Case Study : Prescription Drug Abuse

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Research Paper Focus: Prescription Drug Abuse Abuse is a pattern of substance use that results in negative consequences and impairment (Bukstein and Nquyen). Misuse is the use for a purpose not consistent with medical guidelines or without a prescription for the individual using the medication (Bukstein and Nquyen). Abuse of prescription opioids has been cited as the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and has surpassed the use of cocaine and heroin combined as a cause of mortality (Singhal ). In 2013 alone, nearly two million Americans abused prescription opioids and 16,235 deaths were caused by prescription opioids representing almost a fourfold increase since 1999 (Singhal ). Two million people reported using…show more content…
Doctors prescribe medications to people with certain doses and forms because of how fast or slow the drug goes through the body. The drug will move to the stomach where it is dissolved, then it will release the drug into the blood, and then finally traveling to the brain. When the drug is abused it changes the speed and the way the drug travels throughout the body and to the brain. For example, when someone abuses the stimulant, Adderall, by crushing the pill and snorting it through their nose, a dose that would normally work over the course of a 10-12-hour period hits the brain all at once creating a high and drastically increasing the risk for overdose, addiction, or death (Prescription Drugs).
There are many reasons people misuse or abuse prescription drugs like for instance they think it’s a safer way than to use illegal drugs, they are “not addictive”, or they are easier to acquire than illegal drugs. Approximately 40% of adolescents reported that they thought prescription drugs are much safer to use than illegal drugs, even if they are not prescribed by a doctor (Bukstein and Nquyen). The accessibility to prescription drugs is at a high. People acquire the drugs through diversion which is the most common means of obtaining prescriptions for unintended purposes (Elliott). Diversion is the channeling of prescription drugs from legal use to illegal use (Ford and Watkins). Getting drugs from siblings,
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