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Prescription Drug Abuse: Understanding the Risks and Solutions for Future 


At Citizen Advocates, we recognize the critical importance of addressing prescription drug abuse, a widespread issue affecting individuals of all ages. Our commitment to raising awareness and providing information about this pressing concern is unwavering. In this article, we delve into the nature of prescription drug abuse, its underlying causes, potential dangers, and proactive preventive measures. 

Why Do People Abuse Prescription Drugs? 

Prescription drugs are intended to alleviate specific medical conditions under professional guidance. However, the misuse of these medications is a distressing reality. Some individuals may misuse prescription drugs seeking euphoria, weight loss, or improved performance. Accessibility through family or friends and illicit street transactions further contribute to this problem. 

Types of Abused Prescription Drugs 

Prescription drug misuse is commonly categorized into three classes: 

1. Opioids: Examples include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and meperidine, often prescribed for pain management. 

2. Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants: Medications like diazepam and alprazolam, used for anxiety and sleep disorders. 

3. Stimulants: Drugs such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, commonly used to treat ADHD. 

Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse 

Misusing prescription drugs carries severe risks. Opioid misuse can lead to mood swings, breathing difficulties, coma or death. CNS depressant misuse may result in coordination issues, slurred speech, and fatalities. Stimulant misuse can trigger heart problems and panic attacks. Additionally, the misuse of prescription drugs can often lead to addiction, profoundly impacting an individual’s life. 

The Path to Prevention 

Addressing prescription drug abuse necessitates a holistic approach: 

1. Education: Educate individuals, especially teens, about the perils of prescription drug misuse, promoting awareness and informed decision-making. The Prevention Program at Citizen Advocates provides resources and education related to youth mental health and addiction at schools throughout Franklin County. Our youth prevention and education specialists use a mix of evidenced-based programs and activities that foster positive youth development. 

2. Communication: Facilitate open conversations between healthcare providers and patients about medication usage, potential side effects, and proper administration. 

3. Safe Disposal: Encourage the responsible disposal of unused medications to prevent unauthorized access. 

4. Prescription Monitoring: Empower healthcare professionals to monitor prescription history and identify potential misuse. 

5. Treatment Accessibility: Ensure access to addiction treatment services for those grappling with misuse, allowing them to embark on a journey towards recovery. 

Moving Forward with Citizen Advocates 

Addressing prescription drug abuse demands collective efforts. At Citizen Advocates, we remain steadfast in our commitment to disseminating information, raising awareness, and fostering collaboration. Our skilled team of therapists and caregivers develop individualized addiction treatment plans based on personalized, one-on-one encounters. The range of treatment options can include:  

  • Therapy – for both addiction and mental health  
  • Peer support – Peers are individuals with lived experience certified to provide care and support  
  • Skill building – From socialization to job training  
  • Family services – From counseling to respite supports  
  • Job training and career development  
  • Transportation assistance 
  • Replacement therapy – Suboxone, Vivitrol, Buprenorphine 

For more information about Citizen Advocates’ youth prevention services, visit Youth Mental Health Services | NY | Citizen Advocates

For more information about Citizen Advocates’ substance use disorder treatment services, visit Substance Use Disorder Treatment in NY | Citizen Advocates