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26 February
Diversion of drugs escalating prescription drug abuse in young adults
By Rachael

Diversion of drugs escalating prescription drug abuse in young adults

Life was good for Caitlyn. Her only daughter had just started at her dream college doing what she always wanted to do since her childhood. Although she was now free to lead a peaceful retired life, it seemed that her fate had a different plan in store. Around six months later, she received a phone call informing that her daughter and a few other kids had overdosed on prescription drugs at a party and were in a critical condition.

Caitlyn is one of the many parents in America affected by the alarming increase in prescription drug abuse across most colleges. One of the most common reasons contributing to the dramatic increase in drug abuse is the widespread illicit use of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs include medications prescribed by medical practitioners for the legitimate medical concerns encountered by people.

These medicines normally include painkillers or stress relievers, central nervous system (CNS) depressants for anxiety and sleep disorders, stimulants for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), etc.  Reportedly, a considerable increase in the prescription rate of the above medications led to a proportional rise in the availability of such drugs in the market. This subsequently led to a sharp escalation in the nonmedical use of prescription drugs among users.

Stimulants emerge main culprit in increasing prescription drug abuse

It is quite natural to feel anxious while entering into a phase as exciting and adventurous  as the college life. Moreover, the pressure to perform and make friends surges various apprehensions and anxious thoughts among students, increasing the risk of developing anxiety disorders. Increasing the risk further, students tend to indulge in prescription drugs to overcome the shivers and jitters of anxiety.

A study identified the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants as a clinical concern for physicians and family health practitioners. It recommends physicians to exercise caution to monitor any diversion or misuse of prescription stimulants by ADHD patents attending college. The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (including Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta) has become quite common among students.

Recent research has documented that these drugs are widely available on college campuses for nonmedical use, such as increasing wakefulness, boosting motivation, and enhancing cognitive skills, such as learning and memory. Compared to others, students who struggle academically have a greater tendency to seek such drugs. Hence, it is necessary to pay attention to the underlying reasons for decreased academic performance in them.

From a treatment perspective, if the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants continues to escalate, it could become more difficult for physicians to prescribe ADHD medications due to the fear of illicit use. One of the misconceptions prevalent  among many parents and physicians is that the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants is benign and therefore not a major concern. Such an attitude trivializes prescription drug abuse that requires an effective multidisciplinary response. Compared to other students, those indulging in prescription drugs are more likely to turn to drinking and illicit drugs.

As feared, the rate of diversion of prescription drugs has also increased sharply among young adults. Many college students may not be aware that it is illegal to give or sell their controlled substances, including prescription stimulants, to other people. Moreover, it is illegal to obtain drugs outside of the user’s own medical prescription. However, students and others tend to ignore such sanctions. Therefore, the need of the hour is to educate students about the legal ramifications of sharing and selling prescription drugs.

Do not mix drugs with learning

While prescribing stimulants for the treatment of ADHD, medical practitioners should personally caution all patients about the repercussions of diversion and the health risks of prescription drug abuse. Such a preventive measure will play a crucial role in addressing the menace of prescription drug abuse.

If you or your loved one is suffering from prescription drug abuse, contact the Arizona Prescription Abuse Helpline to access information related to the appropriate treatment options available for the problem. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-692-3563 or chat online with our experts to know about the finest Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment Centers in Arizona.

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