Many people in South Carolina and around the nation have been hearing news reports lately about what many call the opioid epidemic. The country is finally starting to realize that all people who use drugs for other than intended medical purposes are not necessarily a bunch of criminals or losers. Instead, many of these people are simply ill and fighting an extremely difficult disease.
WebMD explains that drug addiction is literally a disease as the use of drugs over time can actually change the chemistry in the brain, thereby altering how the brain works. People who become addicted to drugs cannot control the cravings they develop to continue to use the drugs. These cravings can become so strong that people end up being motivated to find illegal ways to get drugs in some situations.
According to the Mayo Clinic, drug abuse can definitely involve prescription medications and is not limited to illegal substances by any means. Drug abuse can take multiple forms. One example is when a person takes a drug in a way not prescribed such as injecting a medication instead of orally consuming it. Another form of drug abuse is when a person takes a medication prescribed for someone else. Taking a prescription ordered for oneself but at a higher dose, more frequently or for reasons not ordered are also types of drug abuse.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse data suggests that as many as one in five Americans over the age of 12 has taken a prescription medication for reasons other than the original intention.