Prescription Drug Misuse Free Essay

Published: 2022-11-08
Prescription Drug Misuse Free Essay
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Drug abuse
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 677 words
6 min read

The abuse of prescription drugs is the use of prescribed medications for purposes other than those for which they were prescribed. Prescription drug misuse is a long-term process that cultivates itself within an individual's lifestyle to the point that they become addicted. The process of developing a liking for the abuse of prescription drugs occurs in a five-stage process that includes: first use, continued use, tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The first use is the first stage of developing a misuse of prescription drugs. In most cases, first use happens out of necessity. For instance, opioids are the most abused prescription drugs according to research done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA), (2011). Opioids are used to treat pain. They are also easy to acquire, and most of them can be purchased over the counter. Opioids produce nausea, reduce drowsiness and could cause mental confusion. There are also other types of drugs such as Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants that are used to treat anxiety and other psychological disorders. There are also stimulants mostly used for patients experiencing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Continued use is the second stage as the individual continues to use the prescription drug according to its intended purpose. It is also the stage that a person develops the need to use the drug. However, should they choose not to use the drug, they will not experience any withdrawal symptoms. Also, the person will notice it takes them a more extended amount of time to return to normal every time they abuse the prescription drug. The brain is taking longer to repair itself and resume normal functions.

Tolerance is the third stage of prescription drug misuses and may be the first indicators of addiction. Tolerance is basically when the body starts to adjust to the drug effects. The person will realize that it takes longer for them to experience the effects of the drug. They also need to consume a higher amount quantity for them to experience its full effects. If it is a painkiller, the person will notice that they need a higher dosage to get rid of the pain.

The fourth stage of the process is the dependence. Dependence comes from normal adaptations that emerge because of chronic exposure to the drug (National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA), 2011). The physical dependence is the body responding to the continued use of a drug. The people in the dependence stage may experience withdrawal symptoms if the supply or administration of the drug ceases. Additionally, the people who have developed dependence for certain prescription drugs will need higher doses of the same drug to achieve the same effects (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). However, it is essential for one to note that there is the possibility of developing addiction without dependence (Mayo Clinic Staff, Drug Dependence, 2018).

Addiction is the final stage of prescription drug misuse. In the step of addiction, the person finds it impossible to stop using the drug regardless of whether they enjoy it or not. At this stage, the prescription drugs affect the person's lifestyle and behavior. Every effort they make is aimed at acquiring more drugs or ensuring continued supply.

Some parallels exist between prescription drug misuse and regular drug abuse such as alcohol, cigarette or illicit drugs. First, there is the issue of drug tolerance, which is common in both processes. Drug tolerance seems to produce the same results in both methods where the individual requires an ever-increasing amount of dosage to achieve the desired effects (NIDA, 2007). Another common ground exists in the drug dependency where the subject experiences withdrawal symptoms if the drug is withdrawn.


BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, January 27). Drug Dependence. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, October 19). Prescription drug abuse. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic:

National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA). (2011). Prescription Drug Abuse. Rockville, MD: National Institute of Health(NIH).

NIDA. (2007, January 2). The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction. Retrieved from National Institute:

Cite this page

Prescription Drug Misuse Free Essay. (2022, Nov 08). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism