Are You or is Someone You Love Abusing Prescription Drugs?

Drug abuse is a very serious and dangerous problem. When many people think of drug abuse, they're picturing illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. Another very real form of drug abuse is prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse, to be put simply, is taking a prescription medication that is either not prescribed by a doctor or taken in a way other than prescribed. Prescription drug abuse cuts across a wide segment of the population, from Hollywood celebrities to the kids taking pills from the family medicine cabinet. OxyContin is the prescription drug that receives the most press coverage, but many other drugs that are also being abused. It could almost be said that if a drug is available under prescription, someone has tried to abuse it. Most Abused Drugs and Methods of Abuse These are the three main categories of prescription drugs that are routinely abused: Opioid Painkillers – includes oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxymorphone (Opana) Depressants – includes alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) Stimulants – includes amphetamines (Adderall),…

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Relapse Prevention Planning

The decision to quit using alcohol or drugs is an important first step on the path to a new life. The hard work of getting sober follows. Recovery may free you from many of the problems that substance abuse caused in your life, but you will still have to face the everyday stressors and major life changes that everyone must deal with. In the past, you may have dealt with stress and change by drinking or using drugs. That is no longer an option. By thinking ahead and planning strategies for dealing with trigger events, you can be more confident about avoiding relapse on your road to recovery. Relapse is a process that begins long before you take a drink or use drugs. Many people in recovery have found that coming up with a relapse prevention plan is an effective strategy for staying healthy and avoiding substance abuse. A relapse prevention plan that covers the following areas can help you defuse a relapse before it begins. Identifying high-risk situations…

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Slight Drop in Prescription Drug Abuse among Young Adults

Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. has dropped to the lowest level since 2002, reflecting a crackdown on over-prescribing doctors and black market drug dealers. Prescription drugs are no longer being abused quite as prominently as they once were, especially by young adults. In fact, the abuse of prescription drugs dropped to the lowest level since 2002 . Experts are crediting the drop in drug abuse to crackdowns at federal and state levels on doctors who offer prescriptions for profit and on patients who have obtained drugs by visiting pill mills and doctor shopping. Young adults, who were among the largest group of abusers of prescription drugs, have also showed the greatest drop in abuse. The number of young adults, defined as those between the ages of 18 to 25, who regularly abused prescription drugs went from 1.9 million to 1.7 million, roughly a 14 percent drop. Only 3.6 percent of those abused pain relievers, such as Percocet, or Vicodin. In 2010, 7 million people used pain killers, tranquilizers,…

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How Drug Abuse Increases Risk of HIV/AIDS

Ever since the first outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s, the epidemic has been linked with drug abuse and addiction. Since HIV is a blood-borne disease, sharing needles when injecting drugs is known to be a leading cause of infection. Less well known is the fact that drug abuse can lead to risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, another leading cause of HIV is transmission. Drug abuse can affect judgment and lower inhibitions, causing drug abusers to engage in impulsive and risky behaviors including unprotected sex with multiple partners. People who are addicted to drugs may also agree to risky sex in exchange for drugs or money and may be unable to insist on using condom under the circumstances. The CDC estimates that 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV. About one in five of these people are unaware that they have the infection and may not be taking precautions against spreading it. Nearly one in four cases of AIDS originates with intravenous drug use. Infected blood…

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