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PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE
“I have overdosed twice off of prescription pills (Zyprexa) and had a close friend die of the same drug....There is no worse feeling than knowing that your friend is dead because you gave him pills that you knew relatively little about.” —Linda
“I realized I was using more Xanax on a regular basis. I took time off work to get off it. Without the knowledge I was ‘addicted,’ I went off of it, cold turkey: for four days and nights I was bedridden. I didn’t sleep or eat. I vomited. I had hallucinations. On about the third day without Xanax I started to become uncoordinated and unbalanced and bumped into things....On about the fourth day I became really worried when I started having twitching sensations.” —Patrick
“A ‘friend’ of mine turned me on to Oxys. I started with 40 mg tabs, then after a couple of months I bumped up to 60 mgs. I was really addicted by this point and started chewing them to get off quicker. Had to have one in the morning when I got up or I’d be sick. Had to have another before noon. Then a couple more in the afternoon and evening. I knew I was hooked because I had to have them to function. I felt horrible without them. Not only physically, but I couldn’t deal with people or life without them. Then I went to 80 mgs and my world came tumbling down. I started stealing from everyone I knew to get my fix....” —Charleen
“My brain feels like it's screaming at me to get more of these pills, the feelings I have without them are too unbearable....I need more help getting through this Effexor withdrawal. I’m so depressed that I’ve started cutting my arms, and I’m not even sure why. Also I hallucinate every few hours and see things—just today I saw blood dripping down my wall.” —Renee
“I started peeing blood. I felt sick....My body felt weak....I gave up everything because I was obsessed with using....All I cared about was getting high....I thought I could just use Coricidin for fun, that it didn’t matter. I never expected to get hooked....I’ll never be able to get that time back. If I could erase it and make it go away, I would.” —Charlie
“I realize that my interest in and resulting dependence on speed started when I was prescribed Ritalin....At first it was every weekend, then it was every day. It got to the point where on three occasions I stole my entire prescription and lied about ever getting it in the first place....My first real binge was a three-day long event where I experienced all the effects of sleep deprivation.
“I began to get hallucinations of birds flying overhead, feelings of people in the same room as me when I was alone, and the beginnings of paranoia. I used up [my friend’s] entire Dexedrine prescription within a week. Then I went back to my Ritalin and went on from there....
“I don’t remember much of twelfth grade. The vast majority was spent in an incoherent, paranoid sleep-stupor. But I do remember overwhelming depression and an inability to understand what exactly was the reason I was doing worse than ever in school....I barely graduated, and made absolutely no college plans.
“At the last minute I enrolled in the local college. I was able to stay clean for about seventeen days before the need for speed overcame all. As soon as I started using it again, I stopped going to class. I was too depressed to care. I attended class for one week, and failed miserably.” —Sam