The misconception abounds and is responsible for many people falling into a trap with prescription painkillers that can lead to addiction, overdose or worse – death. Recreational use of drugs including OxyContin and Morphine, despite the fact they can be legally prescribed by a doctor, is a bad idea.
Risks of taking so-called “street” drugs are well known. Illegal substances such as heroin, cocaine, crack and methamphetamine are notorious for being highly dangerous. While these drugs have been the headline-makers in past years, no one can ignore the painkiller epidemic that is gripping the nation.
Opiate-based painkillers attach to opiate receptors in the brain and body and block pain signals. If abused, they can also cause a “high,” or a state of heightened euphoria. This is often the goal for people looking to have a good time or to relax. By now, many people have heard that these medications can be dangerous. But still, many take their chances.
Opiate Painkillers Are Very Powerful And Can Kill If Misused In Any Way
One of the biggest issues stems from the potency of narcotic medications. Someone who is just experimenting, for example, could take one pill and overdose. Certain meds – such as a higher milligram OxyContin – could quickly kill a person if he or she wasn’t already tolerant to that level of opiates.
Opiate abuse goes hand in hand with abuse of other substances. The issue here is that when opiates are combined with alcohol or certain other drugs, they can become deadly. They depress the central nervous system, so mixing them with benzodiazepines, sleeping pills or muscle relaxers could prove fatal. A person taking these drugs together could just stop breathing.
Many people believe that since they are medicine, prescription painkillers must be OK to take for recreation. Ignoring the opiate warnings and precautions can be a deadly mistake. Prescription painkiller overdoses are the leading cause of drug overdose deaths and statistics top other accidental causes of death, including car accidents.
Painkillers Are Everywhere, It Seems
The availability of these meds is problematic to be sure. The number of prescriptions written for these drugs seems to increase exponentially each year. They’re in medicine cabinets in communities around the country. They can easily be found on the black market and are often counterfeited.
Ease of access is of big concern. Teens prone to experimentation are selling, stealing, borrowing and using painkillers to get high. Those who are addicted and desperate are looting homes for painkillers or money to buy them. Pharmacy theft and prescription fraud are also popular practices.
Some blame the drug companies while others point the finger at doctors for overprescribing. Either way, the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.