Prescription drugs are a menace to society since they are so readily available and openly distributed to individuals. In the past, many doctors shied away from prescribing opioids to their patients, but that changed in the late 80s and early 90s. By the time society realized that it was dangerous and addictive, the US was already dealing with a full-blown opioid crisis. Prescription drugs were developed as a way to attempt to control the spread and distribution of the drug. Unfortunately, opioids served as a gateway drug to more problematic opioids, like heroin and morphine. If you have a prescription for drugs, you might be surprised how much someone would pay for them. But did you know that it might be illegal to sell your prescription drugs to those who don’t have the script?
What Are Prescription Drugs?
The US Food and Drug Administration only has two classes of drugs: prescription and over-the-counter (OTC). Prescription drugs fall under the broad category of controlled substances. A controlled substance may be considered dangerous because of its potential for abuse. When a doctor offers a prescription for a drug, they are putting their reputation on the line. Opioids contained within prescription drugs can have a long-term effect on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Opioids and opiates have been part of medicine for a long time, and their presence has persisted as over-the-counter drugs. Some of these same prescription drugs are used to have an OTC equivalent.
The Danger in Taking Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs are excellent painkillers. When you have pain, nerve endings are stimulated to signal to your brain. Painkillers were developed to disrupt this communication by occupying spots on nerve endings to stop the signal from getting through. If that’s all they did, they would be perfect, but unfortunately, they have some unexpected side effects. One thing that happens to someone using painkillers is that their brain gets a shot of dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s feel-good chemical, and painkillers make the brain produce it as a side effect. Having dopamine shots like that once in a while isn’t too bad, but since all it takes to get it is to take the pills, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overuse.
A Change in the Brain
When a person takes a prescription drug, their brain transforms. The receptors in the brain that respond to dopamine become overwhelmed, and the person starts losing their urge to do anything. the brain can’t produce enough dopamine naturally to give a person the feeling of accomplishment they’d typically have, so they feel tired and listless. This change in the brain’s construction leads to dependence. With time, this dependence makes a person do things they wouldn’t normally do in search of the substance. These decisions are when addiction happens. All of this stems from someone getting the drug when they shouldn’t have it and abusing its use to get the euphoric feeling that painkillers usually deliver.
What You Can Do
As a painkiller user, you should be responsible for its use. When disposing of these painkillers, you should take the time to ensure that they are deactivated or dissolved. If you have a course of painkillers, you should be aware of if there are any discrepancies with the amount you expect to be in the bottle and how much there are. Most importantly, never sell your painkillers to someone without a script since it could support a budding drug abuse habit. If you want to learn more about prescription drug addiction and abuse, contact Defining Wellness today!