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Over the Counter Drugs

Essay by   •  June 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  392 Words (2 Pages)  •  3,575 Views

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Describe Your Topic.

Over-the-counter drugs are medications that can be purchased at a pharmacy, grocery, or convenience store without a prescription to treat the symptoms of common colds or pains, such as headaches.

How is it abused? (Orally, Injected, ECT.)

OTC drugs are usually abused orally. Most Teens abuse it by getting high or to fall asleep. Others like to mix these drugs with prescription drugs, street drugs, or alcohol. Some teens crush pills and snort them for an intensified effect.

Is it addictive?

Yes, OTC drugs are addictive. They can be addictive to different degrees. In a lot of OTC drugs Dextromethorphan is the most addictive ingredient. Dextromethorphan is a cough-suppressing ingredient in a variety of OTC cold and cough medications. Cold medicines such as Robitussin, Nyquil, Vicks Formula 44, and Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold tablets contain Dextromethorphan. This ingredient may produce feelings of Euphoria that some seek to get "high."

What are the effects it has on a person and their body? (Short term and long term)

Short term: The short term effects are: Impaired judgment, nausea, loss of coordination, headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness, numbness of fingers and toes, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, aches, seizures, panic attacks, psychosis, euphoria, cold flashes, dizziness, and diarrhea

Long term: The long term effects are: Addiction, restlessness, insomnia, high-blood pressure, coma, or even death

Statistics and Facts

* Hospitals have reported dozens of overdoses in the past two years, including five deaths where the abuse of over-the-counter medicines was a factor.

* Drugs such as OxyContin, Ritalin, and Vicodin have become so common among today's youth that more than 15 percent of high school seniors say they've taken at least one prescription or OTC pill for nonmedical purposes within the past 12 months. And in 2005, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that more than two million teens had abused prescription drugs that year alone.

* 56 percent of teens feel that getting OTC drugs is easier than getting illegal drugs

* 40 percent of teens feel that OTC medicines are much safer than illegal drugs

* 31 percent of teens agree that using OTC and Rx medications is okay "once in a while"

* 55 percent of teens do not strongly feel that it is risky to use cough medicine to get high

* 10 percent of teens report that they use cough medicine

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