Prescription Drug Abuse Amongst Teenagers
This project is designed to illustrate the effects of prescription and over the counter drug abuse. It will not only show a comparison between the effects of illicit drugs and prescription drugs but it will also serve to show the significance of the prevalence and effects of prescription drug abuse."There is an erroneous belief that because these are medicines, whether prescribed by physicians or over-the-counter, that they are safer," stated by Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Kheun, 2007). Teenagers and young adults have the concept that prescription or over the counter drugs are not harmful even if consumed in extreme doses.
This is due to the fact that they are legal and are created and designed by pharmaceutical and medical professionals. This is quite contradictory because it has been noted by researchers (Ford & Rivera 2008) that these drugs, when abused have very serious and even fatal consequences. Some of which include increased heart rate, hallucinations and other alterations in mental state. Though not highly publicized, these "every day" drugs such as Ritalin, OxyContin, Vicodin and Dexedrine can cause all of the aforementioned symptoms (Arkes & Iguchi 2008).The effort of research in this area however, does not parallel the gravity of the problem and it has been noted by The International Narcotics Control Board that prescription drugs are about to become as much of a problem as illicit drugs (Zarcosta, 2008). Nevertheless, little or no research has been done in this field of prescription drug abuse and the seriousness of its effects as it relates to teens and young adults.
With the research that this subject so rightfully deserves, all vulnerable persons (young persons, parents, teachers and health care providers) should become aware of the following:The types and examples of prescription drugs commonly abused.Ways in which these prescription drugs can be abused.Who is at a higher risk of prescription drug abuse?Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse.The consequential effects of abusing prescription drugs.Avenues in which one can seek help for this type of drug abuse.This project's intention therefore is to give enlightenment on all these areas, create awareness on the relevant and ubiquitous issue of prescription drug abuse and most importantly research the effects of prescription drug abuse.
Abuse of prescription drugs is as hazardous as the use of illicit drugs.
This research will take on both forms of qualitative and quantitative designs therefore it will be a mixed design. It will be qualitative in order to include statistics about the prevalence of prescription drug abuse. However it will quantitative in order to include reasons and effects of prescription drug abuse on young adults.
While rates of illicit drug abuse among teens in the Unites States continue to decline, abuse of prescription drugs in this age group is increasing at an alarmingly high rate. Recent anonymous survey results show that the one in every 10 high school seniors had used the painkiller Vicodin in the last year without a doctor's orders (Arkes & Iguchi,2008 as cited by Johnston, O'Malley, Bachmen &Schulenberg, 2004). Even though, there is research done on the prevalence, causes and risk factors associated with prescription drug abuse, there is a lack of information on the effects.
The aim of this literature review is to provide sufficient information for researchers to conduct further research on the effects on the prescription drug abuse. This literature review will explain the following topic questions:â€¢