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Dangers of Getting Prescription Drugs from Friends

Dangers of Getting Prescription Drugs from FriendsFor various reasons, people frequently share their prescription medications with friends or family. There may be a belief that it is okay to do so, simply because the drugs are not being purchased from a street dealer. However, the use of prescription medications that are not your own can lead to serious physical and legal consequences.

Commonly shared prescription medication classes include opioid painkillers, sleeping pills, and stimulants. The drugs under these categories each have different uses and are targeted by different populations. Opioid painkillers are often shared by adults or school-aged adolescents, whose friends seek to achieve a high. Prescription sleeping pills may also be abused to experience a high, but are more frequently shared with friends with the intention of reducing sleep difficulties. Lastly, stimulants are medications that are commonly shared among high school and college-aged students who seek to improve school and attention performance.

Health Dangers of Sharing and Abusing Prescription Drugs

Taking medications without the prescription and direction from a healthcare professional can lead to a wide variety of health consequences. The health dangers of prescription medication misuse vary between the different drugs, each with its own set of side effects and dosage restrictions. When a person obtains and uses these medications without proper instruction, these side effects may be alarming and hazardous.

Using a friend’s opioid painkillers, for example, can lead to side effects of nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and constipation. Constipation is a common concern for those taking opioid painkillers without proper instruction. When a person is prescribed opioids, they are typically informed of the necessity to drink adequate amounts of fluid to encourage bowel movements. Severe constipation, a possible side effect from opioid misuse, may require more than a laxative to overcome. In some cases, rectal irrigation or manual removal may be necessary.

Overdose is another possible consequence when a person misuses a friend’s medication. Without proper dosing instructions, a person may be unaware of how many pills are used in a regular dose. This can lead unaware prescription drug abusers to take dangerously high amounts of a medication, with the possibility of overdose.

Legal Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse

Federal and state laws both prohibit the use of prescription medications without a doctor’s prescription. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a federally mandated policy that regulates many aspects of drug production and circulation. Under the CSA, distribution of certain substances, including prescription medications, are strictly regulated. The sharing of these drugs to those without a prescription can lead to legal consequences.

In many states, it is also required that prescription medications be carried in their original container, with the labeled prescription attached. Those who have obtained prescription medications from family or friends might keep these drugs in a pill box or other container, which would be illegal in many states.

While the distribution and circulation of drugs is federally regulated, it is important to look at individual state laws to determine the consequences of sharing prescription medication.

Get Help for Prescription Drug Addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about prescription drug addiction treatment.

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