New Hampshire’s prescription overdose deaths are higher in the state than car crash deaths. In January, the N.H. Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment published a report with these findings and more. These numbers are in keeping with national trends.
The reason that these numbers are noteworthy is that if New Hampshire is trying a different approach to addressing the drug problem. It doesn’t appear to be making much of a difference, but studies are ongoing and the data is still being analyzed. Overall, it is not positive. The rest of the nation has a drug epidemic raging as well.
The report indicates the most commonly abused or misused drugs along with the different highs they can produce, putting them in their own classes based on the drug’s effect.
Among the top of the list of commonly abused medications were central immune system depressants such as Valium and Xanax. Central immune system depressants are often used to treat anxiety or insomnia, acting as a relaxant.
Also included were stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall. The intended effects of these drugs are to increase alertness, maintain attention and to combat fatigue. Opoids like Oxycontin and Vicodin were on the list. Pain relief and a sense of feeling relaxed are the intention of these drugs. Opioid dependency is chief among the unfortunate side effects for those prescribed these drugs, making them highly addictive.
When a person self-medicates or takes it upon themselves to self-prescribe, bad things can happen. They are not professionally trained to know when to stop, when to cut down or how much to dose. They use their own bodies and lives as a testing ground for their own uneducated medical evaluations. This can result in overdosing, memory loss, engaging in regretful behavior, injury and death.
When a person is hospitalized or jailed for a drug abuse crime, taxpayers end up with the bill in most cases. Crimes ranging from drug possession to theft to murder have all been committed in the name of acquiring those drugs. The health problems that result from drug abuse are myriad and well-known. It’s all very expensive.
It isn’t just taxing on citizens’ wallets. Any person who has observed a family member or close friend battle with drug addiction knows how hard it can be. They become different people. Everything, including their relationships, takes a back seat to getting their hands on the next dose. This can be challenging to deal with and is often impossible to overcome. The path of drug abuse often ends in death.
The bright news is that it is preventable. Always go through a licensed medical practitioner for prescriptions and be honest about symptoms when relaying them to your doctor.
About the Author: Percy Boyd is a health and wellness writer from Manchester, New Hampshire. He recommends that if you need more information on prescription drug abuse, to visit www.narconon.com immediately.