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Prescription and Over-the Counter Drug Misuse 

Prescription and Over-the Counter Drug Misuse
Chapter:
Prescription and Over-the Counter Drug Misuse
Author(s):

Darius A. Rastegar

and Michael I. Fingerhood

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190214647.003.0013
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date: 05 April 2020

A variety of prescription drugs are used for purposes other than those intended; opioids are the most commonly misused class, followed by sedatives and stimulants. A variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs are also used for nonmedical purposes. Misused over-the-counter medications include dextromethorphan-containing cough syrups or tablets, and the antihistamines diphenhydramine and dimenhydrinate. There are a number of risk factors for misuse, most prominently a history of a substance use disorder, including smoking. Aberrant medication-taking behaviors may help identify individuals who are misusing these drugs. Strategies to address this problem include limiting the prescribing of controlled substances, monitoring patients who are prescribed these medications, and providing treatment for those who have a substance use disorder.

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