It is a common misconception that only illegal drugs are dangerous. Over-the-counter or OTC drugs can be just as addictive and life-threatening as illicit drugs when misused. Cold and cough syrup medications such as Robitussin and Nyquil are some of the most common OTC meds that are abused especially when combined with alcohol, ecstasy, or Molly. Over the counter nasal decongestants, such as Sudafed, caffeine pills or laxatives are also known to be a problem for young adults that take them incorrectly.
Prescription & OTC’s
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12% of teens admit to taking over-the-counter cold and cough medications in an attempt to get high. Even more have admitted to abusing a prescription drug. If you are concerned if a loved one or friend is abusing an OTC med, look for the following signs:
- Have they started hanging out with new friends?
- Have you noticed a drastic change in mood or behavior?
- Has their appearance changed; specifically a decline in hygiene or upkeep?
- Has there been a decline in grades or work ethic including problems on the job?
- Do you recognize a change in eating habits or change in weight?
- A loss of interest in hobbies and activities that they used to enjoy?
- Do you notice a change in sleep patterns? Sleeping too much or not sleeping at all both are signs to look out for.
- Do they complain of sickness and buy cold or cough medicines more often than normal?
- Have you recognized an increase in secretiveness or hidden trash?
- Does the computer history shows visits to pro-drug web sites?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, your loved one or friend may be abusing or developing a dependency on OTC medications. The good news is help is available. We specialize in evaluating and treating OTC medication abuse.
Over-the-counter meds are cheap and commonly found in the house or can be purchased without a prescription at almost any local pharmacy. When taking more than the therapeutic dose, these legal medications provide mildly stimulating, euphoric or hallucinogenic experiences. Some adverse effects include dizziness, coordination problems, impaired judgment and speech, vomiting and seizures.
Treatment for OTC medication, ecstasy, molly, or inhalants abuse has many similarities to treatments for addictions to other drugs. We offer a Traditional program for individuals addicted to OTC drugs, as well as a Co-occurring program for those who have both a substance use disorder and a mental health diagnosis. Our range of custom treatments options includes medication and behavioral therapies.
If you or a loved one is experiencing the negative effects of drug abuse and want to stop, we are here to help. We are a facility with a “small town” feel. No one gets overlooked. We believe in an individualized approach provided by trained professionals who care. Our approach to clients in either Traditional or Co-occurring programs is “strengths based.” Whereas some rehabs have the idea of breaking clients down and building them back up again, we “meet them where they’re at.” We build on the strengths that the client already has and work to make them stronger and more resilient. We provide non-judgmental therapy. We don’t believe in guilt trips; we believe in the healing power of recovery and the client’s capacity to change.