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2011 is the Year of Targeting Prescription Drug Abuse

The biggest drug problem facing the United States today is the abuse and misuse of prescription drug medication. From faking illness to buying others prescriptions from them, Americans are on a desperate path of destruction to self-medicate, causing more harm than good.

For that reason alone, the National Drug Control Strategy for 2011 will be focusing on prescription drug abuse. The strategy aims to not only focus on prevention and treatment, but also to increase its reach to adults ranging from 18 to 25 years old. So why has prescription drug abuse become so prevalent in recent years?

There are many different reasons why- one of the main reasons being that Americans think prescription drugs are safer than street drugs and also less addictive. Others think that prescription drugs will make them fit in more or make life more fun. For example, some even think drugs meant for individuals with ADHD will help them lose weight or study better for tests in school.

The problem with this way of thinking is that in an individual’s mind it seems harmless at first, until prescription drug abuse takes over and drug addiction therapy becomes a necessity to get back to a normal drug-free life. Through the drug control strategy, the United States aims to encourage support for abuse issues, expand community-based substance abuse prevention and, most importantly, reduce driving under the influence of prescription medication.

The government has initiated $26 billion of the 2011 budget towards preventing drug abuse, with half of the money used to implement enforcement and the other half to assist in the prevention of drug abuse and providing addiction therapy. While the government is trying to do their part in helping to prevent prescription drug abuse, it is important for others to have a voice and also stand up for the misuse of medications.

For many, it is very easy to get their hands on prescription medications. Many people will buy others prescriptions from them or take something from a family member or friend that they think will be ok to try. But taking medications not recommended by a doctor can be very harmful and dangerous to the body. The most harmful reason being that a person can overdose on medications that they do not know the side effects or the amount you can take in any given period.  

Even if a prescription is prescribed to someone that is for the same symptoms, it is still not safe to take unless it is specifically prescribed to that individual. A study in 2009 showed that 20% of teens have taken a prescription medication not prescribed to them. These numbers are frightening because not only is it against the law to take a medication not prescribed to a person, but it can also cause irreversible harm to the body and ultimately cause prescription drug abuse

Another cause for concern is individuals creating “cocktails” when taking these medications. Often people will take a pain pill and also drink alcohol or smoke marijuana. They might also mix a pain pill such as Norco and an anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax. This can be a lethal combination and will ultimately lead to the need for drug addiction therapy.

Vista Taos Renewal Center’s location makes it an area where lots of drugs are seen smuggled from Mexico.  Drugs such as opiates like OxyContin are very prevalent in this area due to the amount of drugs smuggled from Mexican pharmacies. The availability of prescription drugs has become much easier for individual’s to get their hands on than most illegal street drugs are to come by, which also makes prescription drug addiction that much bigger of a problem.

Americans should keep in mind when taking prescription medications that they know how harmful the aftermath can be to their life if not taken properly or under the consent of a doctor. It is also a great idea to always get all prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy so that the pharmacists and doctors can ensure they aren’t giving out risky, or even deadly, mixes of medication.

Keep in mind, it is never a good idea to fake an illness or to steal or buy prescription medications from family members and friends to “feel better.” It will always lead to regrets and is incredibly harmful to one’s body. Prescription medications are so highly addictive that it is never a good idea to self medicate and risk harming your body or others. Vista Taos offers a place where those suffering from prescription drug abuse can find solace and get help through addiction therapy. If you or a loved one is suffering from prescription drug abuse, please visit Vista Taos today and find the help and assistance needed to get back a healthy life and a healthy body.

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COVID-19 update: The health and safety of our clients at Vista Taos Renewal Center continues to be our highest priority. Due to the national rise in cases of COVID-19, all potential clients entering the Vista Taos program shall be tested for the virus and must receive their results prior to admission. Vista Taos continues to work closely with the New Mexico Department of Health, adhering to the highest standards of care for our clients, and will provide subsequent testing after admission as needed. For assistance in finding the most efficient testing sites, please contact our Director of Community Relations, Jeremy Lihte, at (575) 425-1913
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