Over the counter (OTC) medications used for a variety of medical and health needs have recently become used and abused to the point of addiction by many people, including both teens and adults. Many OTC drugs are intended to treat headaches, cold and flu symptoms, or sinus pressure, contain ingredients that, when used and abused incorrectly, can lead to addiction and poor health problems. OTC medication and drug addictions are particularly prevalent among young people, including teenagers and young adults.
Drug addiction treatment can help with any of these circumstance if caught soon enough. Teenagers and young adults self-reported extremely high levels of OTC drug abuse in the past several years, and medical professionals feel that the problem may be even greater than what’s been self reported by the patients. Signs and symptoms of abuse may include short-term effects like impaired judgment, loss of coordination, headache, nausea, numbness of the fingers and toes, irregular heartbeats, panic attacks, euphoria, cold flashes, vomiting, seizures, loss of consciousness, and diarrhea.
Long-term effects of addiction to OTC medications includes a host of problems from insomnia and high blood pressure, to comas and even death if the medication is abused strongly enough and for a long enough time. Unfortunately, many OTC medications that have the risk of being abused are very easy to purchase over the counter at supermarkets and drug and convenience stores. Additionally, many of these OTC medications can be purchased online without the need for identification or restriction of any kind, making it very easy to use and abuse OTC medications in any number of ways. Overdoses can occur with OTC medications just as they do with a host of other medications, although overdoses vary greatly on the type of drugs induced, the severity with which induction occurred, and more. Some OTC drugs are relatively weak by comparison, and overdoses are relatively mild, while overdosing on other drugs can cause severe problems and even death. If you or someone you know may have taken too many OTC pills or too much medication, see a doctor or visit the emergency room immediately for treatment.
Additionally, mixing these drugs with alcohol and other medications can make symptoms and overdose issues significantly more severe. Alcohol can also decrease the effectiveness of properly ingested OTC medications, and exacerbate some of the issues and desires related to addiction and misusing those pills. If you or anyone you know may be addicted to or over-using OTC medications, it is important you see a medical professional hopefully to stop the addiction, as well as seek appropriate treatment for the problems and improve the quality of life of that person by ending the addiction safely and sensibly. If you know anyone that is suffering from OTC medication addiction, please refer them to our drug rehab resource immediately.