Visit any pharmacy or supermarket, and you can find aisles filled with medications that can be obtained by anyone without a prescription. These over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be used to treat everything from stomach troubles to the common cold to minor pain. Although these remedies are widely available and usually harmless, over the counter drug abuse can and does still occur.
What Is Over the Counter Drug Abuse?
When taken at recommended dosages, most OTC medications are perfectly safe. However, OTC drug abuse still can and does occur. The most commonly abused medications are the following:
- Cough medicines such as Dextromethorphan
- Cold medications like Pseudoephedrine
- Pain relievers such as Acetaminophen
- Motion sickness pills like Dimenhydrinate
Long-term misuse of these products can lead to excessive drowsiness, loss of focus, memory impairment, kidney failure, and even death.
An Additional Danger of Over the Counter Drug Abuse
OTC drugs can cause serious cognitive and health problems if they are over-used. Perhaps the worst consequence of over the counter drug abuse is that many people then move on and become addicted to even more dangerous substances such as prescription medications at excessive dosages and street drugs including cocaine and heroin. What may have begun as a way to obtain a mild high or a short-term escape from a mental illness like depression or bipolar disorder can then quickly evolve into a full-blown and highly dangerous and illegal addiction. That’s why if you or someone you know has an addictive personality or a dual diagnosis, it is particularly important to get professional help to deal with your substance abuse problem before the downward spiral of addiction does lasting damage to your life and your relationships.
Steps to Recovery: The Lifeline You Need
There are many Pennsylvania addiction recovery services available to residents in the Keystone State and across the eastern U.S., but Steps to Recovery is head and shoulders above the rest. That’s because we treat over the counter drug abuse in tandem with the other co-occurring disorders that you or your loved one may have. It is only after a thorough evaluation of your physical, mental health and addiction history that we will come up with a holistic plan that considers the whole person. Although each of our clients is different, the general course of treatment will include the following:
- Partial hospitalization program with a roughly three-to-one ratio between staff and clients
- Evidence-based group, family, and individual therapies focused on addiction and dual diagnoses
- An intensive outpatient program enabling you to continue to have sobriety treatment and support while maintaining job and family responsibilities
- Focus on a 12-step approach
- Information about community resources to promote lasting sobriety and prevent relapse
Over the counter drug abuse may be the beginning of a slippery slope toward devastating addiction. Let us at Steps to Recovery help you to stop it in its tracks. Call us today at 267.719.8528 to take the first step.