A Review of Medicine Abuse

In a recent survey, pharmacists in Scotland indicated that over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are misused. The most commonly abused products are Nytol, Feminax, and Kaolin. However, pharmacists are increasingly concerned about the potential harms of OTC medicines. This review examines current knowledge about OTC medicine abuse, based on a literature search spanning 1990 to 2011.

The risks of prescription drug abuse are both immediate and long-term. Opioids, or painkillers, are highly addictive and, if abused, can lead to a life-long dependence on the substance. Opioids derived from the opium poppy are particularly addictive and can develop a lifelong pattern of addiction. Opioids, also known as opioids, are used to treat pain and are the most commonly abused substances in America.

There are several types of misuse of OTC medicines, including taking higher dosages than recommended, using the medicine for a symptom for which it is not indicated, and substituting OTC medicines for prescribed medications. Substitution involves the substitution of one medication with another because the user depends on the drug that is not available or incompatible with the substitute. Regardless of the type of misuse, there are warning signs of abuse of any OTC medicine. And, if it is abused, it is important to address this problem promptly.

To prevent abuse of medications, parents should not leave their prescription bottles lying around. Almost 75 percent of young people who abuse pain medication obtained it from a family member or friend. Keeping these medicines out of reach of children and pets is a red flag. Even pharmacists should be encouraged to secure their prescriptions and encourage their patients to properly dispose of their unwanted medicine. Even though medication may be safe, the risks of misuse or abuse dramatically increase. If you have concerns about misuse of medication, seek professional help.

In addition to sharing information about drug misuse and prevention, parents should also clean out their medicine cabinets. Empty cold medicine boxes and blister packs are common signs of misuse. Unwanted prescription cough and cold medicines are often found in schools and households. Aside from missing or broken medicine, teens who abuse prescription drugs may become more moody and spend more time alone. The best way to prevent these problems is to educate yourself. Know the risks and signs of misuse.

Inappropriate use of OTC and prescription medicines is a major public health issue. Many prescription drugs are as addictive and dangerous as street drugs. Even taking prescription drugs at higher than recommended doses can have disastrous consequences. People are urged to never mix prescription drugs with other drugs, alcohol, or illicit substances. However, the consequences of this behavior are more severe than they think. Fortunately, the legal system can protect you from misuse and addiction of drugs.

In addition to cough and cold medicines, young people may also abuse DXM. Many young people believe that DXM is relatively safe to use and do not think about the dangers of high doses. Thankfully, the number of teens abusing DXM has decreased by more than half in the past decade. Additionally, many stores have taken the necessary precautions to limit the sale of OTC medicines to minors. In addition, many states have banned the sale of meds that contain DXM to minors.