Prescription Drug Tests
Prescription drug abuse has been a focus of the media in recent years due to its increasing prevalence among the general population, especially teenagers. Many young people seem to mistakenly believe that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs. As an example, the prescription drug morphine is just as powerful and addictive as something like heroin especially considering that they are the same from a chemically.
There are two general classes of drugs: uppers and downers. Central nervous system (CNS) depressants (downers) are sometimes called tranquilizers or sedatives and slow brain activity, leading to relaxation or sleepiness. CNS stimulants (uppers) are sometimes referred to as speed, and increase alertness, wakefulness, and excitement.
- Barbiturates - Barbiturates are depressants, including Mephobarbital (Mebaral) and Sodium pentobarbital (Nembutal). About 10% of persons who overdose on them will die, almost always because of heart or lung complications.
- Methaqualone - Colloquially known as Quaaludes, Methaqualone is a sedative that is similar in effect to barbiturates and was used legally in the past to treat insomnia. The commercial manufacturing of Methaqualone was ended in 1985 due to abuse.
- Benzodiazepines - Benzodiazepines, sometimes called benzos, are commonly known by the brand names Valium and Xanax. They are often used for anxiety or insomnia. If used recreationally they recreate the effects of being drunk due to alcohol.
- Opiates - Opiate use is on the rise, especially prescription drugs known as Narcotic Pain Relievers. These are used to treat the full spectrum of pain, and are also called names like Vicodin or Percaset. Narcotics can cause feelings of intense pleasure when taken in high doses and due to their effects have a high risk of being abused. Opiates include codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.
- Codeine and morphine - These drugs are made from the same compound but in a slightly different atom structure. In addition to its use as a painkiller, Codeine is prescribed for diarrhea and to relieve coughs. Both of these opiates are used to treat moderate to severe pain.
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin) and Oxycodone (Oxycontin). - Both are these drugs are very popular painkillers with consumers and manufacturers. Oxycodone/Oxycontin is stronger, but both carry a high risk of addiction. These are typically used by people recovering from surgery and need painkillers, but then they continue to use them even after getting better.
- Fentanyl - Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine, “hits” users rapidly, and then ends its effects quickly.
- Methadone - Methadone is used to treat heroin withdrawal; it reduces withdrawal symptoms without recreating the "high" associated with addiction. Legally, it can only be found at clinics specifically dedicated to methadone administration.
- Suboxone - Like Methadone, Suboxone is also used to treat narcotic dependence. However, it is stronger than Methadone as usually it only has to be given once every three days whereas Methadone must be used once or even twice a day.
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