Prescription Drug Abuse Essay

1733 Words Jul 16th, 2013 7 Pages
Prescription Drug Abuse Research Paper According to results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non medically for the first time within the past year. This statistic averages to approximately 6,600 new people per day who are taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them, or are not needed to treat a serious condition anymore. More than one-half of the 2.4 million people taking prescription drugs for the first time are women, ,and about a third were aged 12-17. Prescription drug abuse is highest among young adults, ages 18-25. According to the NSDUH the most commonly abused prescription drugs are opiods, CNS depressants, and stimulants. …show more content…
Stimulants are prescribed with the intention of treating ADHD and narcolepsy. Stimulants act in the brain similarly to a family of key brain neurotransmitters called monoamines, which include norepinephrine and dopamine. Stimulants enhance the effects of these chemicals in the brain. Stimulants also increase blood pressure and heart rate, constrict blood vessels, increase blood glucose, and open up breathing passages. As the name suggests, stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy. Stimulants historically were used to treat asthma, obesity, neurological disorders, and a variety of other ailments. But as their potential for abuse and addiction became apparent, the medical use of stimulants began to wane. Now, stimulants are prescribed to treat only a few health conditions, including ADHD, narcolepsy, and occasionally depression—in those who have not responded to other treatments. The increase in dopamine can induce a feeling of euphoria, along with a burst of energy when stimulants are taken nonmedically, which leaves them at a high risk for abuse for every generation. As with other prescription drugs, it is possible for individuals to become addicted to stimulants. Withdrawal symptoms when users stop stimulant abuse include fatigue, depression, and disturbance of sleep. Repeated abuse of some stimulants (sometimes within a short period) can lead to feelings of hostility or paranoia,

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