Home Seniors and Social Issues Understanding Prescription Drug Abuse Misuse

Understanding Prescription Drug Abuse Misuse

Understanding Prescription Drug Abuse Misuse

Most people are aware that illicit drug
experimentation and prescription drug misuse is a common practice within the
young adult population. Data suggests that at least half of the teenage
population will experiment with illegal drugs before they graduate from high
school. Despite this accepted realization, most individuals fail to recognize
the harmful issue of elderly drug misuse. Statistics indicate that prescription
drug abuse is a widespread problem within the elderly population. Whether done
intentionally or through accidental misuse, a large portion of the elder
population has partaken in prescription drug abuse or drug misuse.

These
improper uses of drugs can have extremely damaging effects on an individual’s
mental and physical health. Despite the severe consequences associated with
substance abuse, many medical professionals fail to confront elders about their
behavior. Some elderly individuals will employ extraordinary techniques in
order to ensure that they are able to obtain desired prescriptions and continue
their drug misuse. If this habit is not addressed, it may result in serious
medical complications and possibly death.

In many cases, elders are partaking in drug misuse without the conscious
knowledge that they are doing so. Elderly individuals are often left to their
own devices when it comes to regularly taking their prescription medications,
and what’s more, it is common for elders to loathe the thought of asking for
help. In most cases, they have already been stripped of a substantial portion
of their rights and privileges. Maintaining control of their day-to-day
activities is one way in which elders preserve a small portion of their
independence and control.

However, the reticence to ask for help may be
detrimental to an individual’s well-being, especially when it comes to
ingesting prescription drugs. One common complication that often results in
elder drug misuse is the failure to follow the specified instructions. Whether
an individual has purposely disregarded the instructions or has misread them,
this mistake may be fatal. For example, if an elder overdoses on medication
used to treat high blood pressure, his/her heart may slow and may eventually
stop beating, and he/she may stop breathing.

Overdosing on this and similar
medication can cause an individual to go into shock. Mixing various forms of
medications may also result in adverse medical consequences for the user. It is
essential for an individual to consult his/her physician before mixing any
types of medication. Likewise, if an individual is unsure about specified
instructions, he/she should ask for assistance.

Though accidental drug misuse is a widespread problem within the elder
population, prescription drug abuse is also a common and extremely dangerous
practice that is plaguing elders. The reasons that elders choose to engage in prescription
drug abuse vary a great deal depending on an individual’s specific
circumstances.

Regardless of the factors that lead to this dangerous behavior,
prescription drug abusers will often undertake extreme measures to generate the
means necessary to continue this practice. An individual may visit numerous
doctor’s offices in order to obtain multiple prescriptions to fuel his/her prescription
drug abuse problem. In many cases, physicians may expect an elder is abusing
drugs and fail to address the situation.

Often, physicians feel uncomfortable
confronting elderly patients about drug abuse and they often maintain the
mentality that elders should be permitted to do what brings them joy or
comfort, regardless of the harm they may cause. However, allowing this behavior
to continue may result in more severe medical complications, extensive medical debts
, and premature
death.

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