It includes prescription medications as well. These drugs come in direct contact with the liver and can cause it to function extra hard, break down, and not work when used in higher quantities. It can drive in liver damage, and even drug-induced liver disease originated from prescription drugs.
Impact of prescription drug abuse on the immune system
Just like prescription medications can damage the brain, heart, and liver, so can the drugs damage your immune system. Other effects of drug use include exhaustion or lack of food, decreasing a person’s defense system. It doesn’t matter which prescription drug you’re abusing – if you’re experiencing prescription drug abuse physical effects, like fatigue, sleeplessness, inactivity, and dehydration – you’re damaging your immune system and putting yourself at risk for other illnesses.
Prescription drugs can assist with medical problems when used as directed. However, whether they are correctly utilized or misused, there can be side effects:
Using opioids like oxycodone and codeine can lead you to feel sleepy, sick to your stomach, and constipated. At higher doses, opioids can make it difficult to breathe properly and can cause overdose and death. Opioids can cause low blood pressure—a slowed breathing rate, and potential for living to stop, or a coma. Overdose has a significant risk of death. Opioid abuse can lead to mood changes, vomiting, decreased ability to think (cognitive function), and even decreased respiratory function, coma, or death. This risk is higher when they consume prescription drugs with other substances like alcohol, antihistamines, and CNS depressants. Opioids—utilized to relieve pain, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, or codeine, or depressants—used to soothe anxiety or assist an individual in sleeping, such as Valium or Xanax Stimulants—utilized for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall and Ritalin.
Usage of stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin can make one experience paranoid (feeling like someone will harm you even though they aren’t). It can also cause your body temperature to get dangerously high and make your heartbeat too fast. It is most likely if stimulants are taken in large doses or in ways other than swallowing a pill. Stimulants can cause very high body temperature, heart problems, high blood pressure, seizures or tremors, hallucinations, aggressiveness, and paranoia.
Abuse of Stimulants (like with some ADHD drugs) may cause heart failure or seizures. These risks are high as they mix stimulants with other medications— even OTC ones like cold medicines. Consuming too much of a stimulant can lead to a very high body temperature or an irregular heartbeat. High dosages over a short period may make someone aggressive or paranoid. Stimulant abuse might not cause physical dependence and withdrawal, but abusers might take the drugs so often that they become a hard addiction to break.
Using depressants like barbiturates can lead to slurred speech, shallow breathing, sleepiness, disorientation, and lack of coordination. People who misuse depressants regularly and then cease suddenly may experience seizures. At higher doses, depressants can also cause overdose and death, especially when mixed with alcohol.
CNS depressant abuse is dangerous too. Abruptly stopping or decreasing them too quickly can lead to seizures. Having CNS depressants with other medicines, such as prescription painkillers, some over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, or alcohol can reduce the pace of a person’s heartbeat and breathing — and even kill.
Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives can cause memory problems, low blood pressure, and slowed breathing. Overdose can cause coma or death. Abruptly stopping the pill may cause withdrawal symptoms that can include nervous system hyperactivity and seizures.
The above elaborates how prescription drug abuse impacts various areas of the body. If there is one piece of knowledge to take away from this, prescription drug abuse has an extremely negative effect on the body. It’s physical, mental, and emotional – all pieces of evidence to go to prescription drug abuse prevention programs.
The likelihood that an individual will commit a crime, be a victim of a crime, or have an accident is more severe when that person abuses drugs — no matter whether those drugs are medicines or street drugs. It is the social impact of prescription drug abuse. Like all drug abuse, prescription drugs for the incorrect reasons have severe risks for a person’s health.
The threats of prescription drug abuse can be even worse if people take drugs to have no intention for usage. Ritalin may seem harmless because it’s prescribed even for little toddlers with ADHD. But when an individual takes it either unnecessarily or in a way it wasn’t intended (such as snorting or injection), Ritalin toxicity can be severe.