New York, Feb 26 (ANI): A survey has revealed that most women, who are overwhelmed by jobs, kids and commitments, pop prescription pills to boost their energy, calm them down or for any other non medical reason.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 6 percent of American women, some 7.5 million strong, pop a stimulant, painkiller or anti-anxiety medication to work through the never-ending chore list.
Msnbc.com reports that although street drug use is on the decline, prescription drug use has been on the increase since the 1990s.
And according to Susan R.B. Weiss, NIDA's Science Policy Branch chief, while men are more likely to abuse most drugs, women are as likely to abuse prescription meds.
"Women load their lives with so much that they get in over their heads and some turn to prescription pills to cope," the New York Daily News quoted Los Angeles psychologist Talia Witkowski as telling the website.
"For many women, even those whom you would never suspect, pills offer an escape," she said.omen may not even realize that they are wreaking havoc with their health, as popping too many meds can cause an irregular heartbeat and even result in cardiac arrest.
Accidental overdose can occur when pill poppers build up their tolerance to the medication and have to keep increasing the dose to get the same effect. And sometimes, the pills interact with other common over-the-counter medications.
For example, stimulants, when taken with cold medicine, can cause the blood pressure to rise to a dangerously high level.
It's easy for a pill addiction to start, says Licensed Clinical Social Worker Irina Firstein, who has extensive experience treating addicts.
"For a working mother with a very demanding job, it's very difficult to juggle everything," she said.
"In order to function in appropriate ways, a pill can help you do something in the moment that you would not otherwise be able to do.
"It helps you be relaxed when you need to be and have energy when you need that," she added.
Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, chair of the Hunter College psychology department says another factor that makes it easy for women to start abusing pills is that they don't understand that the meds are not harmless.
"Women perceive that because they were prescribed by a physician that they are harmless and that people cannot get addicted to them," he said.
"And women rationalize by saying, 'I'm just taking a pill. I'm not doing crack or heroin.' It is easy to take these without the social stigma," he stated.
Msnbc.com revealed that the most commonly abused pills are opiod painkillers, stimulants and central nervous-system depressants.
While these are often prescribed to treat specific brain chemical imbalances, in healthy people, they can mess with the brain's natural ability to sleep, focus on work or calm down. (ANI)