Over-the-counter Medicine Treatment In the United States
Are over the counter drugs addictive?
Over the counter drugs, also known as OTCs, although are safer than illicit drugs, they can equally be as addictive and dangerous. When used with alcohol or other drugs, they can result in highly severe adverse effects putting the user's health at risk.
The misuse and abuse of these OTC drugs will lead to physical and psychological dependencies, just like any other narcotic drug. It can be very dangerous when OTC drugs are combined with prescription drugs, and it could potentially cause severe and adverse reactions.
The Food and Drug Administration has determined that these medicines have medical benefits for common everyday ailments. Because of this, these OTC drugs are safe in general, for consumption, when taken exactly as prescribed or directed. When the medicines are abused, they will then become a problem for the user, just as any other drug would be in this case.
OTC Drug Abuse Symptoms
Close to half of the over the counter drugs sold today, roughly 125 distinct products do contain dextromethorphan (DXM). This particular drug is a cough suppressant found in different products, which can be sold in a capsule form, liquid form, and/or bought on the Internet. It is very easy for young people to find on the Internet what dose of DXM will get them high. When DXM is used in large quantities, it will create some form of high for the user. The following symptoms can occur:
Did you know this about over the counter medications?
In the US, the FDA monitors and regulates the sale of OTC medications. Many drug stores in the US have now removed product containing pseudoephedrine, and a person must go directly to a pharmacist to receive any products with this chemical.
Teen OTC Drug Abuse
These types of drugs are very popular for teens between the ages of 13 and 16. Over the past two years there have been dozens of overdoses, and five deaths recorded due to OTC drugs. For example, the following products are over the counter medications, which can be addictive, and contain DXM.
The cost of these drugs is not high, which makes it easy for teens to access them. They can also find OTC drugs being sold on the Internet, and can also find what amounts to take in order to achieve a high. Many drug stores now have taken precautions to monitor the sale of over the counter meds. For example, access to certain products containing DXM is restricted, and limited amounts are sold to individuals.
In order to protect against over the counter drug abuse, parents should help educate their children on the dangers of these drugs. It is also a good idea to avoid overstocking these drugs in the house, and monitor the child's Internet use, and of course lead by a positive example.
How to detox from Over the counter drugs
Over the counter drugs include cough and cold medicines, diet pills, and pain analgesics. Depending on the amount taken, detox will be different for each person. Most withdrawal symptoms from OTC drugs are not life-threatening, but it is always recommended to speak to a healthcare professional or attend conventional detox.
Works cited – SAMHSA 5 Nov. 2006 31 May 2009 <http://family.samhsa.gov/get/otcdrugs.aspx>
Teen Drug Abuse 31 May 2009 < http://www.teendrugabuse.us/over_the_counter_drug_abuse.html>