College Students Find It Easy To Obtain Prescription Drugs

prescription-drugsAround the country the use of prescription stimulants is quite common on college campuses, used with or without a prescription. Students will use drugs, such as Ritalin or Adderall, for more focus and energy while studying. While prescription stimulants can give a student an edge during finals, the drugs can be habit forming and lead to the use of other narcotics.

The selling or use of prescription drugs is illegal without a prescription from one’s doctor; nevertheless, use with of drugs without a prescription happens quite frequently. In fact, a new survey has found that college students in the U.S. have little trouble illegally acquiring prescription drugs on campus, HealthDay reports.

The 2015 College Prescription Drug Study

Researchers at Ohio State University found that 70 percent of the more than 3,900 survey respondents reported that obtaining medications without a prescription was somewhat “easy or very easy.” The data comes from students at six public and two private colleges and universities in five states across the country, and included undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

The data showed that about 18 percent of undergraduates misused prescription stimulants, according to the article. What’s more, 83 percent obtained the drugs from their friends. While prescription stimulant misuse was the most common, their survey showed a significant amount of prescription opioid misuse.

More Than Just Stimulants

The researchers found that 10 percent of undergraduates misused prescription opioids, and about one third of them reported that acquiring the drugs was “easy or very easy.” About 9 percent misused sedatives, and 44 percent said it was “easy or very easy” to obtain the drugs.

“Overall, 1 in 4 undergraduates reported that they used prescription pain medications, sedatives or stimulants for nonmedical reasons in their lifetimes,” said study author Anne McDaniel, associate director of research and data management at Ohio State University’s Center for the Study of Student Life, in a press release.

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Please contact Next Step Intervention if you are struggling with prescription drugs. We can assist you in finding the right treatment which will help you start your journey of recovery.

Benzodiazepines Are The World’s Most Popular Drugs

benzosThe Benzo Business is Booming

Benzodiazepines (aka benzos), the modern child of barbiturates, are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. The drugs are fast acting, highly effective, and extremely addictive. Common benzodiazepines include:

  • Valium ®
  • Xanax ®
  • Ativan ®
  • Klonopin ®

While doctors are aware of the habit forming, addictive nature of benzos, Xanax continues to be the world’s most popular pill, The Huffington Post reports. U.S. prescriptions for Xanax ® and other benzos grow by 12 percent annually. In the short term, benzos are miracle drugs, in the long term tolerance continues to grow and kicking them can be lethal.

Benzos Over the Long Run

When most people think of drugs that can ruin people’s lives, benzodiazepines usually do not come to mind. While your average benzo user does not pawn family heirlooms to get their next fix, in reality, benzos can have a lasting effect on how the mind forms memories and processes anxiety.

“Benzodiazepines impair the formation of new memories,” says Dr. Jason Eric Schiffman, Director of UCLA’s Dual Diagnosis Program, “so they interfere with psychotherapy, which actually heals the cause of anxiety rather than just attenuating symptoms.”

Schiffman points out that, “because benzodiazepines work right after taking them, they create a paradigm of ‘feel anxious, take a pill, feel better,’ which reinforces a sense of powerlessness over anxiety. This is one of the reasons benzodiazepines are no longer considered to be a first-line treatment of anxiety, whereas SSRIs are.”

Kicking Benzos

Withdrawing and recovering from any drug is extremely difficult. Removing a drug from one’s system that has been consumed over a continued period of time is going to be painful – physically, mentally and emotionally. Without medical assistance, benzo withdrawal can be fatal, according to the article. Post-acute withdrawal can continue for months after one stops taking the medication.

“Following a sudden withdrawal or even too-rapid taper, the brain thinks it’s being injured, so it marshals all these other mechanisms to try and mitigate these reactions,” says Dr. Peter Madill, an integrative medicine physician with a subspecialty in addiction medicine based in Sebastopol, CA. “Fatigue, disorientation, malaise, severe panic and startle reactions, nerve pain, muscle aches, short-term memory loss. Xanax withdrawal especially can be dangerous, even fatal, which is why you need a slow, individualized taper. We desperately need more research into agents that can augment the withdrawal process.”

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If you are struggling with benzodiazepines, please do not hesitate to contact Next Step Intervention. We can assist you in finding the right treatment which will help you be free from addiction.

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