Prescription Drug Abuse in Canada: The 3 Most Abused Drugs

Prescription drugs are helpful when you’re sick. But when they are taken in the wrong doses and for the wrong purposes, your health is at stake. Although prescription drug addiction seems less serious compared to street drug addiction, the former can still lead to severe physical conditions. To avoid the consequences of prescription drug addiction, remember the following basic information:

Types of prescription drugs being abused:

1. CNS depressants

CNS depressants are prescribed by doctors to patients who are suffering from sleep disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, and tension. The prescription drug causes the brain to slow down and the person taking the medicine to become drowsy or calm.

2. Opioids

Used to relieve diarrhea, pain or coughs, opioids attach to the brain’s opioid receptors. The brain, then, is hindered from receiving pain messages.

3. Stimulants

Stimulants are usually used by people with ADHD or narcolepsy. The effect of stimulants is increased alertness, energy, and attention span.

Why are prescription drugs abused?

One reason these drugs are abused is prescription drugs give a pleasurable feeling when used in inappropriate amounts. In people who should not be taking them, prescription drugs have a different effect. A stimulant, for example, is prescribed to a child with ADHD. But a person without ADHD can take a stimulant to avoid eating too much. Then, without knowing the proper doses for such a stimulant, a person can gradually become addicted to it.

A few effects of prescription drug abuse

  • Seizures
  • Slow, irregular, or increased heartbeat
  • Increased body temperature
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Death

Treatment for prescription drug abuse

1. Behavioral treatment – Behavioral treatment helps people get over their drug cravings and avoid situations that lead to drug use and relapses.

2. Pharmacological treatment – Pharmacological treatment helps people overcome withdrawal symptoms and craving for prescription drugs.

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