Dangers of OTC Drug Abuse

OTC Drug AbuseThere are many over-the-counter drugs out there. One major problem with this is that so many people are abusing these drugs. Whether you are going to a supermarket, gas station or a small store, these drugs can be purchased no questions asked. Many people think that because of this, these aren’t dangerous. However, there are so many dangers of OTC drug abuse that people should know more about. While these over-the-counter drugs can be safe at the recommended doses, taking them in any other way is when things get risky. Health problems such as heart issues, kidney failure, memory loss and even death can occur.

What are some of the most commonly abused over-the-counter drugs?

As mentioned above, there are many over-the-counter drugs that so many are abusing. The most common drugs this is happening with are cough medicines (DXM or Dextromethorphan), cold medicines (Pseudoephedrine), motion sickness pills (Dimenhydrinate) and pain relievers (Acetaminophen). If you are or someone that you know has been abusing these drugs, now is the time to get treatment so the abuse or addiction can be overcome.

What are these drugs used to treat?

Most of the time people take over-the-counter drugs to treat things such as motion sickness and some kinds of pain. They may help relieve the pain and when that happens, some people start taking far too much of the drug which often leads to an addiction.

What are some side effects caused by cough medicine?

Cough medicine is one of the many over-the-counter drugs which are abused. The main ingredient in these medications is dextromethorphan or DXM. There are many teenagers who find these in their medicine cabinet at home and start abusing them. When abusing this drug, the person may get very high and start hallucinating. They may also start vomiting, have increased heart rate, develop shakiness, get blurred vision, dizziness, loss of coordination, impaired judgment, slurred speech and even have brain damage. Abusing cough medicines is dangerous and could be deadly as well. Anyone who is currently abusing this drug or addicted to it should get help from a treatment center immediately.

What are the common side effects of motion sickness medication?

Another one of the over-the-counter drugs that are often abused is motion sickness medication. These should be used to treat vertigo and motion sickness. However, sometimes people are getting high off from this drug. When high on this drug, many side effects may occur. These could be effects such as irregular heartbeat, nausea, ringing in the ears, hallucinations, seizures, psychedelic experiences or death. As you can see, this is one of the most dangerous over-the-counter medications being abused. If you suffer from abuse or addiction to this drug, you should get into a rehab center right away.

What are some side effects of pain reliever drugs?

There are many over-the-counter pain reliever drugs that are being abused as well.  The main ingredient in these drugs is usually acetaminophen. When taking this ingredient in very high doses, there may be many negative health effects. These could include damage to the liver, stomach pains, diarrhea, nausea, sweating and more. If you have been abusing these drugs, don’t let them damage your body any longer. Get into a drug rehab to start detox today.

What are the common side effects of diet pills?

It may come as a surprise to some people, but there are thousands of people who are abusing diet pills as well. The main ingredient in these medications is ephedrine. This is very dangerous to the central nervous system. This ingredient can cause a lot of damage to the heart leading to high blood pressure and other heart-related issues. Ephedrine is also found in many asthma medications and thousands are abusing those drugs because of that as well.  Many who abuse these drugs may experience dizziness, nausea, heat stroke, heart palpitations, memory loss, stroke, psychosis, heart attack, seizures, urination difficulties, anxiety, kidney stones, stomach issues, tremors and sleep issues.  If you or someone you know has been abusing diet pills, start overcoming this issue right away.

What are some side effects of caffeine pills?

So many people are abusing caffeine pills as well. This can be dangerous and even fatal. This is a central nervous system stimulant and many people feel they need caffeine to get through their day. Whether they get it from coffee, energy drinks, soda or the caffeine pills, most likely they are trying to boost their energy and productivity. The problem with this is there are so many negative side effects that occur alongside it. These might include vomiting, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia, increased thirst, fever, hallucinations, convulsions, muscle twitching, confusion, convulsions and issues with breathing. If you have been abusing this drug or know someone who has, there is treatment for this type of drug abuse issue.

What side effects are caused by pseudoephedrine?

Another one of the most commonly abused over-the-counter ingredients is pseudoephedrine. This is found in nasal decongestants. It is used for treating hay fever, allergies, and the common cold. However, some people abuse this medication to get a euphoric feeling. In addition to that, they may experience vomiting, nausea, stomach pains, dizziness, weakness, irregular heartbeat and breathing issues. If you or someone you know has been abusing this OTC medication, please get help to stop as soon as possible!

What are the side effects anti-drowsiness medications?

There are also many people who have been abusing anti-drowsiness medications. This may not seem like a drug that can be abused but it can and has been. People often turn to this medication for a buzz. However, this drug usually leads to gastric reflux, heart issues, anxiety attacks and severe dehydration in many cases. Those who already have heart issues before abusing this medication may experience a fatal reaction. If you have been abusing this drug or know someone else who has, turn to a treatment center for help.

Can OTC drug abuse be prevented?

There are thousands and thousands of people who have a diagnosis of OTC drug abuse. The question stands: can this type of drug abuse be prevented? The answer is that in many cases it could be. You may not be able to prevent everyone from abusing these drugs, but helping even one person could mean a lot.

The first tip in doing this is to read the label on medications. If you have any drugs in your home that are mentioned above or any with ingredients mentioned above, be sure to lock those medications up or don’t have them in your home.  You should also keep an eye out on all the medications you do have in your home. Count the pills in bottles on a regular basis to make sure nothing is missing. Another tip for preventing OTC drug abuse is to talk to your loved ones. Make sure they know the dangers of these drugs and that abuse of many of them could be fatal. Lastly, if you have been abusing these drugs or have an addiction, get treatment. Be the role model your loved ones need to see.

How can you recognize if someone is abusing these drugs?

Are you thinking that someone you love has OTC drug abuse? If you have thought this, there are some signs that you should be watching out for. If you recognize any of the mentioned signs in yourself or anyone else, drug rehab may be necessary.

Do you or someone you know notice any medicine disappearing in the home? Does money come up missing? Are there any medication bottles found in someone’s room of the home when they don’t belong to that person? Do you or someone you know have disruptions in energy level or sleeping issues that have come up suddenly? Does the person you suspect has a drug abuse issue miss work or been getting worse grades in school? Is the person hanging out with people who they hadn’t been previously? Is this person withdrawing or isolating from others? Has this person quit doing things they once enjoyed?

If you can say yes to one or more of these questions, then there may be OTC drug abuse with this person. It can be tough to tell in many teenagers as their moods and friends may be constantly changing but you should still watch for these signs anyways.

Many people believe that because these drugs are sold over-the-counter, that they can’t be abused. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth. There are many drugs that are sold in stores which are often abused and some people become addicted to these drugs. Some of these drugs, when taken in very high doses, can be even more dangerous than some of the drugs bought on the street illegally. It is very important that anyone who takes these drugs other than prescribed gets the help they need to detox and start overcoming this issue.

Over-the-counter drugs, such as cough medicines, diet pills, caffeine pills and many others have the possibility of being abused. It may be tough to see, in many instances, how certain drugs could be abused, but the truth is it happens far more than most people see. If you suffer from OTC drug abuse, be sure you reach out for help. The longer the drug abuse issue goes on, the more likely it is that you would develop an addiction. That could make things a lot worse and could create many other issues in your life as well. If you have been abusing these drugs, call the rehab center for treatment right away.