Author Archives: SafeLaunch

Recognize the most commonly misused drugs

Rx Bottle

Watch this slideshow and learn what these drugs of misuse look like.

(Credit: Medicine.net)

In 2010, around 7 million people in the U.S. were “nonmedical” users of prescription drugs. This amounts to about 2.7% of the total population. Estimates of the number of people who have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical use are even higher and range to up to 20% of the population. In 2009, 16 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Although any type of medication has the potential to be abused, certain groups of prescription drugs are most commonly abused.

Painkillers: Opioids such as codeine and morphine are narcotics prescribed to treat pain. Other drugs in this class include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, etc.), meperidine (Demerol), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), diphenoxylate (Lomotil), and propoxyphene (Darvon).

CNS depressants/tranquilizers: Drugs in the Benzodiazepine class are central nervous system (CNS) depressants used to treat anxiety disorders and sometimes for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and triazolam (Halcion).

Barbiturates: Barbiturates are also central nervous system depressants. They include phenobarbital (Luminal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), and mephobarbital (Mebaral). Barbiturates are prescribed to treat insomnia, tension, and anxiety.

Stimulants: Stimulants are sometimes prescribed to treat obesity and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Examples include methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall). Some of these preparations can be found in over-the-counter diet pills.

Dextromethorphan (DMX): DMX is the active cough suppressant found in cough and cold medications.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to prescription-drug misuse and are known to have the lowest rate of compliance with instructions for medication use.

Teens and young adults are prone to prescription drug abuse, particularly of painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone. A survey of teens who abused prescription drugs showed that the majority reported receiving them from friends or relatives.

Many experts believe that health-care workers (including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and veterinarians) may be at increased risk for prescription-drug abuse because of their easy access to medications.

The misuse and abuse of prescription drugs can lead to drug addiction. Addiction to prescription drugs is treated in much the same way as addiction to illegal drugs and may result in withdrawal symptoms just like addiction to illegal drugs. Behavioral therapy can teach people how to properly use medications and how to manage the cravings and relapses that accompany addiction. Medications can also be used to treat withdrawal symptoms and drug overdoses.

In many cases, the misuse of prescription drugs can be prevented by education about the medications and by strict adherence to the directions for the use of prescription drugs.

Changing the dosage of a drug without consulting a doctor and the sharing of prescription medications with others are two practices that dramatically increase the risk of prescription-drug abuse and dependency. You should check with your doctor before changing the dose of a medication. And never share prescription drugs with anyone.

REFERENCES:
http://www.medicinenet.com/teen_drug_abuse/article.htm
United States. NIDA. Prescription drugs.
United States. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Parent Only Event: Focus Group in Camarillo

what-do-you-think

Come See the Portraits of Addiction and Hope Portrait Show at TVSB January 15 – March 30, 2014

M5002012Winners

In 2012, teen photographers from the SafeLaunch Media $500 Contest met with people in recovery at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, and read their stories. Teen artists then artistically interpreted the portraits and the stories. The message is loud and clear: Avoid early first exposure to alcohol and drugs.  As the poet-philosopher Noah BenShea says, “Addiction is a powerful teacher, but the tuition is your life.”

SafeLaunch is proud to offer the community a second look at these faces of addiction and hope. Through art and education, SafeLaunch offers new perspectives to encourage a shift in our attitudes, beliefs, and practices toward the disease of addiction. The time has come to prevent addiction where it begins 90% of the time… in early first exposure to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

 “All of the participants have played an important role in raising awareness of the increased risk that teens have to addiction,” SafeLaunch co-founder Janet Rowse said. “The impact of the personal stories of the people in recovery who participated is evident in the art and photography by these talented students.”

Thursday, January 16, 2014
5pm to 7pm
TV Santa Barbara Multimedia Center
329 South Salinas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

View the invitation at this link: Invitation to the Reception, Show, and Tour