Signs of prescription abuse

I look at my daughter, who drinks strong and plenty of coffee. Then I listen to her complain she has trouble falling to sleep. I’m sorry – and I’ve told her so – but caffeine to stay awake will do just that – it keeps you awake!

So when I hear stimulant medications are being abused because they rev up the brain, and sedative medications are being abused because they work to slow down the brain – I have to wonder if I’m the only genius in town who sees that these drugs – you know – work against each other!

One prescription drug that has me confused for a multitude of reasons is that of pain pills. Celebrities use pain pills because they claim they’re in pain, and then they get hooked on the pain pills, because they get you high!

Stimulants, sedatives and pain pills are the most popular drugs of abuse among youth. So let’s talk about the physical signs of prescription drugs so you know what to look for if you suspect abuse:

Excessive sweating, urination, thirst.

Nausea and vomiting.

Uncontrollable diarrhea.

Drowsiness, dizziness, insomnia.

Loss of consciousness.

Physical dependence.



We cannot neglect the behavioral signs of prescription drugs, so look at this list, too:

Loss of interest in appearance or activities.

Extreme changes in circle of friends.

Lying or being deceitful.

Unaccounted time away from home or school.

Avoiding eye contact.

Borrowing money or having extra cash.

Poor performance in school or hobbies.

Sudden mood changes – irritability, negativity.

What can a parent do? Lock your medicines. Turn unused medicines in to the drop boxes at sheriff’s offices. Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties all have drop boxes 24/7 at the sheriff’s office!

Know! is a program of the Drug Free Action Alliance, and we appreciate this information.

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is committed to sharing information and resources for better mental health and the prevention of substance abuse. It now has a website,, with a link to our Facebook page. If you would like more information, please call the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties at (419) 448-0640 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The board’s hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 826-1306.

Nancy Cochran,

executive director