Uses, Benefits, Abuse, Addiction, Side Effects & Treatment

Uses, Benefits, Abuse, Addiction, Side Effects & Treatment

It is no surprise that many of us are becoming increasingly reliant on medication to manage our health and improve our quality of life. While it can be immensely beneficial to take appropriate medications, there are also potential side effects, addiction risks and abuse issues to consider as well as treatments for addiction and abuse.

The use of medications can be divided into two main categories: therapeutic and recreational. When medications are used therapeutically, they are typically prescribed by a doctor to treat physical, mental or emotional illnesses. By contrast, recreational use is the intentional misuse of medications to experience the drug’s effects and induce a ‘high’. This often includes taking more than the prescribed dosage or using a medication not prescribed to the individual in question.

Though medications can provide many benefits, they also can come with certain risks when abused or misused. Long-term abuse of medications can lead to severe physical and mental health issues as well as addiction. Common signs of addiction may include an inability to stop taking the medication, obsessing over obtaining the medication and relying on the medication to feel ‘normal.’

Side effects of medication abuse can vary depending on the type of drug and how often it’s used. They can range from mild to serious, including mood changes, changes in behaviour, physical changes, and unusually aggressive or hostile behaviour.

Thankfully, there are a range of treatments available for individuals struggling with medication abuse. Psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy and medication management are common treatments that can help individuals break the cycle of addiction. Additionally, Peer-mediated support groups, such as 12-step programs, can be beneficial in preventing relapse and supporting the individual in their recovery journey.

Medication has the potential to help us in many ways, however, it’s important to always be mindful of potential risks of abuse, addiction and side effects. By understanding the potential benefits and risks of taking medications, we can strive to make more informed choices and ensure we are taking the appropriate steps to protect our health and wellbeing.



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