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The Effects Of Prescription Drugs On The Body

1158 words - 5 pages

For some people, drugs are a part of everyday life. Drugs are what allow them to be able to walk around in the mornings with no ache, or comfort the pain of a recent surgery, or help and individual cope with anxiety or stress; however, the same drugs that are used to bring enjoyment into one persons life can bring destruction into another. This has become a major problem in the U.S. and all over the world as well. In a recent survey, thirty different clinics, spread out over five urban areas, reported that thirty-six percent of admitted patients has admitted to the nonmedical use of prescription drugs over the past year (Brown, Chaitkin, 1981); consequently, prescription pain killers have lead to more deaths that than heroin and cocaine combined (CDC, 2013).
One of the most common types of prescription drugs is a stimulant. Stimulants are a class of drug that elevates that mood of the user and increases their energy and alertness, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, nicotine, and methylenedioxymethamphetamine, which is also know as MDMA or ecstasy (NIDA, 2013). When a legitimate prescription for stimulants is written it is usually for disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHA. ADHA is characterized by the inability to concentrate and being very hyperactive; it is estimated that eight percent of children ages four to seventeen and three to four and a half percent of adults suffer from ADHA (NIDA, 2009). The reason why stimulants are able to obtain the focus of individuals who suffer from ADHA is that is increases the level of dopamine in the brain, which is linked to an individual’s pleasure, movement, and attention; however, these same drugs can be abused by non ADHA patients in order to get high, loose weight, or increase focus and attention, but it comes with a price. Stimulants can cause increase blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and decrease sleep and appetite (NIDA, 2009), which overtime, can cause serious cardiovascular problems, such as stroke or even a heart attack.
Another common prescription drug is depressants. Depressants, also known as sedatives and tranquilizers (NIDA, 2011), are drugs that slow down the body such as Valium, Xanax, and Ambien. People who suffer from anxiety, stress, or panic attacks are usually prescribed depressant by a doctor or medical professional, and depressants can be divided into three categories: Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, and Non-benzodiazepine (NIDA, 2013); however they all affect the brain in the same way. Once depressants enter the body, it begins to affect the neurotransmitters in the brain; specifically the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is the chemical in the brain that helps the brain cells communicate with each other. When depressants are taken they can increase an individual’s drowsiness, and when they are combined with alcohol or other prescription drugs, they can lead to slow respiration and heart rate, which could end...

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