Popping prescription pills can cause harm

Lauren Dieck

Drug abuse education typically begins with students as early on as elementary school. Many students are educated in school about the dangers of drugs.

Learning about the types of illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin can ruin everything students have worked towards achieving.

But to society, the unknown are the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else or takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor.

People born after the year 1990 are referred to as ‘Generation Rx’ because of the number of people who use prescription medications incorrectly in order to get high. After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans age 14 or older.

Sara Kunick, junior history major, said she was shocked when she heard how many people have died in Ouachita Parish this year.

“It’s sad to see people taking prescription drugs because they think it’s a safe way to get high and it really isn’t,” Kunick said.

Myth: If it’s a prescription, it must be safe; you can’t get addicted to something your doctor prescribes.

Truth: Many medications are safe if taken in the prescribed dosage for a short period of time. Prolonged use can be dangerous and addictive. Some prescription drugs are especially hazardous if the user exceeds the prescribed dosage or takes a combination of drugs.

Ian McAdams, senior communications major, grew up in a family with a father who owns a pharmacy knew a lot about prescription drug abuse. “The pharmacists have to keep a documented count of all the pain medications they dispense throughout the day”, Adams said.

At his father’s pharmacy, employees run reports on patients to make sure they aren’t filling the same prescription for the same drug.

Myth: It’s okay if my friend gives me one of her prescription pills because it was prescribed by a doctor for the same problem.

Truth: So your friend has a medical license? Even if you don’t care about the fact that it is illegal to share your prescription with friends, by taking someone else’s prescription drugs you are basically diagnosing yourself and self-treating it. This is risky not only for pain medications, but for antibiotics as well. If you take the wrong antibiotic for an infection, you can make the situation even worse.

Myth: You can’t get addicted to pain killers if you’re treating real pain.

Truth: Many people who become addicted to pain killers experienced pain when they started taking pain medications—they eventually lost control. The goal to pain relief is to manage it. Obviously a seven on a scale of one to 10 is not bearable but it can be manageable if done properly.

Breann Bonner, sophomore biology major, was raised around the hospital with her mother as a nurse.

“Her most difficult patients often overdosed or misused prescription drugs”, Bonner said.

Prescription medications should be prescribed by a health physician to ensure safety.