Prescription Medicine Use and Abuse
It was supposed to be a brief course of treatment with tranquilizers following the death of her toddler son 15 years ago. But Lynn Ray, 46, of Germantown, Md., says her abuse of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and other prescription medications led to an extended struggle with addiction that practically ruined her life.
Tranquilizers, which slow down the central nervous system and cause sleepiness, numbed Ray's agony, helped her sleeping, and untied the constant knot in her stomach. Soon, whether or not her doctor had approved one pill in an eight-hour period, the girl took two or three in an attempt to intensify the soothing effect of the drug.
When the doctor stopped composing prescriptions for her and urged grief counseling, Ray started out doctor-shopping--going from doctor to doctor, fabricating panic attacks, backaches, migraines, and also other ailments that will get her multiple medications for tranquilizers and drugs. " My spouse and i became an excellent actress, " Ray says. " I think I needed these drugs whatever, even if I had fashioned to bamboozle the doctors to buy them. "
Most patients take medicine responsibly, nevertheless approximately being unfaithful million People in the usa used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in 1999, according to the National Institute in Drug Abuse (NIDA). Non-medical purposes include misusing prescription drugs intended for recreation and then for psychic effects--to get substantial, to have entertaining, to get a lift, or to calm down.
Authorities stress that prescription substance abuse isn't about bad drugs or even poor people. It involves a complex web of factors, including the power of addiction, misperceptions about drug abuse, and the problems both individuals and doctors have discussing the topic.
There is also the delicate equilibrium of minimizing criminal activity related to substance abuse while ensuring people with legit health needs can still get care, says Alan My spouse and i. Leshner, Ph. D., overseer of NIDA. " We recognize the particular real issue that a lot of lives are increased because of health professional prescribed drugs--the same drugs which have been sometimes mistreated, " he admits that.
Consequences of Abuse
Ray had persuaded herself that abusing prescription medications was less dangerous than abusing heroin, marijuana, and other " street medications. " " I would never do individuals, " she says. " We figured I had a pharmaceutical for what I used to be doing, which in turn made it ALRIGHT. "
Scott Master, program representative for drug abuse at the Hill Comprehensive Treatment Center in Prestonsburg, Ky., says he hears that rationalization again and again. " A lot of people tell themselves they aren't using a thing old Joe cooked in a storage area somewhere, " Walker says. They may number a legitimate producer made this, " so what will be the harm? "
As Ray's life unraveled, she discovered the damage can be great, whether most likely using heroin or sleeping pills. The girl lost her job like a computer programmer after consistently showing up past due for job and falling asleep at her desk. Her son, a preteen at the moment, couldn't understand her erratic behavior and didn't desire anything to carry out with her.
Then simply in 95, she crashed her car three times in one month when under the influence of tranquilizers and pain relievers, seriously hurting others every time. Her driver's license was suspended, and your woman served a one-year jail sentence more than a decade ago. " Let me always know in my cardiovascular that I could have killed those individuals, " she says. " It doesn't matter that I don't kill these people; it matters that I could have. "
Walker says that roughly half the people going through substance abuse treatment at Huge batch Comprehensive Treatment Center arrive after realizing that they found themselves in a hole too deep to get out of on their own. The other half, like Ray, come as a result of some legal charge related to drug ownership or medication use.
OxyContin (oxycodone), a manipulated drug accepted in 95 to treat serious, moderate-to-severe pain, has received extensive attention as a result of deaths and crimes associated with its maltreatment. (For even more on the classes--or...