Dangers of Getting Prescription Drugs from Friends

Dangers of Getting Prescription Drugs from FriendsAccording to the Food and Drug Administration, prescription drug misuse occurs when a person takes a medication not prescribed specifically to him or her by a licensed physician. According to a 2006 report issued by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), among people 12 or older who used misused prescription pain relievers, over 55 percent reported getting the drugs from friend or relative for free. Another 9.3 percent bought the drugs from a friend or family member. This illustrates the wide-spread misuse of drugs.

One of the drugs that people acquire from friends is Xanax, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants because they slow down the automatic responses of the nervous system creating a relaxed state. Many people misuse Xanax because of the calming feeling that the drug produces.

Dangers of Misusing Xanax

While using another person’s prescription like Xanax may seem like a safe and easy alternative to going through the process of seeing a doctor directly, it is dangerous to take someone else’s medications. Dangers of using friends’ prescriptions like Xanax include the following:

  • It is illegal – According to the U.S. Department of Justice, drugs are to be used only by the person prescribed the medication and only as directed. To use someone else’s prescription is against the law and can carry legal consequences depending on the kind of prescription it is.
  • It can lead to further drug and alcohol use – A 2005 article in the journal Addictive Behavior indicated that people who obtain prescription medication from friends were over four times more likely to report heavy drinking. In addition they were twice as likely to meet two or more criteria for CAGE, a short, four-question test that diagnoses alcohol problems over a lifetime. Furthermore, those who obtained prescription medication like Xanax from peers were more likely to use drugs and alcohol on current days.
  • It can be deadly – According to a report issued by the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, drugs like Xanax cause more deaths in 2007 than homicides, gunshot deaths, and suicides. In addition unintentional deaths of non-medical use of opioids increased 114 percent from 2001-2005.

The risk of developing new health conditions is always present when you take a medication that has not been prescribed for you. Prescription drugs are designed to be used to treat particular symptoms in a specific situation. Using a drug like Xanax outside of those conditions can lead to some of the following side effects:

  • Depressed mood or thoughts of suicide
  • Confusion
  • Agitation or hostility
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremor or seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems or trouble concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Slurred speech
  • Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and/or diarrhea

These side effects vary from person to person and can be intensified by combining Xanax with alcohol or other drugs. Combining drugs in this way could even result in death.

Xanax Addiction and Dependence

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, physical dependence on Xanax is not the same thing as dependence or addiction to the drug. Physical dependence occurs because the body naturally responds and adapts to the presence of Xanax in the body. When that chemical is removed from the body, withdrawal symptoms emerge while the body adjusts.

Psychological addiction to Xanax develops over time. First a person may experiment with Xanax to feel good or to avoid a stressful emotion. That person may continue to take Xanax when stress becomes overwhelming. However, this does not mean that addiction will set in. A developing addiction will be evident with the presence of several signs or symptoms. There are patterns of behavior that indicate that Xanax addiction is developing. They include the following:

  • Increased drug use over time – Xanax addiction is developing when a person takes more of the drug than prescribed, or takes it more often than prescribed. With repeated abuse, more and more Xanax becomes necessary to achieve the same level of relief.
  • Using drugs to meet needs – Most of the time, Xanax use is intended as a short-term solution. For example taking a medication to deal with depression associated with childhood trauma is common. Once a person has processed through the trauma, use of medication will taper off or cease. However, if you need drugs to give you energy in the morning and another drug to make you go to sleep at night, that is another sign that addiction is developing because your body is designed to function without them.
  • Changes in relationships – A person developing an addiction will often take drugs secretly to avoid being caught. Over time that person will begin to avoid people altogether as drug use takes the place of human interaction. Using Xanax becomes more important that being with people.
  • Disregarding consequences – A person who is becoming addicted to Xanax will seek and use those drugs despite the negative consequences. This may mean missing work, stealing from others, committing a crime, or even hurting other people. This pattern of behavior shows the formulation of an addiction.

Getting Help for Your Xanax Addiction

If you are suffering from a Xanax addiction, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time. We are available 24 hours a day. You can talk to an addiction recovery specialist who will talk with you about the treatment options best suited for your life situation. You can live a vibrant life without the haze of Xanax dulling every experience. Call us today to take the first step to enjoying that life.

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If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.