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Why OTC Drug Abuse Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

People tend to think that medications they can buy without a prescription are absolutely safe for use. Indeed, if they were dangerous, you wouldn’t be able to get them at your local retail outlet, right? Well, speaking in general, this assumption is correct, but only under one condition – you strictly follow every word that is written on the tin, from allowed daily dosage to the maximal duration of consumption.

However, the great bulk of people do not take the instructions seriously, again led by the idea that if a certain product is available for literally everyone without any restrictions and limitations, then there is nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, the reality is different, and when misused, many over-the-counter drugs lead to addiction. To make things worse, it can happen very quickly – you may still think that you take that drug simply because you want so but in fact, you have become dependent upon that medicine.

Even though over-the-counter medicines may seem totally harmless at first glance, their abuse poses a serious threat to your health and often leads to addiction. The addiction that very soon can ruin your life and cost you dearly in every sense of this word. 

Here is why OTC drug abuse shouldn’t be overlooked and why you shouldn’t wait too long for seeking help.

Most Commonly Abused OTC Drugs

The list of drugs that are abused by Americans is pretty extensive, which is no wonder given a huge number of people who gladly skip expensive visits to the doctor, especially if they have got an “ordinary” flue. According to experts from, people often are very surprised to find out that the medicines they use without a second thought can be highly addictive. On the other side, many of them admit that they like the “side effect” of some drugs that make them feel better, carelessly, or happier if you want. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly abused OTC drugs.

Dextromethorphan – let’s start with DMX that is widely used for the relief of cough triggered by the common cold. Syrups that contain Dextromethorphan are really cheap, which makes them popular among teenagers. DMX is often mixed with alcohol and marijuana. Among undesirable side effects are hallucinations, impaired judgment, slurred speech, impaired judgment, as well as dizziness, vomiting, and seizures.

Ephedrine – Banned in 2004 by the FDA, Ephedrine still finds its way to consumers as an ingredient of weight loss pills and certain asthma medications. It is known for getting you high and being addictive.

Caffeine – something that the majority of people consume every day in the form of a steaming cup of aromatic coffee or fizzy drink, caffeine can be extremely dangerous when taken in large doses. Although energy beverages that contain higher amounts of caffeine are advertised as brain boosters that help you stay awake and alert, the consequences of consuming large doses within a short period of time are often fatal.

Loperamide – a synthetic opioid intended to relieve diarrhea, Loperamide causes euphoria when taken in large doses. 

Laxatives – contrary to Loperamide, laxatives are a wide range of drugs that help your body get rid of the food you have eaten during cravings or eye-catching dinner enhanced with multi-course meals. The abuse of laxatives is very dangerous for your health as it may cause dehydration, heart failure, and even colon cancer.

Motion Sickness Pills – a great invention that helps millions of people who can’t stand longer car rides or get sick on the plane, these pills are absolutely safe when used for the purpose. However, if you take a significantly higher dose, you may feel extra relaxed and euphoric. In most serious cases, people may have hallucinations, blurred vision, irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest, as well as amnesia.

Why OTC Drug Abuse Is Dangerous

People often do not want to admit that they are addicted to a certain medication. But the main problem is not that they do not want to admit their addiction to others but themselves in the first place. They tend to blame everything on financial troubles or strained relationships – except the real culprit, the abuse of OTC drugs. If left untreated, the addiction is getting stronger and stronger, leading to serious health damage and completely ruining the life of the abuser.

Even though generally safe, OTC drugs can be very addictive when taken improperly. If you think that you or your loved one may have developed an addiction to a certain medication, do not waste precious time, and seek professional help immediately.

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