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Prescription Drug Misuse

drugs-1.jpgWhat is Prescription Drug Misuse

Prescription drugs misuse refers to the inappropriate or non-medical use (to get "high") of prescription medications like opioids, CNS depressants, stimulants, etc. This can be as dangerous and addictive as using street narcotics and other illicit drugs.

Misconceptions about Prescription Drugs

  • Less harmful
  • Pharmaceuticals taken without a prescription or a doctor's supervision can be just as dangerous as taking illicit drugs or alcohol¬†
  • Different from street drugs
  • Abusing painkillers is like abusing heroin because their ingredients (both opioids) are very similar
  • Always beneficial
  • Prescription medications are powerful substances. While sick people taking medication under a doctor's care can benefit enormously, prescription medication can have a very different impact on a well person
  • All are the same
  • Many pills look the same, but, depending on the drug and the dosage, the effects can vary greatly from mild to lethal
  • No side effects
  • Prescription medications, as all drugs, can cause dangerous interactions with other drugs or chemicals in the body



  • Not completing assignments
  • Skipping classes or dropping out
  • Being suspended or expelled
  • Poor memory and learning difficulty
  • Angry attitude towards teachers

  • Not liking yourself or feeling worthless
  • Feeling alienated and lonely
  • Not living your dream

  • Changing friends to drug-using friends
  • Rejection from old friends
  • Mistreating or victimizing other youth
  • Conflict with friends

  • Conflict with parents
  • Lying to them and breaking their trust
  • Withdrawing from family members
  • Neglecting household chores
  • Running away from home

  • Spending most of your money on drugs
  • Owing friends or dealers money
  • Exchanging sexual favours for money
  • Being involved, arrested, and charged
  • Going to jail or fear of being caught
  • Rebelling against authority

  • Low energy and chronic tiredness
  • High-risk sexual activities
  • Shortness of breath when exercising
  • Mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts

How to Deal With It?

  • Talk to someone who will listen to you like a family member or a friend
  • Think about what you would like to be doing in 5-10 years. Don't limit yourself
  • Choose your friends wisely and stay away from people who pressure you to do drugs
  • Be yourself and listen to your gut
  • Find a hobby and make a commitment to spend a certain amount of time doing it every week
  • Join a club or a sports team at school
  • Get involved with your family and community
  • Set short- and long-term goals for yourself and work towards achieving them
  • Learn to deal with peer pressure
  • Believe in yourself

To download a PDF about Designer Drugs, click here.