Prescription drug abuse is one of the nation’s fastest-growing drug problems, according to the Office of National Control Policy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. Prescription drugs are legal and easily accessible, which makes it even more difficult to prevent abuse or misuse.
What is prescription drug abuse?
Prescription drug abuse can affect any individual regardless of age, race, or gender. It especially impacts those who intentionally take pain medication for the purpose of getting high and/or taking medication outside of what its intent. They have the potential for addiction, and, as with other drugs, abuse of prescription drugs can alter a person’s judgment and decision-making, leading to dangerous behaviors that could negatively affect our nation’s defense and warfighting capabilities.
Prescription opioid pain medications such as OxyContin and Hydrocodone can have effects similar to heroin when taken in doses or in ways other than prescribed, and research now suggests that abuse of these drugs may actually open the door to heroin use because the illegal drug is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids. The most common prescription drugs resulting in positive urinalysis tests are oxymorphone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and oxazepam.
How do you prevent prescription drug abuse?
For proper disposal of prescription drugs:
For more information, contact your local Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC). To dispose of your old prescription medication, see your local pharmacy, health clinic, or take part in the Drug Takeback Day on October 23. See your local Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC) for details.
The misuse of prescription drugs is always high-risk and carries serious consequences for people choosing to participate in it.
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