Prescription Drug Abuse
A lot of people think that prescription drugs are "safer" to abuse than street drugs because they are prescribed by a doctor. In reality, this is not true when you choose to use someone else's prescription drug or to use your own in ways that are not prescribed by your doctor. If you have considered using prescription drugs outside of an actual prescription, it would helpful to consider these facts first:
- The most commonly abused prescription drugs, including stimulants, anti-anxiety medications, and opiate pain killers all have negative interactions when mixed with alcohol, including, but not limited to:
- Getting sick
- Blacking out
- Feeling anxious or causing insomnia and sleeplessness
- Lowering or increasing your heart rate to dangerous levels
- Impeding your body's natural warning signs of intoxication
- Increasing the likelihood of alcohol poisoning
These commonly abused prescriptions drugs are all potentially habit-forming and addictive substances, especially when used outside of a doctor's care. Learn more at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/summary or http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/abuse-of-prescription-drugs.
Prescription stimulants may keep you awake, but they do not increase your intelligence nor your quality of work. (Check out The Weingarten Learning Resource Center to help you build your time management skills and study skills instead!)
- Using someone else's prescription drugs and/or giving away your own is illegal.
These are just a few facts to help you stay safe and healthy while at Penn. If you would like to talk about the negative consequences of prescription drug abuse or learn more about campus resources, please contact the First Step program at 215-573-3525 for a free, confidential appointment.
In addition, to talk directly with a physician or a psychiatrist about prescription drug abuse, you can easily schedule an on-campus appointment by clicking on one of the following sites:
- Student Health Service: https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/shs/
- CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services: https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/caps/