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Prescription Drugs
What is prescription drug abuse?
Taking a prescription drug that is not
prescribed for you, or taking it for
reasons or in dosages other than as
prescribed.
This can lead to serious health
effects and addiction
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
• opioids (for pain),
• central nervous system (CNS)
depressants (for anxiety and sleep
disorders)
• stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy).
Opioids
Reduce the
intensity of pain
signals reaching
the brain and
affect those brain
areas controlling
emotion, which
diminishes the
effects of a painful
stimulus
Opioids Include:
Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
Oxymorphone (Opana®)
Propoxyphene (Darvon®)
Hydromorphone
(Dilaudid®)
Meperidine (Demerol®)
Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®)
How do they affect the Body?
• Attach to specific proteins called opioid receptors
• found in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other
organs in the body.
• Once attached to their receptors, they reduce the perception of pain.
• Can produce drowsiness, mental confusion, nausea, constipation,
and, depending upon the amount of drug taken, can depress
respiration.
Short Term Effects:
Death
Relaxation
Constipation
Drowsiness
Slow breathing
Indifference to emotional or physical pain
Long Term Effects
Highly addictive.
The body builds up tolerance
and more is needed to maintain
the desired feeling.
Withdrawals can be long and
physically painful.
Combining opioids with alcohol
and other drugs can lead to
death from respiratory failure.
Addiction Facts
Opioids
• Body builds a tolerance
• Body can become
dependent and withdrawal
(intense flu like symptoms
may occur)
• Signs of Addiction:
– Craving and loss of control
Stimulants
Prescribed to treat individuals diagnosed with attention-deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
These medications have a paradoxically
calming and “focusing” effect on individuals
with ADHD. Researchers speculate that
because methylphenidate amplifies the
release of dopamine, it can improve
attention and focus in individuals who have
dopamine signals that are weak
Stimulants Include:
Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
Methylphenidate
(Ritalin® and Concerta®)
Amphetamines
(Adderall®)
What do they do to the body?
• Enhance the effects of these dopamine and
norepinephrine (associated w/pleasure and attention)
in the brain.
• Increase in dopamine induces a feeling of euphoria
when stimulants are taken non-medically.
• They also increase blood pressure and heart rate,
constrict blood vessels, increase blood glucose, and
open up breathing passages.
Short Term Effects
Alertness
Increased blood pressure and heart rate
High body temperature
Focus
Sleeplessness
Loss of appetite
Short Term Effects
Alertness
High body temperature
Sleeplessness
Increased blood pressure and heart rate
Focus
Loss of appetite
Addiction Facts
Stimulants
• If abused a person can
become physically and
mentally addicted
• Withdrawal from
prescription stimulants
brings on fatigue,
depression and disturbance
of sleep. A person taking
stimulants over a period of
time may experience
hostility and paranoia
Central nervous system
depressants:
Sometimes called “downers,”
these drugs come in
multicolored tablets and
capsules or in liquid form.
Drugs in this category:
Zyprexa, Seroquel and Haldol, are known as
“major tranquilizers” or “antipsychotics,” as
they are supposed to reduce the symptoms of
mental illness.
Xanax, Klonopin, Halcion and Librium are often
referred to as “benzos” (short for
benzodiazepines).
Amytal, Numbutal and Seconal, are classed as
barbiturates—drugs that are used as sedatives
and sleeping pills.
Short Term Effects
Slow brain function
Slowed pulse and
breathing
Lowered blood
pressure
Poor concentration
Confusion
Fatigue2
Dizziness
Slurred speech
Fever
Sluggishness
Visual disturbances
Dilated pupils
Disorientation
lack of coordination
Depression
Difficulty or inability to urinate
Addiction
Long Term Effects
Addiction can result,
withdrawal can be painful,
and the drug may cause
seizures and death.
Mixing these depressants
with alcohol or other
drugs can kill you.
Addiction Facts
CNS - Depressants
• High usage can lead to
physical dependence
• It works by slowing the
brain's activity, so when
someone stops taking a
CNS depressant, activity in
the brain can rebound and
race out of control to the
point that seizures can
occur.
Street Names
Name
Slang
Xanax
Z-bar, Bricks, Benzos
Oxycodone
Oxy’s, Hillbilly Heroin, Dope, 40s, 20s, 80s
Valium
Blues
Ritalin
Vitamin R, Rid, Rittys, Rits
Adderall
Beans, Black Beauties, Speed, Uppers
Vicodin
Vike
Percocet
Percs
Sedatives and
Tranquilizers
Chills Pills, French Friends, Tranqs
Other Facts
Youth who abuse
prescription
medications are
also more likely to
report use of other
drugs.
BE
The End