HomeMedicine ArticlesThe Side-effects of Medicinal Drug Abuse

The Side-effects of Medicinal Drug Abuse

The side effects of medicinal drug abuse are varied and sometimes severe, although they are usually less severe than the side effects of recreational drugs such as alcohol or marijuana. Here’s what you need to know about the side effects of medicinal drug abuse to avoid them and ensure your safety when you are taking any medication

What is Medicinal Drug Abuse?

This is when someone takes prescription drugs in a way that was not prescribed. This can be done by taking more than needed or in any situation where you’re not following medical advice. It’s important to know that although some medications have many benefits, they still have risks and side effects. Using them as directed will reduce these risks and side effects. Not using them correctly could lead to serious health problems or even death.

Some commonly abused prescription drugs include pain relievers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and fentanyl. These are often mixed with alcohol or other substances like heroin. Opioids can be very dangerous when combined with other substances because they increase your overdose risk. Benzodiazepines are another group of drugs that could lead to abuse. These are sometimes used for anxiety and sleep disorders, but they can also be used illegally to get high. Just taking more than recommended amounts is an example of misusing these medications.

What Leads to Medicinal Drug Abuse?

Many risk factors can lead to medicinal drug abuse. Doctors will often give these types of medicines to patients suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and other conditions. Still, if a person struggles with addiction or alcoholism, they may abuse prescription medications to get high. This is especially true when it comes to narcotics. Some people take their prescriptions just like they’re supposed to, and others take more than what is prescribed for them by a doctor.

When a person takes more than what is prescribed for them, they can tolerate these types of drugs. While tolerance may seem like an innocent thing, it can lead to drug dependence, addiction and physical and psychological dependence. When you abuse pain medication for an extended period or if you take too much of these medications at one time, you risk overdose or accidental death from respiratory failure.

Therefore, the leading cause of medicinal drug abuse is taking too much-prescribed medication.

Why are these drugs so addictive? Well, when you take any medication for an extended period, your body gets used to them and begins to depend on them. That is why withdrawal symptoms occur when a person stops taking their medicine. The longer a person takes these types or higher doses, the more likely they will become dependent on them.

7 Side Effects of Medicinal Drug Abuse

It’s essential to be aware of any potential side effects that may come with abusing these medications, even if you have been doing so for years. The truth is, once you start abusing your medication(s), it can easily lead to addiction; a vicious cycle can develop where some users become entirely dependent on their pill(s) and experience terrifying symptoms without them. Others mistakenly think there aren’t any possible adverse side effects associated with prescription meds because they have been getting them from doctors all their lives.

1. Dry mouth

Dry mouth is a common side effect of prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse. It’s caused by something called tachyphylaxis—that is, the rapid loss of responsiveness to a drug following repeated administration at high doses or even in average doses for an extended time. Dry mouth can occur with painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen; ADHD medications; antibiotics such as penicillin; sedatives like Ambien (zolpidem); antidepressants; blood pressure medications; heartburn medications; blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin); and anxiety drugs.

2. Fever, chills, or sweats

These are all symptoms of a cold, but these can also be side effects of some medications. Cough suppressants are notorious for causing these symptoms, as is Prednisone—the same steroid used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems. If you have trouble breathing while taking certain medications, talk to your doctor about finding a different medication that won’t have side effects like chills or sweats. While most side effects aren’t dangerous, it might not be a bad idea to avoid medications with intense and uncontrollable side effects. This may help curb anxiety, but remember that having too much will often keep your fever from coming down at all.

3. Hallucinations

When people abuse prescription medications, they’re at risk of experiencing hallucinations. The exact side effect varies depending on the drug being abused, but hallucinations can be extremely frightening. People who experience visual and auditory hallucinations are more likely to think that someone or something is trying to hurt them; an overdose may result in severe injury or death. If you or a loved one is abusing the medication, talk to your doctor about ways to stop; don’t let these dangers continue.

4. Trouble sleeping, insomnia

Another side effect to watch out for is insomnia. Depending on your level of drug abuse, it could be tough to sleep through the night. If you cannot fall asleep when you hit your bed, you should speak with a doctor and do some research on natural remedies that can help you get some rest. Getting enough sleep is one way to ensure your body functions optimally during your waking hours.

5. Shaking and tremors in your arms and legs

Some people experience mild side effects, like tiredness and headaches, but more severe side effects can occur if they take the medication in high doses or combine it with alcohol. These side effects include tremors, nausea, restlessness and lack of coordination. If you notice these symptoms while taking your medication, it may be time to seek medical attention. Do not stop taking medication on your own without speaking to a doctor first. You could have developed an allergy or dependency on drugs that require professional help for treatment.

6. Decreased Heart Rate

Both prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin slow down your heart rate. The problem is that decreased heart rate can cause dizziness and nausea, especially if you’re already malnourished or dehydrated. If your heartbeat drops too low, it can lead to cardiac arrest. So, when using these types of drugs, make sure you’re adequately hydrated by drinking plenty of water; a good rule of thumb is eight glasses a day unless otherwise directed by a medical professional.

7. Abdominal Cramps and Diarrhoea

Abdominal cramps can occur in anyone who Abuses Medicinal Drugs, but it is a prevalent symptom for patients with abdominal pain. Painful abdomen and stomach cramping are often caused by gastrointestinal irritation, leading to nausea and vomiting. This irritation usually stems from the abuse of acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin. Patients with weak immune systems, such as chemotherapy patients, are also at a higher risk for abdominal cramping and diarrhoea because they have weakened digestive tracts that cannot effectively process certain medications.

What to Do After Medicinal Drug Abuse?

If you or someone you love has recently been abusing prescription medications, it’s essential to seek help from a substance abuse rehab facility. Medication abuse is dangerous and can lead to serious long-term health problems—both for those who use them without a prescription and those who take them as prescribed but in excessive amounts. You can get back on track with your life safely and healthily by seeking treatment.

Most people who’ve been abusing prescription medications feel a strong sense of shame and embarrassment about their drug use. Some are too afraid to admit that they have a problem, so they won’t seek help until it’s necessary. You can take steps to ensure you get treatment for your addiction by reaching out to friends or family members and telling them what’s going on.

You’ll also want to seek out a rehab centre that has programs tailored to your specific needs. Many inpatient facilities offer specialized addiction treatments and counselling services—including individual therapy, group sessions, educational classes, and behavioural therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Whether you need help getting off prescription medications or want to address underlying issues that may have contributed to your addiction, there are effective treatment options available for you.

Conclusion

Sure, medication can help alleviate your symptoms, but it can also be abused. If you or someone you know is experiencing side effects from medicine abuse, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Several drug rehab facilities are available to support an individual throughout their recovery period. While medication abuse may seem like a harmless act at first, it could lead to lifelong consequences if left untreated.

FAQs

1. What are some of these side effects?

Not all medicines have side effects, and it’s important to know that not everyone will experience them. This is especially true if you use a lower dose than what your doctor prescribes or only take medicine for a short time.

2. Why do people abuse medications?

Medicine isn’t as addictive as heroin or cocaine, but it can be just as dangerous if abused in high doses over long periods.

3. How do I know if I am addicted to my medication?

If you don’t feel like yourself without taking your medication, you may be addicted to it.

4. Do medicinal drugs affect teens differently than adults?

Yes, medications often affect teens differently because their bodies aren’t fully developed yet.

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/symptoms-causes/syc-20376813

https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2016/december/prescription-drug-abuse-a-timely-update

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/drug-abuse

https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/drugs/about-drugs/types-of-drugs

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