Over the Counter Drugs
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines that may be sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional, as compared to prescription drugs, which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription ordered by a licensed physician or medical professional.
Abusing OTC drugs can lead to severe legal consequences including arrests for inappropriate behavior, loss of driver's license, and loss of job. OTC drug abuse can also have a huge impact on future career aspirations.
Research indicates that children as young as 12 years of age are using OTC medications to relieve anxiety, stress, or pain, or simply to get high. In fact, one in every 11 teens has admitted to getting high on cough medicine. Children don't realize that getting high on OTC drugs is not any safer than getting high on illegal street drugs. OTC drugs can be just as dangerous and just as addictive.
Problems with overdosing on or becoming addicted to OTC medications occur not only through disregard of the package instructions but also by combining different medications. Marketers of well-known brand names of medications now produce a variety of formulations with the same basic brand name, but with different ingredients.
OTC drug use often makes medical problems worse, not better. It's not okay to use OTC medications in quantities or for purposes other than those intended. Never use OTC medications without checking with your physician or health care provider, or even the pharmacist, about possible problems and inter-drug reactions.
Q: How can OTC drugs be harmful to me?
A: By taking OTC drugs for the wrong condition (or none) and in the wrong doses or inappropriate durations, they can be addictive, dangerous and even deadly.
Q: Are OTC drugs safer than illegal street drugs?
A: OTC drugs can be harmful, even deadly, when used in excess. They can be addictive.
Caron's residential treatment programs have a higher rate of success than outpatient treatment programs because the addict is away from the environment that created the problem and the "friends" who may have assisted with the problem.