Over-The-Counter Drug Misuse and Abuse
When you think of over-the-counter drugs, you probably think of medicines that can help reduce a fever, stop a cough, or decrease congestion. These are very common medications that can easily be picked up and purchased at our local drug stores.
Since they’re so accessible, it’s usually assumed that over-the-counter drugs are not dangerous. However, they may cause more complications than you would think.
The Basics of Over-the-Counter Drugs
Misusing Over-the-Counter Drugs
Could OTC Drugs Get Someone High?
Risks of Over-the-Counter Drug Misuse
The most common risk of over-the-counter drug misuse is addiction. When someone becomes addicted to an over-the-counter drug, they may display problematic behaviors and begin to have problems with work, family, and their other relationships. In addition to addiction, over-the-counter drug misuse may also lead to some undesirable symptoms like:
- Rapid heart rate
- Poor motor control
- Lack of energy
- Vision changes
It can also cause more serious complications such as brain damage and overdose. If someone experiences an overdose from an over-the-counter medication, it’s important to them to seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible.
Treating OTC Drug Abuse
Someone who abuses over-the-counter drugs is also likely to experience symptoms of drug withdrawal if they suddenly stop using. If someone is going through withdrawal, it’s recommended that they detox at a rehabilitation facility or in another medically-administered environment. An individual’s detox treatment plan will depend on the drug they used and how severe the addiction is.
For example, people who experience withdrawal from Loperamide may benefit from medications such as Naloxone. After detox, those who abuse over-the-counter drugs are encouraged to enroll in an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program. Programs will usually offer treatment methods such as mental health counseling, group therapies, and behavioral therapies like CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and Contingency Management. To learn more about the side effects and potential risks of over-the-counter drugs, contact our team of substance abuse treatment professionals by calling (866)-345-2147.