Prescription drug abuse and dependence In the United States, easy access to prescription drugs such as sedatives and pain medications is posing a major threat, especially drug abuse and dependence. The nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs (NMUPD), which is the same as using drugs without a prescription, and it is very common among young adults. For instance, drugs such as sedatives, opioids, and stimulants are commonly misused by adolescents simply for the experience or the feeling. The nonmedical use of prescription drugs ranks as one of the most common drug problems in the United States.
However, the rate of misuse has slightly declined in recent years. The victims of misuse are mostly young teenagers who don’t have much information about the drugs and their side effects. These teenagers most often access the drugs through their friends and family. Different circumstances such as peer pressure might lead to drug abuse and dependence. Could mental illnesses be a strong contributing factors associated with causing increased cases of illegal drug misuse and substance abuse? Adolescents suffering from mental illness, regardless of its severity, are at a higher risk of NMUPD.
Drug Abuse Essay Example
A teenager’s mental status and some environmental factors may significantly affect a teenager to abuse drugs. Mental illness can have a significant effect on drug misuse and dependence. Because of the stress and pressures that students experience at school and at home, many students are at a higher risk of experiencing mental discomforts such as anxiety and depression which can often result in undiagnosed and hence, untreated drug abuse. Additionally, many psychotherapeutic drugs as well as alcohol are being misused because of the feeling of excitement they cause.
This form of drug abuse is highly associated with alcohol abuse. The early age of the onset of NMUPD is another reason for prescription drug misuse and dependence. On the other hand, many adolescents misuse prescription drugs for treatment purposes and do not realize they are abusing the drugs, and they will eventually become dependent on them. According to Allison N. Monge, “… a separate line of research indicates that in the presence of experienced mental- disorder symptoms”some individuals use these substances for purposes of self- treatment” (40).
Because young people do not have enough information, they cannot make informed choices. Many teenagers would think overusing drugs that were once rescribed to them does not cause any issues, but because they are not fully aware of the side effects and are under the impression that since the drugs were once prescribed to them they can continue using it, they decide to abuse the them which often leads to dependence. Some young adults misuse these medications Just to experience the mental feeling the drugs cause while some take them to relieve pain, stay awake or fall asleep.
Nonetheless, misusing them could result in drug abuse and drug dependence regardless of the intent. Drug abuse and dependence is highly correlated with alcohol abuse. According to Jenna L. McCauley, “… high rates of other substance use/abuse (including binge drinking, illicit drug use, and alcohol abuse) on the evidence, most of the drug abuse cases show a similarly high dependent on alcohol use. The co-occurring of alcohol abuse and non-medical use of prescription drugs is common. Many alcohol abusers have shown anxiety associated a with mood disorder.
Psychiatric drugs are often prescribed for patients with mood disorders. Once a young adult with an established mood disorder experiences the psychiatric drugs the risk of dependence and abuse can highly increase. Alcohol abuse can ncrease the mental disorder’s severity or even cause other medical and psychiatric problems, which may result in ultimately further use of stimulants and sedatives. Usage of such drugs can further open a young person to an increased cause of drug abuse and dependence. The social status of a teenager could be a significant factor in start the NMUPD.
This factor is mentioned in the McCauley’s article, “With respect to psychosocial variables, lower family income, lower levels of parental involvement and adolescent involvement in delinquent activities also have received some support as risk factors for adolescent NMUPD” (88). According to the studies, it is generally agreed that almost 50 percent of the mentally ill population also has a drug abuse problem. However, the mental status of the adolescent could also be affected by their social condition. Younger adults with mental illnesses usually abuse drugs without their families knowing.
The families of these teenage drug abusers who are also struggling with mental illness usually do not recognize the substance abuse problem of their teen, which is not that surprising because the behavioral changes that might lead to suspicion of drug problems in other people already exist in the family. There are many challenges associated with a teen’s life, especially sexual or physical assault that unfortunately many of them experience. Based on Celia C, Lo, “Both sexual assault and physical assault are significantly correlated with NMUPD on the bivariate level” (45).
Handling all the pressure and the stress caused by an unhealthy environment alone could be really frustrating for a teenager. In addition to all of the environmental stress, being sexually assaulted can largely affect the teen’s decision to abuse psychiatric drugs. Physical assault that is very common among teenagers hese days is also a very important factor. Young adults would misuse prescription drugs to get intoxicated and feel a sense of relief so that they can forget about their problems for the time being. Using prescription drugs at early ages can highly lead to drug abuse and dependence.
The NMUPD is associated with individuals developing dependence, especially for the adolescents who start using it at early ages such as sixteen or even thirteen years of age. McCauley mentions, “According to recent estimates, over 2 million teens (aged 12 to 17 years; 9. 3%) in the United States reported past-year NMUPD”(92). The prescribing of drugs at an early age can lead to drug abuse and dependence. If prescription drugs are introduced later in life, it will lower the chance that an individual will become addicted. According to studies done many adults have started the NMUPD before the age of 21 .
Research has shown that individuals who begin using drugs before age 15 are more likely to develop drug abuse and dependence in their life-time. Based on the increased risk related to early onset, the importance of developing prevention methods for reducing NMUPD between children and adolescents is remarkable. In general, alcohol, opioids, and sedative drugs are the first psychoactive drugs that young people usually experiment environmental conditions, and the early onset of prescription-type drugs leads to the non-medical use of prescription drugs.
The use of such substances can lead to use of marijuana and other drugs which can all result in further drug abuse and dependence. The use of prescription drugs to feel intoxicated is common among adolescents. However, family care can be an important factor to prevent the alcohol and drug abuse. Because of their sensitive mental conditions, younger adults are at igher risk of non-medical use of prescription drugs. There should be more mental healthcare provided for students in colleges so that there would be less drug abuse and dependence.