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Truth about-prescription-drug-abuse-booklet-en

  1. 1. the truth aboutprescription drug abuse Black Beauties ws Reds Ye llo s Demmies ner Dow Can dy
  2. 2. WHY THIS BOOKLETWAS PRODUCEDT here is a lot of talk about drugs in the world—on the streets, at school, on the Internet and TV. Some of itis true, some not.Much of what you hear about drugs actually comes fromthose selling them. Reformed drug dealers have confessedthey would have said anything to get others to buy drugs.Don’t be fooled. You need facts to avoid becominghooked on drugs and to help your friends stay off them.That is why we have prepared this booklet—for you.Your feedback is important to us, so we lookforward to hearing from you. You can visit us onthe web at and e-mail us
  3. 3. Prescription Drug Abuse A serious problemR ecreational use of prescription drugs is a serious problem with teens and youngadults. National studies show that a teen is Many pills look the same. It is extremely dangerous to take any pill that you are uncertain about or was not prescribed formore likely to have abused a prescription you. People can also have different reactionsdrug than an illegal street drug. to drugs due to the differences in each person’s body chemistry. A drug that wasMany teens think prescription drugs are safe okay for one person could be verybecause they were prescribed by a doctor. risky, even fatal, for someone else.But taking them for non‑medical use toget high or “self‑medicate” can be just as Prescription drugs are onlydangerous and addictive as taking illegal safe for the individualsstreet drugs. who actually have the prescriptions forThere are very serious health risks in taking them andprescription drugs. This is why they are taken no oneonly under the care of a doctor. And even else.then, they have to be closely monitored toavoid addiction or other problems. 3
  4. 4. Prescription Drugs What you don’t know D ue to their potential for abuse and addiction, many prescription drugs have been categorized by the US Drug Abuse of prescription drugs can be even riskier than the abuse of illegally manufactured drugs. The high potency of Enforcement Administration in the some of the synthetic (man‑made) drugs same category as opium or cocaine. available as prescription drugs creates a These include Ritalin and Dexedrine high overdose risk. This is particularly true (stimulants), and the painkillers of OxyContin and similar painkillers, where OxyContin, Demerol and Roxanol. overdose deaths more than doubled over a five‑year period. Many illegal street drugs were at one time used or prescribed by doctors or Many people don’t realize that distributing psychiatrists but were later banned or selling prescription drugs (other than when the evidence of their harmful by a doctor) is a form of drug dealing and effects could no longer be ignored. as illegal as selling heroin or cocaine, with Examples are heroin, cocaine, LSD, costly fines and jail time. When the drug methamphetamine and Ecstasy. dealing results in death or serious bodily injury, dealers can face life imprisonment.4
  5. 5. Types OF abused prescription drugsP rescription drugs that are taken for recreational use include the following major categories:1.Depressants: Often referred to as central nervoussystem (brain and spinal cord) depressants, these drugsslow brain function. They include sedatives (used to makea person calm and drowsy) and tranquilizers (intended toreduce tension or anxiety).2. Opioids and morphine derivatives:* Generally referredto as painkillers, these drugs contain opium or opium-likesubstances and are used to relieve pain.3. Stimulants: A class of drugs intended to increaseenergy and alertness but which also increase bloodpressure, heart rate and breathing.4. Antidepressants: Psychiatric drugs that are supposedto handle depression.* derivative: a chemical substance formed from a related substance.
  6. 6. DepressantsS ometimes called “downers,” these drugs come in multicolored tablets and capsules or in liquid form. Some drugs in this category, such as Zyprexa,Seroquel and Haldol, are known as “major tranquilizers” or “antipsychotics,”as they are supposed to reduce the symptoms of mental illness. Depressantssuch as Xanax, Klonopin, Halcion and Librium are often referred to as“benzos” (short for benzodiazepines*). Other depressants, such as Amytal,Numbutal and Seconal, are classed as barbiturates—drugs that are used assedatives and sleeping pills. Some of the well‑known brand and street names:Brand names Street names Brand names Street names• Xanax • Candy • Amytal • Barbs• Valium • Downers • Nembutal • Reds• Halcion • Sleeping pills • Seconal • Red Birds• Librium • Tranks • Phenobarbital • Phennies• Ativan • Tooies• Klonopin • Yellows • Yellow Jackets* benzodiazepine: a tranquilizer that acts to relax muscles and calm mental excitement.
  7. 7. depressants short‑term effectsShort‑term effects of depressants include:• Slow brain function • Slowed pulse and breathing• Lowered blood pressure • Poor concentration• Confusion • Fatigue*• Dizziness • Slurred speech• Fever • Sluggishness• Visual disturbances • Dilated pupils• Disorientation, lack of coordination • Depression• Difficulty or inability to urinate • AddictionHigher doses can cause impairment of memory, judgment and coordination, irritability,paranoia,† and suicidal thoughts. Some people experience the opposite of the intendedeffect, such as agitation or aggression.Using sedatives (drugs used to calm or soothe) and tranquilizers with other substances,particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and the heart rate and even lead to death. * fatigue: extreme physical or mental tiredness. † paranoia: suspicion, distrust or fear of other people. 7
  8. 8. depressants long‑term effects T olerance to many depressants can develop rapidly, with larger doses needed to achieve the same effect. delirium, hallucinations and convulsions can occur. Unlike withdrawal from most drugs, withdrawal from The user, trying to reach the same depressants can be life-threatening. high, may raise the dose to a level that These drugs can also increase the results in coma or death by overdose. risk of high blood sugar, diabetes, Long-term use of depressants can and weight gain (instances of up to produce depression, chronic fatigue, 100 pounds have been reported). breathing difficulties, sexual problems In a study conducted by USA and sleep problems. As a dependency Today, based on Food and Drug on the drug increases, cravings, Administration data over a four‑year anxiety or panic are common if the period, antipsychotics (a type of user is unable to get more. depressant) were the prime suspects in Withdrawal symptoms include 45 deaths caused by heart problems, insomnia, weakness and nausea. choking, liver failure and suicide. For continual and high-dose users, agitation, high body temperature,8
  9. 9. I have overdosed twice off of prescription pills (Zyprexa) andhad a close friend die of the samedrug. . . . There is no worsefeeling than knowing thatyour friend is dead becauseyou gave him pills you knewrelatively little about.” — Linda 9
  10. 10. ROHYPNOLR ohypnol is a tranquilizer about 10 times more potent than Valium. The drug is available as a white or olive-green pill andis usually sold in the manufacturer’s bubble packaging. Users crushthe pills and snort the powder, sprinkle it on marijuana and smokeit, dissolve it in a drink or inject it. Brand name Street names • Rohypnol • forget-me pill • Mexican Valium • R2 • Roche • roofies • roofinol • rope • rophies10
  11. 11. ROHYPNOL EFFECTSR ohypnol has been used to commit sexual assaults becauseit renders the victim incapable of memory is impaired and they cannot recall any of what happened.resisting, giving it the reputation of a The person experiences loss“date-rape” drug. of muscle control, confusion,Rohypnol users often describe its drowsiness and amnesia.effects as “paralyzing.” The effects Rohypnol is sold in Europe andstart 20 to 30 minutes after taking Latin America as a sleeping pill,the drug, peak within 2 hours and but it is illegal in the Unitedmay persist for 8 or even 12 hours. States.A person can be so incapacitated(made unable to act) they collapse.They lie on the floor, eyes open, ableto observe events but completelyunable to move. Afterwards, 11
  12. 12. Opioids and morphine derivatives O pioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. Continued use and abuse can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. They come in tablets, capsules or liquid. Some of the well‑known brand and street names: Brand names Street names • Fiorional with Codeine • Captain Cody • Robitussin A‑C • Cody • Tylenol with Codeine • Schoolboy • Empirin with Codeine • Doors & Fours • Pancakes & Syrup • Loads • Actiq • Apache • ango T • Duragesic • China girl and Cash • Sublimaze • Dance fever • China white • Goodfella • Friend • Murder 8 • Jackpot12 • TNT
  13. 13. Opioids andBrand names Street names morphine derivatives• Roxanol •M short‑term effects• Duramorph • Miss Emma • Monkey • White Stuff Short‑term effects of• OxyContin • Oxy 80 opioids and• Percodan • Oxycat morphine• Percocet • Hillbilly heroin derivatives• Tylox • Percs include: • Perks • Drowsiness • lowed S• Demerol • Demmies breathing • Pain killer • Constipation • Unconsciousness• Dilaudid • Juice • Nausea • Dillies • Coma 13
  14. 14. Opioids and morphine DERIVATIVES long‑term effects C ontinued use or abuse of opioids can result in physical dependence and addiction. The body adapts to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or stopped. These include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes, with goose bumps (“cold turkey”). Tolerance can also occur, meaning that long‑term users must increase their doses to achieve the same high. For more information about the abuse of painkillers, see The Truth About Painkillers in this series of booklets.14
  15. 15. A ‘friend’ of mine turned me on to oxy’s. I started with 40 mg tabs, then after acouple of months I bumped up to 60 mgs.I was really addicted by this pointand started chewing them to get offquicker so I wouldn’t be sick. Had to have one in the morning when I got up or I’d be sick. Had to have another before noon. Then a couple more in the afternoon and evening. I knew I was hooked because I had to have them to function. I felt horrible without them. Not only physically, but I couldn’t deal with people or life without them. Then I went to 80 mgs and my world came tumbling down. I started stealing from everyone I knew to get my fix. . . .” — Charleen 15
  16. 16. StimulantsS timulants, sometimes Brand names called “uppers,”temporarily increase • Ritalin Street names • R‑ball • Concerta • Skippyalertness and energy. The • The smart drugmost commonly used street • Vitamin Rdrugs that fall into this • JIFcategory are cocaine andamphetamines. • Kibbles and bitsPrescription stimulants • Biphetamine • Speedcome in tablets or capsules. • Dexedrine • Truck driversWhen abused, they are • Benniesswallowed, injected in liquid • Black beautiesform or crushed and snorted. • CrossesSome of the well‑known • Heartsbrand and street names: • A L turnaround • Uppers
  17. 17. stimulants short‑term effects T he short‑term effects of stimulants include exhaustion, apathy and depression—the “down” that follows the “up.” It is this immediate and lasting exhaustion that quickly leads the stimulant user to want the drug again. Soon he is not trying to get “high,” he is only trying to get “well”—to feel any energy at all. stimulants long‑term effectsS timulants can be addictive. Repeated high doses of some stimulants over a short periodcan lead to feelings of hostility or paranoia.Such doses may also result in dangerouslyhigh body temperatures and an irregularheartbeat.For more information about the abuse of prescription stimulants,see The Truth About Ritalin Abuse in this series of booklets. 17
  18. 18. AntidepressantsA nother category of prescription drugs that are sometimes abused areantidepressants. These include Prozac, Paxil, • Sweating • HallucinationsCelexa, Zoloft, Effexor and Remeron. These • Irregular heartbeat • Psychosiscome in multicolored capsules and tablets. • Aggression • kathisia A • Criminal behavior (a painful innerStudies have shown that the effects of • onfusion and C agitation; inabilitythese drugs can include: incoherent thoughts to sit still)• Insomnia • Agitation • Paranoia• Irritability • uicidal thoughts S One study found that 14% of the• Nervousness and or suicide young people taking an antidepressant anxiety • Tremors became aggressive and even violent.• iolent thoughts V • Hostility One 12‑year‑old boy developed violent and actions nightmares about killing his classmates, then being shot himself. The dream continued to feel “very real” after awakening, and for days he experienced dreams of killing that seemed increasingly real. He became acutely suicidal until the drug was stopped.18
  19. 19. M y brain feels like it’s screaming at me to get more of these pills, the feelings I have withoutthem are too unbearable. . . . I need more helpgetting through this Effexor withdrawal. I’m sodepressed that I’ve started cutting my arms,and I’m not even sure why. Also I hallucinateevery few hours and see things—just today Isaw blood dripping down my wall.” — RitaThis study gave several other examples of extreme andirrational behavior from individuals on these drugs. One manrammed a police officer with his vehicle so he could grab theofficer’s gun and shoot himself. Another drowned himself andhis two small children in a bathtub, and a boy bludgeoned aclose friend for no apparent reason. None had any previoushistory of violence.Withdrawal symptoms of antidepressants include suicidalthoughts, aggression, anxiety, depression, crying spells,insomnia, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, tremors, andelectric “zap” sensations in the brain. 19
  20. 20. KETAMINEK etamine, categorized as a “dissociative anesthetic,”* is used in powdered orliquid form as an anesthetic, usually on Due to the detached, dreamlike state it creates, where the user finds it difficult to move, ketamine has been used as aanimals. It can be injected, consumed “date‑rape” drinks, snorted, or added to joints orcigarettes. Ketamine was placed on the list Brand names Street namesof controlled substances in the US in 1999. • Ketaset • Special K • Ketalar •KShort- and long-term effects include • Ketalar SV • super Cincreased heart rate and blood pressure, • Ketanest • cat Valiumnausea, vomiting, numbness, depression,amnesia, hallucinations and potentially • Ketanest S • jetfatal respiratory problems. Ketamine users • super acidcan also develop cravings for the drug. • greenAt high doses, users experience an effectreferred to as “K-Hole,” an “out of body”or “near‑death” experience. * dissociative anesthetic: a drug that distorts perception of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment (dissociation) from the environment and self.20
  21. 21. ABUSE OF OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGSO ver-the-counter cold and cough medicines containing the drugDextromethorphan (DXM) have also Brand names • Coricidin Street names • DXM • Robitussin • CCCbeen abused. DXM is sold in syrup, • Triple Cgel and tablet form. When sold on the • SkittlesInternet as powder, it is particularly • Roborisky because of the uncertainty of its • Poor Man’s PCPcomposition and dose. It is found inmore than 100 products; Coricidin andRobitussin are abused the most. 21
  22. 22. COUGH SYRUP (DXM) EFFECTS • isual V • hysical P • Delusions hallucinations dependence (with • Sweating • Hyper‑excitability prolonged use) • igh blood H • Insomnia • Dizziness pressure • Lethargy • Slurred speech • iver and brain L damage Mixed with other drugs, cough syrup can also cause central nervous system and heart problems. Combined with alcohol, it is particularly dangerous and can result in death.22
  23. 23. Mblood.everything becausestarted obsessed I y experience with DXM:I gave up peeing I felt sick . . . My body felt weak . . . I waswith using . . . All I cared about was getting high . . . Ithought I could just use Coricidin for fun, that it didn’tmatter. I never expected to get hooked . . . I’ll never be able to get that time back. If I could erase it and make it go away, I would.” — Crystal 23
  24. 24. International statisticsE very day in the US, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) abuse a prescription painreliever for the first time. In 2006 in the United States, 2.6 million people abused prescription drugs for the first time.Prescription drug abuse, while most A 2007 survey in the US found that 3.3%prevalent in the US, is a problem in many of 12‑ to 17‑year‑olds and 6% of 17‑ toareas around the world including Europe, 25‑year‑olds had abused prescriptionSouthern Africa and South Asia. In the US drugs in the past month.alone, more than 15 million people abuse Prescription drug abuse causes the prescription drugs, more than largest percentage of deaths from drug the combined number who overdosing. Of the 22,400 drug overdose reported abusing cocaine, deaths in the US in 2005, opioid painkillers hallucinogens, inhalants were the most commonly found drug, and heroin. accounting for 38.2% of these deaths.24
  25. 25. cause of Deaths In 2005, 4.4 million teenagers (aged 12 to 17) in the US admitted to takingPrescription prescription painkillers, and 2.3 million Drugs took a prescription stimulant such as Ritalin. 45% 2.2 million abused over‑the‑counter drugs Street Drugs Combined 39% such as cough syrup. The average age for first‑time users is now 13 to 14. Amphetamine + Methamphetamine + Heroin + Cocaine
  26. 26. Depressants, opioids and room admissions in 2005, 598,542 wereantidepressants are responsible for associated with abuse of pharmaceuticalsmore overdose deaths (45%) than alone or with other drugs.cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and By survey, almost 50% of teens believeamphetamines (39%) combined. In the that prescription drugs are much safer thanUnited States, the most deaths used to take illegal street drugs—60% to 70% say thatplace in inner cities in African-American home medicine cabinets are their source ofneighborhoods, but they have now been drugs.overtaken by white rural communities.The same trend can be seen in the rates of According to the National Center onhospitalization for substance abuse and Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbiaemergency hospitalization for overdoses. University, teens who abuse prescriptionOf the 1.4 million drug‑related emergency drugs are twice as likely to use alcohol,26
  27. 27. five times more likely to usemarijuana, and twelve to twentytimes more likely to use illegal I realized I was using more Xanax on a regular basis. I took time off work to get offstreet drugs such as heroin, it. Without the knowledgeEcstasy and cocaine than teens I was addicted, I wentwho do not abuse prescriptiondrugs. ‘cold turkey.’ For four days and nights I was bedridden.In 2007, the Drug Enforcement I didn’t sleep or eat. IAdministration found that abuse vomited. I had hallucinations.of the painkiller Fentanyl killed On about the third daymore than 1,000 people that without Xanax I started toyear in the US. It is 30 to 50 timesmore powerful than heroin. become uncoordinated and unbalanced and bumped into things. On about the fourth day I became really worried when I started having twitching sensations.” — Patricia 27
  28. 28. The Truth About DrugsD rugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect.A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones with the unwanted. So, while providing short‑term help in the relief of pain, theyyou up). A greater amount acts as a also wipe out ability and alertness andsedative (slows you down). An even larger muddy one’s thinking.amount poisons and can kill. Medicines are drugs that are intended toThis is true of any drug. Only the amount speed up or slow down or change somethingneeded to achieve the effect differs. about the way your body is working, to tryBut many drugs have another liability: they to make it work better. Sometimes they aredirectly affect the mind. They can distort necessary. But they are still drugs: they actthe user’s perception of what is happening as stimulants or sedatives, and too mucharound him or her. As a result, the person’s can kill you. So if you do not use medicinesactions may be odd, irrational, inappropriate as they are supposed to be used, they can beand even destructive. as dangerous as illegal drugs.28
  29. 29. The real answer is to getthe facts and not to takedrugs in the first place. 29
  30. 30. why do people take drugs? People take drugs because they want to They think drugs are a solution. But change something in their lives. eventually, the drugs become the problem. Here are some of the reasons young people have given for taking drugs: Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the consequences of drug use • To fit in are always worse than the problem one • To escape or relax is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the facts and not to • To relieve boredom take drugs in the first place. • To seem grown up • To rebel • To experiment30
  31. 31. “Depressants,” US Department Millions of copies of booklets such asREFERENCES of Health Human Services this have been distributed to people“Drug Scheduling,” U.S. Drug and SAMHSA’s NationalEnforcement Administration Clearinghouse for Alcohol around the world in 22 languages. As“Selected Prescription Drugs Drug Information new drugs appear on the streets and morewith Potential for Abuse,” “Prescription drugs a gateway information about their effects becomesNational Institute on Drug Abuse for teen drug abuse,” Houston Chronicle, 4 September 2008 known, existing booklets are updated andInternational Narcotics ControlBoard PHOTO CREDITS: new ones created. Page 2, page 9: Stockxpert;Office of Drug Control Policy page 15: Sweet Faux Pas; The booklets are published by the page 24: Wes Tarca.“Prescription Sedatives Foundation for a Drug‑Free World, aTranquilizers,” Partnership fora Drug‑Free America nonprofit public benefit organizationStatement by Leonard J. headquartered in Los Angeles, California.Paulozzi before Senate JudiciarySubcommittee on Crimes and The Foundation provides educationalDrugs, 12 March 2008 materials, advice and coordination for itsCenter for Substance AbuseResearch international drug prevention network.National Survey on Drug Use It works with youth, parents, educators,and Health 2007 volunteer organizations and governmentSuicidality, violence and mania agencies—anyone with an interest incaused by SSRIs: A review andanalysis, P. Breggin. helping people lead lives free from drug abuse. 31
  32. 32. FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOWThis booklet is one in a series of publications that cover the facts about marijuana, alcohol,Ecstasy, cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth and methamphetamine, inhalants, heroin,LSD and prescription drug abuse. Armed with this information, the reader can make thedecision to live a drug‑free life. For more information or to obtain more copies of this or other booklets in this series, contact: Foundation for a Drug‑Free World 1626 N. Wilcox Avenue, #1297 Los Angeles, CA 90028 USA • e‑mail: TM Phone: 1‑888 NO TO DRUGS (1‑888‑668‑6378)© 2008 Foundation for a Drug‑Free World. All Rights Reserved. The Foundation logo is a trademark owned by theFoundation for a Drug‑Free World. Item #C6231 US-ENG