Am I Misusing My Prescription Medication: Self Test

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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 16.1 million people have reported misusing psychotherapeutic drugs in the last twelve months. This massive number shows how high the misuse of drugs is in society.

If you’re on drugs or have someone taking prescription drugs, you may ask if they or am I practicing prescription drug abuse? While you may unknowingly contribute to the practice, staying vigilant is essential.

In this post, you will learn about abusing prescriptions, how to stay away from the practice, and other vital drug abuse aspects. We also have a drug addiction quiz to help you know if you or your loved one is abusing prescription drugs.

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

According to MedlinePlus, this is the use of prescription drugs alternate from the intended one. Drug abuse takes various forms, and they include;

  • Taking drugs to get high
  • Exceeding the prescribed dosage
  • Using someone else’s prescription
  • Using drugs in another form other than the intended one, like crushing tablets and snorting them.

While the primary source for these drugs is the doctors, they usually consider the adverse effects. And with this, they ensure to prescribe the medications well, but some individuals don’t take the consequences into account.

This results in drug addiction and fatal consequences.

Why Prescription Drug Misuse is Rising

Unlike banned drugs, most abused prescription drugs are available. Anyone can buy these drugs, whether in physical pharmacies or online.

Many teens and adults think their usage is safe since doctors prescribe them. However, lack of knowledge about these drugs’ harmful effects leads to overdose, addiction, and worse loss of life.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

When talking about drug addiction, most people will attribute this to street drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and others. However, it’s essential to note that over-the-counter drugs have become a common issue in the country.

Below are commonly abused prescription drugs. 


These are prescription drugs usually prescribed to treat sleep disorders, ADHD, and boost antidepressants. Excellent examples of stimulants are Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall.

They are usually taken orally, but some will dissolve the pills in water and inject themselves. Problems arising from stimulant abuse are primarily attributed to one’s cardiovascular system.

These problems include heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure. It’s also essential to note that these drugs pose high risks when mixed with over-the-counter medicines like certain antidepressants.

Dextromethorphan (DXM)

This is a commonly abused prescription drug usually sold over the counter. It’s usually found in cough syrups and specific caplets.

Statistics show it has overtaken codeine in usage due to its efficacy, availability, and safety profile when taken as directed. When taken, it affects specific brain regions causing mind-altering effects.

However, an excessive amount of dosage gets needed for it to be effective. It causes increased heart rates, impaired motor function, nausea, and high blood pressure.


These prescription drugs are usually prescribed for pain relief. When used as directed, they prove safe and effective for after-surgery patients and injured ones.
They are usually intended for oral usage and have time-release properties. This implies that they get designed to release their active strength properties over a specified time frame.

However, when these painkillers get crushed to get snorted or injected, they release their strength faster. This leads to opioid addiction and can lead to an overdose or death.

It’s also vital to note that mixing opioids with other drugs leads to life-threatening effects. Substances in question include barbiturates, alcohol, benzodiazepines, among others.


These prescription drugs usually come in multi-colored pills, liquids, and capsules. They get attributed to affecting one’s Central Nervous System.

They are usually taken orally and interact with GABA, a natural brain’s neurotransmitter. While naturally occurring GABA benefits sleep and stress curbing, its excessive artificial form is dangerous.

Problems arising from depressant misuse depend on dose and strength. And these problems are confusion, low blood pressure, and addiction.

Barbiturates, otherwise known as downers, cause relaxation and euphoria when taken in small doses.

Ethyl Alcohol is the typical legal alcohol. According to the CDC, one out of six individuals confesses to binge drinking four times monthly.

Benzodiazepines are safe for short usage. But, with long-term use comes tolerance, dependency, and withdrawal symptoms on stoppage.

Factors Contributing to Drug Abuse

While some people practice abusing drugs unknowingly, some are aware of their doings. Several factors can also contribute to these harmful practices.

  • Peer Pressure

    While many attribute this to young adults, it's equally prevalent in adults. Peer pressure usually comes from the ones surrounding a victim, whereby the non-user may feel left out. And since people are social animals, the need for peer and family acceptance is high. This can often lead to small prescription drug usage, increasing with time. An excellent example is a spouse who starts taking drugs to feel accepted in the relationship. While this can seem like the best option for them, addiction can lead to continuous usage.

  • Mental Illness Presence

    According to schizophrenia and smoking dubbed study, Drug abuse and mental disorders usually correlate. It's found that people dealing with these disorders are three times more likely to turn to the practice. They are likely to view the drugs as pain and stress relieving. While this can seem like the option of suppressing the other condition, addiction gets expected to set in fast. This causes more problems in the long run.

  • Age

    The early start of using drugs can lead to addiction at later stages in life. According to studies, 18-24 aged individuals are likely to be part of the drug abuse norms. These traits get obtained from their family setting, whereby these young adults grow up seeing their parents or siblings use them. Such a case puts one at risk of experimentation to know how it feels like using the drugs.

  • Lonliness

    In a TED presented talk, Johann Hari explains how loneliness and lack of options contribute to abusing drugs. In the experiment dubbed Rat Park, he explains how caged rats with companions were less likely to experience boredom. This can get likened to humans. It's evident that people with strong family and social ties are less likely to use drugs. This is opposite to people who feel neglected and lack family or friends’ support.

  • Trauma

    Traumatic experiences fuel drug usage, whether in small or large doses. Traumatic occurrences include: sexual abuse, accidents, physical and emotional abuse, natural disasters and divorce. Studies show that one out of four American children usually experiences a traumatic situation. Trauma in adults is also evident and leads to prescription drugs abuse.

Signs of Drug Abuse

If you have been on prescription drugs, asking yourself the question, “am I abusing?” is inevitable. While this question can also reflect when dealing with a loved one, knowing the signs is essential.


With prolonged prescription drugs use, your personality and traits may change. However, you may fail to notice the changes hence become unaware.

Personality changes include:

  • Getting irritated fast when out of prescription
  • Anxious about someone knowing your usage traits
  • A significant change in socializing
    Neglecting personal hygiene

As highlighted, noticing these changes can be challenging if analyzing yourself. But you can quickly note them when dealing with a loved one on drugs.

Increase in Usage

Prolonged usage of prescription drugs like opioids leads to tolerance. This is a stage where your body gets used to the drug in use.

And to achieve the effects you need, you must increase your dosage and strength. Such scenarios lead to overdoses and even death. Increased usage also means having a more dire need to use the drugs even when not needed.

Doctor Shopping

This is the practice of getting your prescriptions from various doctors. While this ensures you have a constant supply of drugs, it may also be harmful.

This sign gets noticed through analyzing how much time you spend getting your prescriptions. If it’s high, you are at the risk of abusing drugs.

A Third Party is Worried

When suffering from substance abuse, it’s usually challenging to tell if you are still on course. However, other people will notice and become worried about your usage.
Signs that your heavy usage is manifesting include;

  • People are constantly checking on you
  • Doctors advising you on reducing usage
  • Your family meets to discuss you
  • An employer commenting on your slipping performance

So if you have close people worried, you may be overusing your prescription drugs.

Hiding Prescriptions

Have you recently noted a change in sharing your usage information? Or do you have a batch of drugs hidden in your car’s secret compartment?

This is a sign you are knowingly or unknowingly abusing drugs. You may be at risk of abusing drugs if you are;

  • Making secret doctor appointments
  • Lying about using
  • Downplaying your prescriptions

How to Overcome Prescription Drugs Addiction

Overcoming drug addiction can be life-changing for those who get determined. This is because this procedure is not as easy as it seems.

Be Willing to Change

An excellent way to overcome something you are used to that’s troubling you is to acknowledge it. For many drug users, asserting their entanglement in drug abuse is the hardest step to make.

This is because this step includes being ready to ditch your drug lifestyle, change friends, and other behaviors. And important of all, it involves changing your life’s mentality and attitude.

Join a Sober Support Group

The drug recovery process is overwhelming for many. However, sobriety groups are here to help you, or that loved one overcome their addiction.

These groups consist of individuals holding the same interest, which is to transition successfully. Through these programs, you will interact with people who support your decision.

And they will always be there when in need of help.

Practice Healthy Habits

After a successful treatment program, former drug users return to their everyday lives. These are lifestyles they used to engage in the practice and the people they used these drugs with.

Relapse triggers can be overwhelming to keep away from, thus exercising healthy coping skills is crucial. They are a primary source of relapsing among former drug users.

These relapse triggers can, however, be avoided through common practices such as:

  • Exercising and meditation
  • Attending wellness meetings
  • Enroll in volunteering programs
  • Find new friends and hobbies

Get Professional Help

Since drug abuse influences a person’s brain functions, stopping the practice is challenging. This is because your body and mind have developed a complete dependency.

But, with the help of professionals, the body and brain can smoothly lose drug dependency. The search for a reputable drug abuse treatment facility yields many options.

It’s essential to note these institutions differ in practices and addiction types treatment. So be sure to engage with a facility with well-trained experts dedicated to helping you become sober.

Get Help Today With Everlast Recovery

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in the country. This is due to the ready availability of prescription drugs and their safe attribution.

But, they are only safe when used as intended and worse on misuse. Are you on prescription and wondering if you abuse the drugs?

The above post teaches you about commonly abused drugs, measures to take, among other aspects. Contact us today to change your life, and better yet, we accept most insurance plans.


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