The Long Term Effects of Prescription Drugs

Do you have a drug prescription for a painkiller, anti-anxiety medication, sleep aid, or ADHD? If so, then you need to learn about the long term effects of prescription drugs.

Although some medications are safe for long term use when under the attentive care of a qualified physician, some drugs are not. Many even cause physical dependency, which increases your risk for addiction.

Narcotic Painkillers

Narcotic painkillers are highly addictive medicines that are similar to heroin. They are effective when used precisely as directed, and some are safe for long term use, depending on your diagnosis.

Cancer patients, for example, often take powerful narcotics to manage breakthrough pain. Even when used safely as directed, however, tolerance and dependency builds quickly with narcotics.

Death from overdose is possible, which is why narcotic painkillers are the biggest drug problem ever faced by the U.S. If you are still taking narcotics even though your original pain symptoms have disappeared, you may need help quitting.

Anti-Anxiety and Sleep Aid Medications

Drugs such as Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin are dangerously addictive depressants known as benzodiazepines. These prescriptions typically treat issues such as anxiety, seizures, insomnia, and panic disorders.

Benzodiazepines are usually only appropriate for short term use. “Benzos” are not only addictive, they can also cause a serious health problem called Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome. This syndrome can last for months, with symptoms waxing and waning. Suicide ideation, violence, and hallucinations are just some of the difficult challenges a person who suffers from Benzo Withdrawal Syndrome must face.

Prescription Stimulants

Prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin stimulate the central nervous system. Individuals diagnosed with ADD or ADHD find these drugs help with focus and impulsivity issues, and many can safely take these drugs over a prolonged period of time.

Unfortunately, many who don’t have attention-related issues take stimulants because they believe the drugs will help with grades and test scores. As abuse worsens, so do tolerance and dependency. Taking these drugs over a long period of time can cause serious physical problems such as anorexia, insomnia, and anxiety.

The Bottom Line

If you have concerns about your prescription drugs, we can help you figure out whether or not you need help. Call us now for more information.

The Addiction Blog