Prescription drug abuse is one of the most serious health risks, affecting people of all ages. Abuse of prescription drugs includes habitually ingesting pharmaceuticals, accidental overdosing of drugs normally used in proper dosage, and experimenting with pharmaceutical compounds where the risks are not properly understood.

Teens and young adults are especially susceptible to improper use of drugs available through prescription. Experimentation goes hand-in-hand with wanting to fit into a social group or be accepted by acquaintances in general. However, the misuse of prescription drugs is widespread and accounts for a large number of fatalities in persons of any age group. In fact, the abuse of prescription drugs leads to more deaths in the United States than cocaine and heroine combined.

Risks Involved With Prescription Drugs
Prescription medications are separated into three major categories. These include painkillers, depressants, and stimulants. All three of these drug categories have their specialized purpose and when taken regularly in dosages prescribed by a physician, all have their benefits. However, it is imperative that all who keep prescription medications in the home fully understand the consequences of ingesting these pharmaceuticals in dosages that exceed that which is prescribed.

Painkillers are prescribed as a means to numb the nervous system in and around an affected area. Opioid receptors in the brain react to the active ingredient and disregard the stimulus from the nerve endings in a particular area of the body. When taken in dosages that exceed what is recommended by a physician, painkillers can cause nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulty. When combined with alcohol, painkillers can be deadly.

Depressants are often prescribed to combat anxiety or sleep disorders. When taken in unusually large dosages or used more frequently than recommended, depressants can affect heartbeat and respiration. Depressants are as addictive as painkillers, and those who misuse this type of drug find it extremely difficult to stop taking the medication.

Stimulants are often used to treat narcolepsy and depression. Taking this type of drug in excessive amounts can lead to feelings of paranoia and thoughts of suicide. They are the most addictive of the three categories of prescription medications. Most stimulants contain dopamine and/or norepinephrine. Benzedrine and Ritalin are two commonly prescribed stimulants.

Most stimulants do not combine well with over-the-counter medications or alcohol. Unfortunately, many individuals become addicted to stimulants and begin taking them in combination with cold medications and alcohol. The results can be fatal.

There Is Help For Prescription Drug Abuse
Here in Florida, specialized treatment centers exist that can help affected individuals overcome their abusive habit. It is important to remember that drug abuse in any form is a type of disease, one that can be treated. Many employers offer group health insurance that includes coverage for treatment at a local rehabilitation center.

If you feel your drug use is spiraling out of control or are convinced that your misuse of prescription drugs is affecting your everyday life, now is the time to seek help. Prescription drug abuse can be treated successfully at one of the many rehab centers located in Florida. The earlier you seek treatment, the better your chances of a full recovery.