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When a prescription drug is used in quantities more than the recommended dosage or when not required, it is termed drug abuse. Painkillers, tranquilizers and anti-anxiety drugs are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs.

Generally, patients take medicines as prescribed by their doctors. When taken this way, there is very little chance of the patient getting addicted. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), millions of people today use medications for non-medical purposes.

People try to justify drug abuse by convincing themselves that an overdose of prescription drugs is not as bad as street drugs such as heroin or ecstasy. The truth is that any kind of abuse is unwarranted. The problem with prescription drug abuse is that it starts with the consumption of a few extra pills for quick relief. The patient does not realize that abuse or addiction is likely.

If the doctor discontinues the prescription, an addict will seek out another doctor for a prescription of the same drug under false pretexts. Abusers use various methods to get a high. They even mix prescription drugs with alcohol, marijuana or any other similar drug. Drugs such as Ritalin and OxyContin are among the most abused drugs. Prescribing these drugs is carefully monitored and given only when urgently required.

To battle prescription drug abuse, medication directions must always be followed carefully. The physician must always be consulted regarding any change in dosage. It is not advisable to crush the tablets or take them with alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. Also, patients must never use someone else?s prescription, even if the symptoms are similar. The doctors should also exercise caution while prescribing drugs with any possibility of abuse. They must ask patients if they have any history of drug abuse.

Prescription drug abuse can be tackled with regular counseling. There is a lot of information on the Internet, and local physicians are always available for consultations.

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The thing that makes these drugs so dangerous as opposed to cocaine or heroine is the fact that these drugs are prescribed by a doctor. Now don’t make the mistake and point the finger at the doctor as many of these drugs are medical miracles and truly do help people cope with chronic pain and other ailments. The problem is that the nature of these drugs are very addictive in nature and without proper monitoring of ones self you can change from becoming dependent on the drugs to being completely addicted to them.

Addiction is easy because the doctor may raise your dosage to help you cope with your illness. Well if you raise the dosage you will feel greater withdrawal symptoms in between dosages and end up taking pills in between dosage times just to cope. These extra dosages grow and grow until you have to be on these pills all the time. Well at this point your body builds up a tolerance to the drug and you start taking more.

At this time you are becoming addicted. Addicts will do anything they have to in order to get more pills to break the tolerance point to help them feel better. The sad thing is that people that would never act a certain way act in crazy ways when they are completely addicted to the prescription drugs. Some addicts get friends and family to get pills for them, they forge prescription slips and all kinds of other things to get a hold of the drug they feel will make them feel better.