Abuse of Over-The-Counter Medication
The rates of non-medical users of over-the-counter medication have continued to spur over the recent past. Many users do this without obtaining prior prescription and recommendations pharmacists on the drug use. They order the drugs, and, since they do not need a prescription from a physician to buy them, the pharmacist will just sell them the ordered drugs. Most OTC drugs abusers do not look at the prescribed uses on the box label either, forgetting that the composition of the drug may cause substantial harm to their body. It is worth noting that many OTC drugs users do it willingly, and the rate at which the users take these drugs is growing steadily. The paper provides and analyzes reasons why some individuals utilize over-the-counter drugs as an alternative solution for their issues.
Many people argue that over-the-counter drugs are usually safer than the outlawed. Therefore, they may use them without caring about the consequences that may befall them in the case of excessive use. These drugs are as dangerous and may cause addictive tendencies on the user. In addition, they are likely to result in adverse health conditions. Doctors usually weigh the effects of prescribed drugs, and that is why they may be considered safe. Some people may use the non-prescribed drugs especially those that may have been left by other people and may relieve pain. For example, most of the teenagers who abuse drugs take them from friends or relatives for free, and therefore they avoid the incurred cost of buying new ones. Many people use non-prescribed drugs for non-medical reasons.
The mainstream media may campaign for drugs through advertisements. Some of the programs may work to entice or thrill the people watching, such as the teenagers. Young people, for instance, are overexposed to media such as the internet among others that have many advertisements on drugs and its use. Therefore, in an attempt to practice or experiment, they try to use the non-prescribed or over-the-counter drugs. Some over-the-counter drugs have a mind-altering effect; psychoactive, and for this reason people may abuse them.
Many people use over-the-counter drugs to alleviate quickly pain that they may be suffering from to avoid the high costs involved in being diagnosed in hospitals and health centers. For instance, pseudoephedrine was one of the OTC drug ingredients that may result in abuse. Its efficient use is about nasal as well as sinus decongesting, and it is applicable in relieving cold, allergies and flu symptoms (Baltazar, Hopkins & McBride, 2013). Furthermore, one may misuse illicit methamphetamine in the manufacture. Pseudoephedrine has antagonistic side effects on a regular user who take its high dosages. Severe problems caused by the overindulgence are nervousness, loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea, dizziness just to mention a few (Lessenger, & Feinberg, 2008). Dextromethorphan is another major OTC element abused by young users. Its primary uses are for a cough and cold treatments. With its proper use, the ingredient is useful. However, it has a psychoactive reaction to the user whether it is on prescribed drugs or OTCs (Lessenger, & Feinberg, 2008). Overdose can cause severe illness and severe long-term issues to the users’ health. Rare circumstances of addiction to the drugs with the ingredient are evident to some users.
Some drugs are perfect remedies for challenges such as fatigue. Some of the drugs contain caffeine which its primary purpose is to deal with drowsiness and any fatigue and as a result a patient becomes alert. Apart from drugs some food stuff and drinks contain caffeine which is very useful when taken in the right content (Lessenger, & Feinberg, 2008). When to take caffeine in combination with the other drugs or alcohol, it can cause very severe reactions that may harm the user. Drugs with laxative components are the most OTC used by many people. Although their principal use is for the purpose of reducing weight or maintaining desired weight of the user, long-term methods can cause chronic dependency and severe health problems (Baltazar, Hopkins, & McBride, 2013). Short term effects are dizziness, blurred vision while one major long-term problem experienced is kidney failure.
Many young people struggle with the habit of using the OTC drugs while the same group has cases of weight issues. As a result, they chose to take medications that deal with their weight issues. The use of such remedies considered being the easiest way towards losing the weight. Although even physician give advice that the solution to use the drugs can work for the user, the patients receive incentives to do exercise as an additional therapy to weight issues (“Chapter 3,” 1998). Nonetheless, young people do not want to be tired with activities nor do they have time for that. They, therefore, use the drugs, and when it works for them, they will keep using them so that they can maintain good looks. Many young girls and some boys are under the influence of the notion that the solution falls on the drugs only. When it is too late, they become addicted to the use of the drugs.
Other classes of people use drugs bought at the counter for the purpose of attaining stimulation. Some of the users are young teenagers in the school especially when they are feeling that they need a stimulant to stay alert while doing studies or during classes. The working class needs to be stimulated to be alert at work and assigned tasks (Baltazar, Hopkins, & McBride, 2013). Out of anxiety to deliver work to meet deadlines, the users tend to use more of the drugs so that they can remain active despite their exhaustion or when they need to have a rest. Over years of use of medicines with the stimulating effect makes the user more addicted since they can no longer stay alert by drinks that act as effective stimulants. Eventually, the only option for the users appears the drugs. The more they use the drugs, the more body becomes accustomed to them. On the contrary, they keep increasing the dosages since as time goes, the earlier dosages never offer the desired activeness the users want.
Other users seem to acquire mind-blowing reaction out of drugs with components that can facilitate. The drugs appear to be the component to supplement the effects that other elements in the medication can cause such as drowsiness. Unfortunately, some teen users have too much energy and when they realize that there is a drug that gives a mind-blowing effect, they go for them without a rethinking of the consequences that follow the use (Vidourek & King, 2013). There are cases of misuse of the drugs after the prescription due to a condition. But when the teenagers realize they were feeling better while using them, they continue to use them not because of bad feelings but because it brings excitement. Some of them inquire about the drugs by the users, and when they realize that they are getting the guaranteed feelings, they become addicts too.
People use over-the-counter drugs because they act towards giving the patient energy and alertness while using prescribed drugs. Unfortunately, some people are naturally weak and instead of taking the necessary meals that provide with energy, they use the drugs that give the power. Others are too lazy to involve themselves in activities that increase alertness like recreation and sports. The user needs a shortcut to both of these, and hence, the OTC medications become the forecast. When they realize the problems, they make it a habit always of going for the drugs because they are working for them. Many users become acquainted with the patterns because of others recommendations, but there is still a small percentage of people who reveal the know-how after use while prescribed (Baltazar Hopkins & McBride, 2013). While some users care about their alertness and energy during their endeavors, others choose to make this just a habit even when they have a rest or take a break from their duties.
Another primary reason for taking drugs is to try an experiment. Wrong used OTC medications people spread among each other. Just because someone used a particular drug and it worked for the person, another one will also try it. The users create the current condition without knowing about dangerous consequences and the importance of the doctor's supervision (Lessenger & Feinberg, 2008). The experimentation may work, but sometimes it could cause more harm than good. Some people have abused other supplementary over-the-counter pills with the same aim of testing (Lessenger, & Feinberg, 2008). For instance, there are some used as boosters.
When the user realizes that there is this chance available; they decide to use them. Although to some drugs work, to others, they do not because of false corresponding to the instructions and some they may backfire on the user due to overdose or overuse. Just because a drug works for one people does not make it a remedy to others. There should be a proper procedure under physician’s supervision.
Most people who abuse over-the-counter drugs have an addiction to them. When dealing with the issue, one should go through counseling so that it can help to overcome the current problem (Hanson, Venturelli, & Fleckenstein, 2014). Others require assistance, and they need to accept this situation and seek the help to remain alive. Moreover, there should be forums aimed at giving public participations regarding the issue. Those who encountered such problems in their lives should obtain the information about how harmful it is to abuse medication. In addition to that, there should be posters, especially in the hospitals and pharmacists so that to create awareness of how harmful it is for people to use un-prescribed drugs (Hanson, Venturelli, & Fleckenstein, 2014). Finally, it is important to learn from other people's mistakes. Visiting those already affected may warn anyone who have never tried or anyone intending to start the habit.
In conclusion, people may have used drugs whether prescribed or over-the-counter drugs due to medical reasons. However, some do it in an abusive way to fulfill their personal desires. This paper sought to establish why some people abuse OTC medications. Some of the reasons are for stimulation, to lose weight, to have a mind-blowing effect and experimenting.
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