What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
What is prescription drug abuse? The accepted clinical definition of prescription drug abuse is as follows: the unauthorized use of a medication which is normally not available “over the counter” without a prescription.
In other words, determining what is prescription drug abuse comes down to a question of legal “over the counter” availability vs. restricted availability. A person committing prescription drug abuse is using a prescription drug without a prescription to do so, and very likely without the consent and supervision of a medical doctor.
The individual committing this act may be doing so in the hopes of seeking a “self medication” solution for some illness or discomfort. Or they may simply be looking to use these drugs for the experience of “getting high”, with no other motive in mind. There are plenty of other examples of what is prescription drug abuse that may be seen in the media, and discussed in our day to day conversation and culture.
According to recent studies conducted by several national surveys, prescription medication abuse is on the rise in the United States, at a rate that far exceeds expected levels of rising in the use of other, non-prescribed, “street drugs”, such as marijuana, cocaine, and the like.
Read more: Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
This abuse of prescription drugs may include the use of drugs which are chiefly intended to treat:
pain and discomfort (such as from neuralgia)
instances of attention deficit disorder
symptoms of diseases such as Parkinson’s or Bright’s
general anxiety and related disorders
Indeed, when all the instances of prescription drug abuse are counted together, it makes for a rather alarming conclusion. Instances of what is prescription drug abuse now exceed instances of abuse of all commonly available “over the counter”, as well as all “street drugs”, with the exception of marijuana.
The consequences of what is prescription drug abuse are slowly being seen to worsen and increase in their destructiveness. More and more tragic instances of what is prescription drug abuse are being covered in the media, and discussed in day to day conversation at home, at school, and at the work place. The results of such abuse can be quantified in the number of reported instances of visits to the emergency room, increased admission to inpatient rehabilitation facilities, work place accidents, and premature deaths by prescription drug overdoses.
Ultimately, what is prescription drug abuse comes down, not only to the formal legal nature of drugs that are commonly available vs. those whose circulation and usage is strictly regulated and restricted. If an individual has a false sense of their own indestructibility, they are prone to make serious misjudgments in the use of these drugs.
It is vitally important that more people are fully educated on the hazards of these prescription drugs, as well as the need to follow precisely the directions of a qualified health professional who dispenses these medications. This is the only viable way by which many future tragedies can be averted.