Drugs are biologically active chemicals; that is, they have an effect upon the body causing changes to the taker's physical or mental condition. Often this is the aim, such as blocking pain signals from/to the brain following surgery or injury.
There are three main types of drugs:
• Over the Counter or Non Prescription Drugs
• Drugs Prescribed by a Doctor
• Illegal Drugs
Drugs from all three groups can, if taken wrongly, cause health problems.
Over the Counter and Prescription Drugs
Simply because a drug is legal does not mean it is safe under all conditions. Medications
come with dosing guidelines that must be followed to ensure your own safety. Many
prescription medications are available only be prescription because of serious side effects or the possibility of addiction with long term use or misuse. Addiction to prescription drugs is an increasing problem. Often people become addicted to pain medications after taking them to combat an injury. Side effects can range from psychological disturbances to stomach, liver, heart and kidney injury.
Rehabilitation programs offered in a drug treatment center helps speed up the recovery of drug dependents.
Tobacco and nicotine are legal and it is well known they are not safe. Nicotine is one of
the most addictive substances known, and it is a drug. While a lot of the damage is done
by the method of intake (smoking) the barrage of drugs and chemicals (many are known
toxins and carcinogens) also have a number of serious side-effects. There is absolutely
nothing healthy about smoking and it generally does little to relieve stress aside from
cause a feeling of relaxation, or a distraction for some people. It damages the mouth,
tongue, teeth, digestive tract, lungs, heart and also does superficial damage to the skin
and nails of the fingers used to hold the cigarette/cigar. Like alcohol it is generally the
surroundings that are more effective in stress relief than the cigarette. Getting out of the
office for a 5 minute ‘smoko’ is in itself relaxing, without the cigarette. Sitting around with
friends having a chat is relaxing without the beer, nuts and cigars.
It is the fact that people condition themselves to associating the relaxation with the drug
and not the other activities that assists in the development of addictions.
When over the counter and prescription medications are taken only occasionally, they are unlikely to cause problems. When taken regularly, perhaps as a preventative measure (rather than as a cure for some problem), the likelihood of complications can increase significantly. Problems are not uncommon with overuse of the following non prescription drugs:
eg. Asprin or acetaminophen, codeine -taken for headaches
eg: Caffeine -taken to combat fatigue
taken to combat insomnia or allergies
taken for a cold or blocked nose
taken for constipation
taken for indigestion
There are of course other over the counter drugs which can be a problem, however these in particular should be watched as they are the most commonly taken. Prolonged
overuse, beyond that stated as safe on the product packaging can result in such things as digestive upsets, kidney problems, loss of appet