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Transcript
Prescription Drugs & Your Brain
Jenny Wen & Amir Hakimi
UCLA 2015
What Are Prescription Drugs?
What Are Prescription Drugs?
● Medications prescribed by doctors
What Are Prescription Drugs?
● Medications prescribed by doctors
● Intended to treat specific
symptoms when taken properly
Myth: Prescription drugs are
legal, so they must be safer than
other non-legal drugs
Fact: Legal Doesn’t Always
Mean Safe!
Risks of Prescription Drugs
● Side effects:
o
o
o
o
Headache
Nausea
Drowsiness
etc
Risks of Prescription Drugs
● Side effects
● Overdose
Risks of Prescription Drugs
● Side effects
● Overdose
● Addiction
o Can occur even when
used properly
Vicodin and OxyContin
Prescription Opioids
What are Vicodin and OxyContin?
What is Vicodin?
• Prescribed typically
after surgeries for pain
• Hydrocodone + Tylenol
What is OxyContin?
• Brand name for Oxycodone
• Oxycodone is an opioid
painkiller
• Typically used for cancer,
heart attack, severe burns,
bone pain
Opioids
• Opioids bind to opioid
receptors in our brain,
spinal cord, and gut
• Reduce feelings of pain
• Induce feelings of
euphoria
• Many side effects
Opioids
• Include: hydrocodone,
oxycodone, morphine,
codeine, heroin, and
related drugs
• Our bodies also
naturally produce
opioids such as
Endorphins
What is Considered Prescription Opioid Abuse?
• Taking someone else’s prescriptions
‒ To feel extremely happy or
relaxed
‒ To relieve pain without a doctor’s
recommendation and prescription
• Taking your own prescription without
adhering to the doctor’s orders
– Snorting, injecting, chewing,
crushing
Side Effects of Vicodin and OxyContin Abuse
•
•
•
•
•
Nausea and vomiting
Severe mood swings
Headaches
Constipation
Slowed breathing and
heartbeat
• Death
• Snorting these drugs and
combining them with alcohol
are especially dangerous
Addiction and Withdrawal
• Addiction is possible even
• Symptoms of withdrawal
with correct usage
include:
• Risk of addiction increases
– Muscle aches and pains
with increased use and abuse
– Cramps
– Diarrhea
– Agitation
– Nausea and vomitting
What is Xanax?
● Drug class: benzodiazepine (like valium and
ativan)
● Prescribed to treat panic disorder and
serious anxiety
How Xanax Works
● Central Nervous System Depressant (slows down the brain)
● Makes GABA neurotransmitter work better
● Produces drowsy/calming effect
Synapse
Common Side Effects
●
loss of interest or pleasure
●
unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems
with muscle control or coordination
●
decreased breathing rate
●
changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
●
clumsiness or unsteadiness
●
difficulty with coordination
●
discouragement
●
drowsiness
●
feeling sad or empty
●
irritability
●
lack of appetite
●
lightheadedness
●
relaxed and calm
●
slurred speech
●
tiredness
●
trouble concentrating
●
trouble in speaking
●
trouble performing routine tasks
●
trouble sleeping
●
Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
●
unusual tiredness or weakness
●
being forgetful
Common Side Effects
● loss of interest or pleasure
● unsteadiness, trembling, or
other problems with muscle
control or coordination
● decreased breathing rate
●
changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
●
clumsiness or unsteadiness
●
difficulty with coordination
●
discouragement
●
drowsiness
●
feeling sad or empty
●
irritability
●
lack of appetite
●
lightheadedness
●
relaxed and calm
●
slurred speech
●
tiredness
●
trouble concentrating
●
trouble in speaking
●
trouble performing routine tasks
●
trouble sleeping
●
Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
●
unusual tiredness or weakness
●
being forgetful
Mixing with Xanax
● Mixing Xanax with other depressants
(alcohol) can be
DEADLY
Mixing with Xanax
● Mixing Xanax with other depressants
(like alcohol) can be
DEADLY
Heath Ledger: Xanax +
prescription opioids
Whitney Houston:
Xanax + Alcohol
Anna Nicole Smith: Several
benzos + sleeping pills
Withdrawal
● Return of anxiety/panic state (often
increased)
● Headaches
● Seizures
● Nausea
Treatment
● Rehab Facility
● Drug abuse counselor