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Many prescription drugs have been placed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in the same category as opium or cocaine.
Due to their potential for abuse and addiction, many prescription drugs have been placed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in the same category as opium or cocaine. These include Ritalin and Dexedrine (stimulants), and the painkillers OxyContin, Demerol and Roxanol.
Many illegal street drugs were at one time used or prescribed by doctors or psychiatrists but were later banned when the evidence of their harmful effects could no longer be ignored. Examples are heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine and Ecstasy.
Abuse of prescription drugs can be even riskier than the abuse of illegally manufactured drugs. The high potency of someone of the synthetic drugs available as prescription drugs creates a high overdose risk. This is particularly true of OxyContin and similar painkillers, where overdose deaths more than doubled over a five-year period.
Nearly 30% of newborn infants whose mothers took antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil during pregnancy have experienced withdrawal symptoms that include high-pitched crying, tremors and disturbed sleep.
“The most effective weapon in the war on drugs, even today’s scourge of prescription drug abuse, is education,” said Julietta Santagostino, Director of the Florida chapter of Foundation for a Drug-Free World.
The Foundation for a Drug Free World is actively involved in education programs in schools and in the community. The program is mainly addressed to youth. For information about drugs, the program, or free drug education materials go to www.drugfreeworld.org.
And for the person with a drug problem, there are real solutions to addiction. Narconon, a drug rehabilitation program that utilizes the methods of L. Ron Hubbard, has a success rate of more than 75% (www.narconon.org).
The best solution, however, is not to begin using drugs in the first place.