Prescription Drug Misuse

Prescription drug misuse may be caused by a series of misconceptions, lack of information, and a carefree attitude toward the risks involves in using prescription drugs improperly.

  1. People may get prescription drugs from family or friends
  2. 68% of Missouri college students that misuse prescription drugs get them from friends
  3. 31% of Missouri college students that misuse prescription drugs get them from family
  4. Misuse of prescription drugs is highest among young adults ages 18-25

  1. Prescription drugs cannot be addictive.
    Fact: Medications can be addictive even when prescribed by a doctor.
  2. Prescription drugs are much safer than illegal drugs.
    Fact: Prescription drugs, such as opioids, are not safer to abuse than illegal drugs, such as heroin. Overdose and death can occur with prescription opioids just as easily as with heroin, and some prescriptions are even MORE potent than heroin.
  3. There is nothing wrong with using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription.
    Fact: Just because a medication is prescribed by a doctor does not mean it’s safe for everyone. Everyone is different, so prescription medications affect everyone differently. It’s possible that a medication that works for your friend can trigger an adverse reaction in you. Never borrow a friend's prescription medication.
Prescription drug interactions

Prescription drugs and alcohol

  1. Alcohol can have serious side effects by itself, and it can enhance the side effects of other drugs, like prescription medications, in unpredictable and dangerous ways.
  2. Your brain gets conflicting signals when you mix alcohol and prescription drugs. The effect of each individual substance may be masked, leading to unchecked consumption that can quickly overwhelm a person.
  3. 71% of Missouri college students have not mixed alcohol with prescription drugs in a manner other than prescribed.

Prescription drugs and driving
  1. Drug-impaired driving is illegal in all 50 states. Whether the drug is legally prescribed or illegal, driving while drug-impaired poses a threat to the driver, passengers, and other road users. Any form of impaired driving is illegal.
  2. 74% of Missouri college students do not drive after using prescription drugs. If you are taking a new prescription drug or a higher dose of a current prescription drug, do not drive until you know what effect it has on your judgement, coordination, and reaction time. Any effect could impair your driving ability.

Need help now?

drug phone   National Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-800-943-0566
rx phone   Prescription Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-888-939-3612

Published by Partners in Prevention. All rights reserved. Contact Us. MACHB 2020 N=8769
Created with assistance from the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the Missouri Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) and Missouri State Opioid Response (SOR)
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