One of the biggest trends in drug use among teenagers is the choice to abuse over the counter or OTC drugs. Easy access, cheap pricing, and their collective reputation as “safe” drugs make this trend all the more dangerous. The fact is, however, that not only is off-label, recreational use of OTC drugs dangerous; it can also lead to using heavier illegal or dangerous prescription drugs.
Clarity Way can help you or your loved one get OTC drug abuse help before heavier substances become a problem. Our small, community-oriented environment fosters bonding among our clients, each of whom receives 10-15 individual sessions per week. Our well qualified therapists use progressive addiction recovery techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Biofeedback to root out the reasons why substance abuse became a problem to begin with. At Clarity Way, our clients enjoy better treatment outcomes because we address every client’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Learn more about OTC drug addiction treatment here and how Clarity Way can help you or your loved one live a sober, fulfilling lifestyle.
The Short and Long Term Effects of Abusing OTC Drugs
In general, OTC drugs such as cough and cold medicines are popular choices for abuse. Several deaths have been reported by hospitals from overdoses from common OTC medicines including Nyquil, Robitussin, Coricidin, and Vicks. The active substance in these medicines is dextromethorphan, also known as DXM, and users sometimes refer to it as skittles, dex, Vitamin D, robo, and triple C. Other popular choices for abuse include diet pills, motion sickness pills and sleep aids, including herbal supplements, about which little is known because they are usually not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Those who take OTC DXM drugs recreationally do so because of the “high” or otherwise hallucinogenic effects. Users take more than the recommended safe dosage or crush then snort a pill to get intoxicated faster. The short-term effects include dizziness and confusion, impaired vision, slurred speech, numbed extremities, reduced physical capabilities, nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate, and drowsiness. Unfortunately, accidental death resulting from overdose is also possible.
Those who abuse diet pills may observe jitteriness, agitation, nausea and vomiting, headache, seizures, panic attacks, lost consciousness, diarrhea, irritability, rapid heartbeat, and more. Herbal weight loss remedies also cause dangerous side effects; both OTC and herbal diet pills stimulate the central nervous system and act like speed, which can cause death when abused.
The long-term use of OTC drugs can result extremely serious, lasting health consequences. As the body becomes physically dependent on the substance in order to survive, symptoms such as coma, high blood pressure, and restlessness can occur. Even first-time users can suffer from internal bleeding, difficulty breathing, and heart trouble, especially when mixed with other substances such as alcohol. As with all drugs, when taken over a long period of time, tolerance develops. As tolerance grows, the user begins to take more and more of the drug to achieve the same high, resulting in physical dependency. Death is possible, and the risk rises when an OTC drug is taken with another substance, such as alcohol or street drugs.
OTC Drug Rehab at Clarity Way
Prolonged use of OTC drugs usually requires getting professional OTC drug abuse help because stopping using is extremely difficult, especially as physical dependency develops. The professional drug counseling available from Clarity Way can help an OTC drug-addicted individual make a physical recovery as well as an emotional recovery. Inpatient residential treatment is widely regarded among addiction professionals as providing the most effective long-term solution for drug rehabilitation.
Contact Clarity Way for more information on OTC drug rehabilitation and intensive inpatient drug addiction help at 1-877-548-4794.