Drug Use, Misuse and Abuse Health Coach McLure/Anno
What is a drug? A drug is a chemical substance that affects the way you feel and function. No drug is completely safe. All drugs have multiple effects that vary greatly in different people at different times
Drug Misuse and Abuse Drug misuse is the taking of a drug for a purpose or by a person other than that for which it was medically intended. Drug abuse as excessive drug use that’s inconsistent with accepted medical practice.
Routes of Administration The most common way to take a drug is by swallowing a tablet, capsule, or liquid. (drugs don’t reach the bloodstream as quickly as drugs introduced by other means) Effects from taking a drug orally will start in about 30 minutes. You may inhale the drug which will enter the bloodstream within minutes. Drugs can also be injected with a syringe directly into the body. The drug will enter the body within seconds. Approximately 1.5 million Americans use illegal injected drugs.
Dosage and Toxicity The dosage level at which a drug becomes poisonous to the body, causing either temporary or permanent damage, is called its toxicity.
Types of Action A drug can act locally, deaden pain in a tooth. A drug can act generally, throughout a body system A drug can act selectively, when it has a greater effect on one specific organ or system.
Did You Know… Improper use of medications leads to more than 170,000 hospitalizations and costs of about $750 million every year.
Buying Over-the- Counter Drugs Among the most potentially dangerous is aspirin, the “wonder drug” in practically everyone’s home pharmacy. Aspirin can damage the lining of the stomach and lead to ulcers in those who take large daily doses for problems. Like other drugs, OTC medications can be used improperly, often due to lack of education. OTC medication that are most likely to be abused: Nasal sprays Laxatives Eye drops Sleep aids and cough syrup.
Prescription Drugs Each year the FDA approves about 20 new drugs, yet no more than 4 are rated truly meaningful advances. As many as 70% of adults have trouble understanding dosage information and 30% can’t read standard labels, according to the FDA.
Physical Side Effects Serious complications that may occur include heart failure, heart attack, seizures, kidney and liver failure, severe blood disorders, birth defects, blindness, memory problems, and allergic reactions.
Psychological Side Effects Drugs can cause in the way people think, feel, and behave. What you don’t know about a drug’s effect on your mind can hurt you. Any medication that can slow down the bodily systems can cause depressive symptoms.
Drug Interactions Mixing some cold medications with tranquilizers can cause drowsiness and coordination problems, thus making driving dangerous. What you eat or drink can impair or completely wipe out the effectiveness of drugs or lead to unexpected effects. Always check the labels for any instructions such as when to take the medication or whether to take “with a meal”.
Generic Drugs The generic name is the chemical name for a drug. About 75% of all prescriptions specify a brand name, but some pharmacists may switch to generic unless doctors tell them not to. Prescriptions filled with generic drugs cost 20 to 85% less than their brand- name prescriptions. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients as brand-name prescriptions, but their fillers and binders will affect the absorption of a drug.
Abuse of Prescription Painkiller Almost 7 million young adults between ages 18 and 25 report using prescription drugs nonmedically at least once. Many prescription painkillers work by blocking the pathway that pain signals travel to the brain and by triggering production of the chemical dopamine in the brain. When they stop taking the medications, they develop a craving for the dopamine-induced feelings.
Caffeine Caffeine, since the Stone Age, is the most widely used psychotropic drug in the world. 80% of Americans drink coffee. As a stimulant, it relieves drowsiness, helps in performance and improves the capacity for work. Additional benefits include improved concentration, reduced fatigue, and sharpened alertness. Consumption of high doses of caffeine can lead to dependence, anxiety, insomnia, rapid breathing, upset stomach and bowel, and dizziness.
Is it Possible to Overdose on Caffeine? Yes, you can overdose on caffeine. Characteristics symptoms of caffeine intoxication are restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, periods of inexhaustibility, and physical restlessness.