Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse

Ramifications Of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in the United States. More than 15 million people in the US abuse prescription drugs, more than all other drug abusers put together. Part of the reason that prescription drug abuse is so prevalent is that most people who become addicted started taking it under the supervision and instruction of a doctor who was treating them for a legitimate condition. Injuries from work, chronic diseases, ongoing back pain, and even the pain from childbirth can all give rise to the opportunity for the abuse of prescription drugs. However, there are major consequences to this abuse

Long term drug dependence and addiction are some of the greatest dangers of prescription drug abuse. Addiction can impact your life in every way, but the underlying addiction is its own horror. As patients begin to abuse prescription drugs, they need more and more of them, because the drug becomes less effective over time. This is especially true with opioids or painkillers, which are the most abused prescription drug in the United States. Once the source of the prescription drug runs out, addicts often turn to street drugs or illegally purchasing prescription drugs to maintain their habit.

This eventual slide into an underworld that most people thought they would never find themselves in can have major ramifications on their lives and the lives of their family and friends. Addicts will lie, steal, cheat and do anything to obtain money or means to feed their addiction, and friends and family aren’t safe from this behavior. In fact, an addict is more likely to victimize those closest to them, partially because of simple proximity, but also because these people are easiest for the addict to manipulate, at least at first. Once the addict is outed, some people will turn away, while others will continue to enable the addict. The similarity is that the addict is slowing ruining every one of these relationships.


The financial consequences of prescription addiction are major and all encompassing. In the beginning, an addict might be relatively high functioning and able to keep up with their job and responsibilities, but as the addiction grows work, and then financial stability all go down hill. Prescription drug addiction is expensive, and the multiple detox and rehab treatments that are usually needed to obtain sobriety are too.

Mental Health

Finally, prescription drug abuse takes a major toll on the physical and mental health of the addict. Addicts know what they are doing. They haven’t turned into completely different people just because of their addiction. They still love their spouses, children, parents and friends. They just love their drug of choice more when they’re in the throes of addiction. This causes a huge amount of guilt, which then further drives the drug abuse.

Tough On The Body

Prescription drug abuse is incredibly tough on the body. Constant use of these drugs taxes the kidneys, liver, heart and nervous system. Years of abuse can cause or exacerbate chemical imbalances in the brain, making depression or other mental illnesses worse. Detox from prescription drugs and the street drugs that some addicts take up later in their addiction is incredibly hard on the body, taxing every system and organ. Finally, long-term prescription drug abuse can and does, lead to death by overdose or simple organ failure for many of those addicted.
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