Prescription Drug Addiction

Addiction (termed substance dependence by the American Psychiatric Association) is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, characterized by several of the following characteristics: tolerance; well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; escalating use; persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to stop use; increasing time spent obtaining, using, and recovering from use; disregard for important social, occupational, or recreational activities; and continued use despite the knowledge of physical or psychological problems related to substance use. A rapidly growing area of concern is addiction to prescription medications. Such abuse can be described as medications taken by someone other than the patient for whom the medication was prescribed, or taken in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed. Abuse can ...

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