Abuse of Prescription Drugs Essay

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The definition of abuse of prescription drugs is using a medication in a manner other than prescribed, by a person who it was not prescribed for, to obtain a particular experience. Many people, but especially teenagers and young adults, have turned to abusing prescription medication. Some people have an increased genetic risk of getting addicted to medications but environmental factors such as economic level, lack of employment and pressure from peers also have a significant impact. Abuse of these drugs has harmful side effects to the person abusing them but can also affect the people around them. They are more likely to have difficulties in many areas of their life including problems with family, friends or coworkers. Abusers frequently ‘doctor shop’ or go to several different doctors to get prescriptions from each of them so they can get a large supply of their drug. They are also more likely to get into trouble with the law because of buying the drug on the street or due to an increased tendency to steal so they can be able to buy more. People who abuse prescription drugs are more likely to steal the drugs from family or friends who have been prescribed the medications.
The most commonly abused prescription medication is painkillers. Throughout history, people have attempted to find ways to relieve their pain with the earliest recordings dating back to the 4th or 5th century B.C. As early as 3400 B.C. the Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians cultivated the opium poppy. Hippocrates, the father of medication, left behind records of pain relief treatments, which included the use of leaves and bark of willow trees to treat headaches, fever and pain. In the 16th century, laudanum which is opium prepared in an alcohol substance, was used as a painkiller. The Germans discovered morphine in 1803. In 1897 the German chemist, Felix Hoffmann developed aspirin. Opium was first extracted in a pure form called Morphine in the early 19th century and was used to treat the soldier’s pain during the American Civil War. Many of the soldiers became addicted to the Morphine. In 1905, the U.S. congress banned the use of Opium and a year later the Pure Food, and Drug Act required contents labeling on all medicine. Tylenol entered the market in 1955. Researchers developed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the 1960s. The first NSAID compound discovered was indomethacin. There are also two other common forms marketed in the U.S under the names Advil and Motrin. In the 1990s, two more compounds were released under the names Celebrex and Vioxx. Illegal opium trade bloomed by 1995 in Southeast Asia where 2,500 tons were produced annually. New painkillers came on the market with approval of Vicodin in 1984, Oxycontin in 1995, and Percocet in 1999 (Cummings 1-2).
Vicodin has risen to the top as the most frequently abused pain medication. A common way of selling the pills is through song lyrics such as “Scarecrow, scarecrow what’s that you...

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