Society‟s Abuse of
Kelsey Pilson 200168114, Kelsey Nairn 200191402, Tanner Dockerty
April 3rd 2013
Contemporary Social Issues
Prof: Emily Brett
What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
As defined by the National Institute of drug abuse,
“Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes
medication in an inappropriate way.” (NIDA,N.D)
Use of someone else‟s medication privilege
Use of dugs without symptoms (Nyquil/Adderall)
Why is Society More Dependant
Fast pace society - putting off pain until they “NEED” a
quick fix, thus turning to a doctor for a prescription.
Easier to obtain – People are able to “google” & fake
symptoms to receive a desired prescription
Can be found on the street
Believed to be a “safer” high since they are a
government regulated medication/drug
Doctors turn over rate with patients in 2013 was 26%
higher than in 2001 – are they asking the right questions or
just handing out a script.
Drug Abuse Relating to the
„Functionalists argue that drug abuse is a response to the
weakening norms set by our society” (Mooney, pg72)
Social norms used to say that if you were medicated,
something was wrong with you. It was often hidden. These
days so many people are medicated that these norms
have blurred causing people to over medicate and
abuse prescription drugs.
Drug use is not simply just the individual choice, there are
a lot of factors that influence the decision such as the
glamorization of drug use by society and pop culture. In
order to fit in todays society we tend to follow or mimic
what we see around us.
+ What Prescription Drugs Are
Opioids- Pain killer Include: Fentanyl (Duragesic®)
Depressant- Central Nerve
Include: Pentobarbital sodium
Stimulants- Often used as study
Methylphenidate (Ritalin® and
Abusers of the drug often have
prescriptions from more than one doctor
How to tell:
Can cause loss of appetite, profuse
sweating, euphoria and seemingly less
Slow down body functions
Relieve anxiety and assist with sleep
How to tell:
Decreased brain activity, relieve
emotional stress, impaired coordination
& increased drowsiness
Same class of drugs as cocaine and
Increase alertness & energy at low doses
How to tell:
Person seems eager, decreased desire to
sleep, pupils are dilated, a feeling of
What are Common Street
Names for Pharmaceutical
Opioids- Hillbilly heroin, OXY, OC,
oxycotton, percs, Happy pills
Depressants- Bards, reds, red birds,
yellows, downers, candy, sleeping pills,
Stimulants- Skippy, smart drug, vitamin R,
Black beauty's, hearts, speed, uppers.
Who is Abusing Prescription
In 2005 4.4 million teenagers ages 12 -17
in the united states admitted to taking
prescription pain killers and 2.3 million
admitted to taking Adderall
2 million admitted to using over-the-
counter drugs such as cough syrup
Average first time user is aged between
Prescription drug use knows NO age!
What Happens when you Abuse
There are negative effects for both short
and long term use of prescription drugs.
Stimulants can cause– Paranoia, high body
temperatures and shallow heartbeats
Short term use of Opioids- drowsiness,
nausea, constipation, and slowed breathing
Depressants- slurred speech, shallow
breathing, fatigue, disorientation and in
serious cases Seizures. Also occurring during
What can we do as a society for
People Dealing with Drug abuse?
Prescription drug abuse is a shared responsibility, Both
government agencies like the medical Associations, law
enforcement as well as community organizations such as
pharmacists, teachers and parents must educate to
PhRMA‟s initiative is to promote secure storage of
prescriptions within drug stores
Educate about safe disposal & expired prescription.
Scratch out name and RX number to prevent other using
Strengthen law enforcement for soliciting prescriptions
PhRMA is a partner of DRUGFREE.ORG which helps
parents prevent and find treatment for drug and alcohol
use of their children.
They have also worked collaboratively with D.A.R.E to
develop school curriculum preventing abuse of
prescriptions and other drugs.
Ensure policies to prevent prescription drug abuse also
protects patients with a legitimate need for the
What to do if you personally know
someone who is dealing with drug
If you are personally involved with someone who is
dealing with drug abuse you biggest concern is not
offending the individual.
Encourage them to talk to someone; such as a parent,
trusting friend, guidance counselor or another trusting
adult. Talking about it is the first step in reducing the
There is also anonymous hotlines available such as:
1-800-273-TALK and 1-800-273-HELP
It is extremely important to let them know you are only
here to support them in any way possible.
Personal Story involving
Prescription drug use
We invite you to take a look at a mothers battle against
prescription drug use, and the reasons behind the drug
Facts about Drug Abuse In
The International Narcotics Control Board reports that Canadians‟
use of prescription opioids increased by 203% between 2000 and
2010, an increase steeper than in the U.S.
Deaths related to prescription opioids doubled in Ontario, from 13.7
deaths per million in 1991 to 27.2 per million in 2004, more than twice
the mortality rate from HIV (12 per million).
According to the 2011 Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring
Survey, 23% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using a
prescription drug at least once during the past 12 months.
Youth (age 15-24): Youth have the highest rate of prescription
stimulant use among all Canadians (2.4% for 2011).
In 2010-11, 2.2% of Canadian students in Grades 6-12 reported the
past-year use of prescription stimulants to get high and not for
Certain prescription drugs such as the three talked about
in this presentation; Opioids, depressants, and stimulants
can cause serious harm and even death in some cases. It
is extremely important that as a society we keep the norm
around prescription drugs strong! As mentioned before
theorists believe that the increase in drug abuse may/can
caused by a weaken norm. Being educated on who,
what, and how prescription drugs can effect the human
body can contribute to keeping the social norm around
prescription drug use strong.
Canadian Drug Summary: Prescription Stimulants. (n.d.). Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse .
Retrieved April 3, 2014, from https://ers.snapuptickets.com/ers/event-
Misuse of Prescription drugs and OTC medicine to get high has become a major source of
concern both with Teens and Adults. (n.d.). Partnership for a Drug Free Canada. Retrieved April
3, 2014, from http://www.canadadrugfree.org/drug-info/prescription-drugs/
Mooney, L. A., Knox, D., Schacht, C., & Holmes, M. (2008). Conflict Perspective . Understanding
social problems (Third Canadian Edition ed., p. Page 11 ). Toronto Canada : Nelson .
NIDA for Teens. (n.d.). NIDA for Teens. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from http://teens.drugabuse.gov
Partnership for a Drug Free Canada. (n.d.). Partnership for a Drug Free Canada First Do No Harm
Responding to Canadas Prescription Drug Crisis Comments. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from
PhRMA | Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. (n.d.). PhRMA |
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from
Prescription Drugs. (n.d.). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from
The Silent Epidemic -- Legal Prescription Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Mercola.com. Retrieved April 3, 2014,
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