The Most Dangerous Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs are necessary and can be quite helpful in treating various mental or physical disorders or disease. Most people can relate to needing a prescription drug, such as a painkiller, to reduce pain after a surgery or injury, or an antibiotic for an infection.
However, there are some dangers to using certain prescription drugs, and some can be quite addictive. While most people don’t decide to become addicted, the reality is that if you’re not educated and aware of the most dangerous prescription drugs, you’re more apt to become addicted. This, in turn, can turn your life and perhaps your family, upside down.
There are other prescription drugs that can have dangerous side effects. They may not be addictive, but they can cause serious problems for those taking them. We’ll cover several of these dangerous prescription drugs today.
What are the most dangerous prescription drugs?
There are drugs that are addictive, which makes them dangerous, and there are drugs that can cause serious side effects, including death. Here are some of the most dangerous drugs that are not addictive:
Cortisone or Prednisone
While cortisone and prednisone can be helpful in treating things like poison ivy, if used for a long period of time, it can cause serious health issues. Those that have taken such drugs for extended periods of time have complained of increased blood pressure, fluid retention, osteoporosis, digestive issues, fluid retention, cataracts, and more. If you’re on these drugs, have a discussion with your doctor about the possibility of weaning off of them.
Methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug that some cancer patients are prescribed so that the drug can kill some of the cancer cells in the body. However, methotrexate also kills some of the healthy cells too. Also, some people with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are prescribed this drug, which puts them at a higher risk of getting cancer if taken for an extended period of time.
Pain pills are one of the most dangerous prescription drugs because they are very addictive, and one can overdose if not careful. Pain pills such as OxyContin, Hydrocodone, or Percocet are quite addictive, and even though they can relieve pain, sometimes the risk of addiction or serious side effects is not worth it. There are some non-addictive pain pills that can be used as a substitute. Experts state that pain pills that are not taken as prescribed can ultimately slow the heart rate down so much, that death is possible. It’s also documented that Lortab is known for causing heart palpitations, and if one mixes these drugs with alcohol, the results can be very severe.
Blood thinners are among the most dangerous prescription drugs because they can cause severe bleeding if one gets a scratch or cut. Blood thinners are readily prescribed to those who are at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Common drugs are Coumadin, and can certainly be helpful, but are to be taken with an understanding of the dangers and with precaution.
Though Prozac can help those struggling with depression, it can also be dangerous because of the possible side effect of akathisia. This is when a person feels agitated continually, and sometimes gets aggressive or experiences suicidal thoughts.
Mixing Drugs Can Kill You
I’m sure you’re well aware that drugs can kill you. With the news of celebrity deaths from overdose always taking center stage on the news channels, you get it that if you use drugs, you have a chance of dying. Yet, many continue to abuse drugs anyway because addiction is powerful, and addicts tend to think less rationally than the non-addict.
What many drug addicts might not realize is that mixing drugs can kill you quickly. In fact, the accidental overdoses of celebrities like Chris Kelly, River Phoenix, and John Belushi were direct results of mixing cocaine and heroin. Some call this “speedballing”, but substance abuse experts call it a highly deadly mix.
Granted, those may have been illegal drugs, but mixing prescription drugs with or without alcohol is quite dangerous too.
Those who relapse
It is important to understand that when an addict stops taking a drug for a while, his body reduces its tolerance for that drug. For example, let’s say a pain pill addict stops using for a few months but ends up having a really tough day and relapses. Now before he got clean, his body was used to a certain dosage of pain pills, but since then his drug tolerance has dropped. If he does not realize this and he takes that same dosage, his body may not be able to handle the dosage and the result can be a fatal overdose.
Increase in drug overdoses
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) over the past two generations, drug overdoses have increased steadily. People overdose more on pain pills than heroin, yet the mixture of the two has the worst record. This is why they are one of the most dangerous prescription pills.
Take a look at a few harsh statistics from the CDC regarding drug abuse and overdose:
- From 1999 to 2010, drug overdose deaths increased 102 percent in the United States.
- In 2010, drug overdose deaths were the leading cause of injury death.
- Those in the age range of 24 to 46 die more by overdose than fatal traffic accidents.
The mixture of alcohol and drugs
Mixing alcohol and drugs can be fatal as well. In fact, mixing alcohol with cocaine can make the heart beat up to five times faster than when either are taken alone. This can lead to a heart attack, which can kill the user or put them in the hospital for a while. No one should be mixing alcohol with any other drug, as the result can be a coma or death. This includes benzodiazepines and other prescriptions medication.
The rise of tranquilizers
Tranquilizer drugs, or benzodiazepines, are helpful for relieving anxiety, but they are also quite addictive. This puts them on the list of most dangerous prescription drugs.
Tips To Stop Taking tranquilizers
With anxiety and stress being a common complaint from the majority of the population, the prescription for tranquilizers has increased significantly. Tranquilizers are pills that help calm down the central nervous system. When you are stressed out and feeling extremely anxious, they help you to “mellow out”. Men and women are heading to the psychiatrists complaining of extreme anxiety, panic attacks, racing thoughts, and a stress-filled life and tranquilizers are prescribed to help them calm down.
This sounds quite refreshing, but a problem can arise because tranquilizers can become quite addictive. Depending on the dose and the frequency that they are taken, the chances of addiction vary. Chronic stress is becoming an epidemic in our society and many people opt to take medication to deal with the stress instead of getting to the root cause of the stress and dealing with it at that level through a more natural means.
There are minor and major tranquilizers, with the minor being the most commonly prescribed medications. This includes pills like Valium, Xanax, and sleeping pills. The major tranquilizers, or often called anti-psychotic medication, are used to treat disorders such as paranoia or psychosis.
You can become addicted to tranquilizers mentally and physically. Mentally, you may learn to reach for a tranquilizer every time something stressful occurs in your life. Physically, you could be so used to taking the medicine that when you try to stop you suffer withdrawal symptoms. You could also just love the feeling the medicine gives you and want to feel the effects all the time.
How to get off of tranquilizers
It is advised that you seek professional help when trying to come off tranquilizers. Your brain will go through some changes when you come off the medicine, so it is best to be under the care of a doctor and wean yourself off of them. If you are quite addicted to tranquilizers and cannot come off of them yourself, you can look into a detox/rehab treatment facility for help. There you could stay for a week or two so that the staff can help you get free from the medicine and get through the withdrawal symptoms.
If detox is not an option for you, consider going to 12 step recovery meetings in order to get support in your recovery. There you can get a sponsor/mentor that will support and encourage you in your recovery. One such 12 step recovery group that has helped millions get and stay clean is Narcotics Anonymous.
If you want to stop taking tranquilizers or if you think you are addicted to them, the first step is admitting this. Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about your desire and allow them to point you in the right direction. Many men and women have stopped taking tranquilizers and learned how to handle their anxiety and stress with alternative methods. There are professionals available to help you learn what those methods are.
Learning about the most dangerous prescription drugs can certainly help you. If you’re struggling with prescription drug abuse, it’s time to take a serious look at your life. If you are mixing drugs, it really puts you at risk of coma or death. The disease of addiction is powerful, but there is hope. There are substance abuse professionals trained to help those fighting drug abuse to get clean and stay clean. Millions of addicts have found freedom through drug rehab centers, counselors, and 12 Step groups.
Make a decision today to do something different. Reach out to your local rehab or psychiatrist. Get started on a new life without drug abuse haunting you.