What is Prescription Drug Misuse?


Dr. Volkow discusses how taking medicine in a way that is different from what the doctor prescribed can be dangerous.

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DR. RODGERS: Prescription drug misuse means taking a medicine prescribed for someone else, taking more medicine than prescribed, or using it other than as prescribed.

Hi, I'm Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

My colleague, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains:

DR. VOLKOW: Taking any medicine in a way that is different from what the doctor prescribed can be dangerous. Even deadly.

When used as directed and overseen by a physician, opioid prescription medicines can be used safely. However, taken in different quantities or for purposes other than as prescribed, these medicines can affect the brain in ways similar to drugs of abuse, which can lead to addiction.

Never share your medicines, take them to get high, or mix them with alcohol or other drugs. Prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous if not taken as directed.

DR. RODGERS: Follow us on Twitter @HealthyMoments.

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