What is Over the Counter Drug Abuse?
Over the counter drug abuse is becoming more and more prevalent among adolescents. Some studies report that upwards of 30% of adolescents think OTC drug abuse is okay “once in awhile.”
Over the counter drug abuse is fueled by the ease of access to these medications. Stores like CVS and Walgreens are rapidly becoming the new drug dealers.
The popularity of over the counter drug abuse is also due, in large part, to the internet. Just as this article provides insights into OTC drug abuse, there are thousands which tell teens how to abuse commonly available medicine. In fact, internet searches like “how to get high from cough syrup” have increased exponentially in the last few years.
Reasons For OTC Drug Abuse Treatment
If you or a loved one are abusing over the counter drugs, you may wonder why you can’t simply stop. You may be asking why you can’t put down the pills or cough syrup and resume your life. Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t work that way.
Addiction is a disease of the body, mind, and spirit. To successfully recover from OTC drug abuse, you need to treat all three areas. That’s where over the counter drug abuse treatment centers become vital.
While you or a loved one may be able to stop using, what about the reasons you turned to these drugs in the first place? What about faulty coping mechanisms? What about co-occurring disorders (things like Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, depression, etc.)? What about trauma issues? What about unresolved grief?
It’s for these reasons that seeking help from an over the counter drug abuse rehab center isn’t just a smart idea – it’s vital and necessary! Treatment centers offer various forms of therapy, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, EMDR, Trauma Resolution, Life Skills Training, and so much more.
Over the counter drug abuse treatment centers employ dedicated and expert staff. These men and women work around the clock to help you heal. To put it another way, treatment is like college. It’s where you go to learn how to live life on life’s terms.
Why Come to Lighthouse for OTC Drug Abuse?
At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe recovery is more than simply abstinence from drugs. We believe it’s a complete recovery of body, mind, and spirit.
To best provide our patients with this level of care, we offer gender-specific over the counter drug abuse treatment and Comprehensive Addiction Treatment.
Gender-Specific treatment means that all levels of care, all recovery residences, and all groups are single gender. This allows for a level of recovery that mixed gender therapies can’t offer.
Comprehensive Addiction Treatment means that Lighthouse addresses the three distinct areas of substance abuse recovery – medical, psychotherapeutic, and social.
- We address the medical side of recovery through an onsite psychiatrist, and individualized medication assessments and programs.
- We address the psychotherapeutic side of recovery through a program, including individual counseling with a primary therapist, single-gender groups, family therapies, relapse prevention, and much more.
- We address the social side of recovery through our Community Living environment, fostering peer support networks, offering life skills development, offering vocational training, offering educational development, and much more.
No two patients will ever have the same experience at Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s over the counter drug abuse treatment center. Rather, we strive to tailor all aspects of the treatment process to each individual’s struggles. In turn, this leads to restored relationships, healthy coping skills, and hope for a new life.
Over the Counter Drug Abuse Treatment
Over the counter drug abuse doesn’t lead to physical dependence, however it’s still a serious health concern. Because of this, a medical and monitored detox is suggested.
After detox, seek help at an inpatient over the counter drug abuse treatment center. There are thousands of these inpatient OTC drug abuse treatment centers across the country.
Following residential treatment, attend outpatient groups and over the counter drug abuse rehab aftercare. Finally, make sure to get involved in twelve-step recovery. This helps boost recovery rates and provides support during the struggles of early-sobriety.
Are you or a loved on struggling with over the counter drugs? Seek help from an over the counter drug abuse treatment center today!
What are the Most Commonly Abused Over the Counter Drugs?
Dextromethorphan, aka DXM, is the active ingredient in most cough and cold medications. It’s found in numerous over the counter drugs, including: Coricidin, NyQuil, and Robitussin. Users consume large doses of DXM to produce a euphoric and dissociative high. They report having hallucinogenic experiences for up to eight hours.
Health issues include: drowsiness, depression, nausea, impaired judgement, trouble breathing, nerve cell damage, heart damage, permanent brain damage, stroke, and death.
The misuse of diet pills is incredibly common. Adolescents generally use diet pills for one of two reasons – to lose weight or to get high. Diet pill abuse can lead to fast weight lose. However, once the user stops taking the pills, they’ll rapidly gain the weight back. In large quantities, diet pills can produce a high similar to amphetamines. Ephedra, phenylpropanolamine, and ephedrine are common ingredients which have been found in diet pills.
Health issues include: insomnia, paranoia, Tachycardia, Hypertension, dehydration, digestive problems, kidney problems, and heart problems.
Pseudoephedrine is a nasal decongestant found in many cold medications, including Sudafed. Pseudoephedrine is also a potent stimulant and the primary chemical used to make meth. Users have been known to take pseudoephedrine as a diet pill.
Health issues include: paranoia, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, tachycardia, cardiovascular failure, and death.
Monitoring of Over the Counter Drugs
Because of the prevalence of OTC drug abuse, various monitoring systems have been put in place to attempt to stem this tide. Federal and state laws now require many OTC drugs be held behind the pharmacy counter. In Oklahoma, for example, pseudoephedrine must be kept behind the counter in a locked case.
Some states also require the purchaser to be eighteen years or older and present photo identification. In California, for example, minors can’t buy cough syrup without a prescription. Regardless of whatever precautions are or aren’t in place, the best way to avoid OTC drug abuse is to attend an over the counter drug abuse treatment center.
What are the Side Effects of Over the Counter Drug Abuse?
• Panic attacks
• Mood swings
• Motor-skills impairment
• Numbness of extremities
• Hot and cold flashes
• Abdominal pain
• Muscle aches
• Bone aches
• Panic attacks
• Damage to all major organs