Prescription drug abuse has become a problem in the United States and Ohio. The federal government has awarded $265,000 in grants to fight heroin and prescription painkiller abuse in 13 Ohio counties, including Lucas County. The money from the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy will help counties designated as Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.
While many anti-drug campaigns and causes focus on illicit drugs, the truth is that prescription drug abuse is a growing problem and can be just as dangerous as illicit drug use. In fact, according to Drug Free World, more people overdose on prescription medications than on any other drug.
Many addicts prescription drug may have true medical problems. Typically, a prescription medication is prescribed for a legitimate reason. Prescription drug abuse occurs when the patient begins taking the medication in higher amounts than prescribed or for a purpose other than what the medication was prescribed for.
Any medication carries a risk for side effects; however, prescription drug abuse can be deadly. Physicians and pharmacists are trained in appropriate doses and uses for medication. When a patient chooses to take a drug for something other than its intended purpose or in higher doses than his or her physician prescribed, overdose becomes more likely.
One of the first side effects of prescription drug abuse is an increased need for sleep. While someone might typically be an insomniac who struggles to fall asleep, the addict might begin sleeping for long periods of time or appear to be constantly tired. Other patients might have the opposite side effect and seem to never require sleep while they're taking prescription medication.
Tolerance is another common side effect of prescription drug abuse. This is unfortunate since many patients are given prescription medication because they have a medical need for the prescription. When a patient develops a tolerance for a drug, he or she will need to take higher doses of the medication to experience the same results. This can be incredibly dangerous.
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