If you feel that you need to use prescription drugs on a regular basis after you no longer physically need them, you may have an addiction. Abuse of prescription drugs can be very harmful to your body and even cause death.

What is prescription drug abuse?

Prescription drug abuse happens when you take medicine in a way that is not prescribed. Often times the medicine actually belongs to someone else. Prescription pills can be found in your home or sold illegally on the street. Common pills of choice are opioids ( OxyContin and Vicodin), central nervous system depressants (Valium and Xanax), and stimulants (Ritalin and Adderall).

Side Effects and Signs of Addiction

People often use prescription pills because they think it will make them “feel good”, fit in with peers or to deal with personal issues. Side effects of opioids are feeling sick to your stomach, trouble breathing and sleepiness. Abuse of stimulants may cause body temperature and heart rate to rise or paranoia. Side effects of depressants are slurred speech and lack of coordination. Someone that is addicted to prescription pills may have mood swings, changes in weight, or feel the need to use the pills more often.

What can you do?

Being addicted to prescription pills effects you and the people around you. Sometimes addiction can make you sick or even lead to death. If you feel you may have an addiction you should speak to a trusted adult like a parent, teacher or counselor. You can also call the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at 1-800-662-HELP to find treatment centers near you.

For more information on please contact the Teen Health Center or visit the following websites:

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