Women and Prescription Drugs

Prescription medication is one of the most commonly abused substance and worldwide there is a trending increase in the number of prescribed drugs that are being abused. Research suggests that women are more likely to abuse prescription medication and become addicted to the substances easier than their male counterparts. Women are more likely to misuse pain medication, diet pills, sleeping tablets and anxiolytic medications, but believe that their abuse is not as bad as other substance abuse problems. Sadly, abusing prescription medication is just as harmful as abusing illicit substances and can cause significant problems for a person’s physical or mental health, financial difficulties and social problems.

Prescription medications can be incredibly dangerous when taken in a non-prescribed manner. These drugs can have serious adverse interactions with other drugs including heart medication, contraceptive drugs, over-the-counter medications, alcohol and other illicit substances. They can also contain other substances that can cause toxic reactions in the body and cause major health problems.

Easing Pain with Prescription Medication

Moderate and severe pain is a condition that many people suffer from during their lifetime. Some women experience severe pain after giving birth, undergoing cancer treatment or even after an accident. Doctors can prescribe heavy medication to help manage pain and allow a person to be able to live a normal life. In many cases, opiate pain killers are prescribed, because they are effective at minimizing pain and alleviating the crippling affects. Taking strong medication such as this can have severe consequences if not appropriately managed. Opiate pain killers are considered one of the most addictive prescription medications available. Without appropriate monitoring by a medical professional, a person can easily build up a tolerance, dependence and addiction.

Heavy painkiller medication can be incredibly harmful to a person if taken over a long period. In most cases, a doctor will prescribe the drug to treat the crippling symptoms in the short term whilst prescribing significant lifestyle changes and exercise to manage the condition in the long term. However, because of the addictive nature of pain killers, especially opiate or synthetic opiate ones such as oxycodone, many people begin to self medicate, suffer from withdrawals when not taking the drug and seek it out through other sources.

Most people who develop tolerance and dependence on a prescription analgesic are not aware that the drug has the potential to make them addicted. There is a common misconception that because the drug is prescribed by a doctor that they are safe and clean. But opiates such as morphine and codeine and synthetic opiates like oxycodone are just as addictive as the more infamous opiate, heroin.

Prescription Sleep Aid Addiction

For many women who juggle a family, social life and a job, insomnia is a common ailment that robs them of the healing time of sleep. Anecdotal evidence suggests that women tend to sleep less and are more concerned with working out the details of regular life when the rest of the household goes to sleep. Anxiety, brainstorming, organizing and worrying can all weigh a woman down to the point that she experiences insomnia for long periods. To alleviate this problem, many women take sleep aids such as a sleeping tablet, anti-depressant or anti-anxiety pill to help them sleep. But this use of medication does little to resolve the reason for a person having problems sleeping. In many cases, women use anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications for off-label purposes.

Some woman also seek out sleeping medications through online vendors, friends or family members rather than through a medical professional. Taking prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them can have damaging implications for a person’s physical and mental health. Tolerance is a major concern for someone who is depending on the drug to help them get sleep. If taken without being monitored, dependence can develop easily.

Prescription Weight Loss Pills

Women tend to have an unhealthy attitude towards their body image and weight. Because of this, many turn to diet pills to help them drop weight and maintain a low body weight. Some types of weight loss pills are available only with a prescription from a doctor because of the high addiction potential and harm associated with the drugs. Typically, prescription-only weight loss pills include appetite-suppressing amphetamines which are highly addictive and have a high abuse potential. Amphetamines are stimulant drugs which give a person a boost of energy, stamina and can reduce sleepiness. However, used over a long period, these drugs can cause a person to exhibit signs of exhaustion, paranoia and delusions.

Weight-loss pills can cause serious and dangerous side effects, which is why they should only be used under medical supervision. Common side effects include mood swings, chest pain, tremors, irregular heartbeat, teeth grinding, exhaustion, nausea, anxiety, insomnia and stomach pain. In some cases, individuals may experience hallucinations, seizures, severe headaches, blurred vision and vomiting. Some medications have been found to have dangerous interactions with other medications and can contribute to kidney or liver damage.

Psychotropic Medications

Psychotropic medications are medications that are prescribed to treat common mental health conditions such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and depression. The term psychotropic refers to the drug type whose primary effects are on the central nervous system. These drugs are designed to reduce and alleviate the crippling symptoms of a psychiatric condition. Common symptoms include an inability to concentrate, sleeplessness, paranoia, hallucinations, depression or manic states. The drugs work by improving the health and well-being of a person suffering and significantly improve the outlook for a normal life.

Some women may misuse and abuse psychotropic medications such as Valium, Xanax or Prozac because of the affects that they can have on a person who doesn’t suffer from a psychiatric condition. They may enjoy the relaxing affects of the drugs, use them to help them sleep and to deal with the real world. They may also take them in combination with alcohol or other drugs to increase the affects and make them feel more out of it or more relaxed. This can have incredibly dangerous repercussions including becoming the victim of sexual assault or abuse, negative health reactions and dependence. Taking any medication that is not prescribed by a medical professional can cause major health problems and lead to addiction.

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