Check out important information, risks and treatment resources to prescription drug misuse and abuse.


Did You Know?

One in four teens (24 percent) reports having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime (up from 18 percent in 2008 to 24 percent in 2012), which translates to about 5 million teens. That is a 33 percent increase over a five-year period. Sources: (Concerning Trends in Teen Prescription Drug Abuse According to the New PATS Data (2008-2012))

Source: Partnership to End Addiction

Get the FAQs

What is prescription drug misuse and abuse?

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) DrugFacts, prescription drug misuse and abuse is when someone takes medication inappropriately (for example, without a prescription).

What are the risks?

It is common knowledge that prescription drugs are not safer than other types of drug.

They have a range short- and long-term health effects for each type with side effects similar to cocaine, such as paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures, and an irregular heartbeat. Opioids affect the same brain parts as heroin does - this can cause nausea or drowsiness; constipation slows breathing down until you're barely conscious enough to move your limbs let alone answer questions coherently on whether what's being said makes sense.

Depressants may result in slurred speech but more often they manifest themselves through shallow breaths which causes fatigue along with disorientation causing lack of coordination ̶ all signs someone needs help ASAP!

What can you do as a parent or caregiver?

  • Speak to your teen about the dangers of prescription medicines and let them know it is not safe to share prescribed medications with others
  • Keep prescription medicines in a locked place.
  • Properly dispose of any unused prescription medicines.
  • Be open with your children

Effects of Abusing Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs can cause dangerous short- and long-term health problems when they are not used as directed or when they are taken by someone other than the person they were prescribed for.

Abusing opioids like oxycodone and codeine can cause you to feel sleepy, sick to your stomach, and constipated. At higher doses, opioids can make it hard to breathe properly and can cause overdose and death.

Abusing stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin can make you feel paranoid (feeling like someone is going to harm you even though they aren’t). It also can cause your body temperature to get dangerously high and make your heart beat too fast. This is especially likely if stimulants are taken in large doses or in ways other than swallowing a pill.

Abusing depressants like barbiturates can cause slurred speech, shallow breathing, sleepiness, disorientation, and lack of coordination. People who abuse depressants regularly and then stop suddenly may experience seizures. At higher doses depressants can also cause overdose and death, especially when combined with alcohol.

Abuse of any of these types of medications can lead to addiction. And, abusing any type of drug that causes changes in your mood, perceptions, and behavior can affect judgment and willingness to take risks—putting you at greater risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 


Drug & Alcohol Treatment

in and around Sunnyside, Washington

If you or someone you know is in need of treatment for drug and/or alcohol abuse, please contact one of the following organizations.

Sundown M Ranch

2280 WA-821
Yakima, WA 98901
(800) 326-7444

Central Washington Comprehensive MH Sunnyside Center

1319 Saul Road
Sunnyside, WA 98944
(509) 575-4084

Merit Resource Services

702 Franklin Ave
Sunnyside, WA 98944
(509) 837-7700