When people think about drug abuse, they typically think of prescription or illegal drugs. However, there’s a big problem with young adults and adolescents abusing over the counter medicines, like cough syrups. Many people are unaware of the severe issues surrounding over the counter drug abuse.
If you or a loved one is misusing over the counter medicines, reach out to the drug addiction treatment center in Idaho. There are many ways to achieve addiction recovery and they all start by calling 208.518.0797.
What Is OTC Drug Abuse?
Similar to prescription drug abuse, OTC drug abuse is the misuse of over the counter drugs. This may mean taking more than the recommended amount or taking them when they’re not needed. A common way teens will abuse over the counter medicines is by combining them with other drugs or alcohol to achieve the desired, heightened effect.
This form of polysubstance abuse is extremely dangerous. If your loved one is mixing substances, they will not only experience the side effects of each drug but new symptoms as well.
Why Do Adolescents Abuse Over the Counter Medicines?
The main reason why teens struggle with over the counter drug abuse is that the drugs are readily available. Many teens don’t have access to prescription drugs, and they don’t know how to buy them illegally. They turn to the only thing that they do have access to, and that’s over the counter drugs.
In large amounts, over the counter substances can provide a similar high to that of prescription drugs. Some of the most common over the counter medicines that teens abuse include:
- Cold medications
- Cough suppressant
- Pain relievers
- Diet pills
- Sleep aids
Some teens choose to abuse these drugs because they don’t have to go anywhere to get them. Most households have some kind of over the counter drugs in the cabinets. Teens can search the internet to get information about how to get high with these substances. Unfortunately, most teens don’t understand the dangers of abusing them.
Stores do not regulate OTC medicines like they do prescription drugs. This makes it much easier for a teen to buy larger quantities than normal. It is up to friends, family members, and themselves to find help through teen drug rehab programs.
Dangers of Over the Counter Drug Abuse
The biggest problem with over the counter medicines is that people think that they aren’t dangerous. How they abuse them is extremely dangerous. One reason is that of the extremely high doses that they have to take to get high. After all, simply taking a little cough suppressant won’t do the trick.
To achieve euphoria, they have to take a dangerous amount. People often suffer medical problems before they even achieve a high. In some cases, taking too much of an over the counter drug is fatal.
Other medical problems can arise from abusing drugs such as cough suppressants. This medication targets the area of the brain that controls coughing. Suppressing it can cause other motor function problems. In some cases, it can even cause brain damage or put people into comas.
Let Us Help Your Teen
Do you think that your teen or young adult suffers from over the counter drug abuse? If so, it’s essential to get teen drug abuse help at Zelus Recovery as soon as possible. We provide many programs that help young adults overcome all kinds of addictions. Some of our addiction treatment programs include:
- Intensive outpatient program
- Early intervention
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Substance abuse treatment
- Addiction counseling
We also provide therapy services to address the root issues of addiction and build healthy coping skills. Addiction therapy programs include:
- Addiction counseling
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Individual, group, and family therapy
- Relationship therapy
- Multisystemic therapy
- Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)
See how Zelus Recovery can help stop over the counter drug abuse. Reach out now at 208.518.0797 to begin finding the treatment you or your loved one needs.