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Consequences That Can Arise from Prescription Drug Abuse


When a person takes prescription drugs for reasons beyond medical needs, the negative repercussions can be major. The stimulant, depressant, and opioid components of prescription drugs can significantly affect the body. When taken too frequently, in overly high doses, or without a doctor’s approval, prescription drugs can cause considerable harm to an individual’s physical health and the safety of those around him.

Fatigue Dangers

Some people become addicted to opioids and depressants because of the calming effect they can induce. Opioids can reduce the sensation of pain and relax the body. Depressants can calm racing thoughts and promote a more peaceful state of mind. If taken without need, though, these drugs can make individuals drowsy and unable to focus. These side effects can be dangerous. If a person with an opioid addiction gets behind the wheel of a car, he might doze off and cause a car accident. Should an individual with a depressant problem fall asleep with the oven on, it can spark a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Cardiovascular Complications

Many chemicals can alter heart function, and prescription drugs are no different. As their name indicates, depressants can slow heart rate and lower blood pressure. Stimulants have the opposite effect. They can trigger a person’s blood pressure to spike. In either case, this strain on the heart can raise the incidence of future heart disease and increase the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular issues.

Respiratory Problems

When under the influence of prescription drugs, addicted individuals may be unaware of how harmful their effects may be. Especially when depressants or opioids are taken, an individual may not realize that he is at risk for severe respiratory problems. These drugs tend to slow systems in the body, including the respiratory system. If taken in great dosages, these chemicals can make a person stop breathing altogether. However, due to their other side effects such as drowsiness, addicted individuals may have no knowledge of this danger, which can have life-threatening consequences.

Las Encinas Hospital offers comprehensive addiction treatment services for Pasadena area residents. If you or a loved one has an addiction to prescription drugs, call us at (888) 348-2165. We can find the substance abuse treatment program that is right for your individual needs.