There are serious health risks related to abusing prescription drugs.
A single large dose of prescription or over-the-counter painkillers or depressants can cause breathing difficulty that can lead to death.
Stimulant abuse can lead to hostility or paranoia, or the potential for heart system failure or fatal seizures.
Even in small doses, depressants and painkillers have subtle effects on motor skills, judgment, and ability to learn.
The abuse of OTC cough and cold remedies can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, coma and even death.
Many teens report mixing prescription drugs, OTC drugs, and alcohol. Using these drugs in combination can cause respiratory failure and death.
Prescription and OTC drug abuse is addictive. The number of people seeking treatment for prescription painkiller addiction increased more than 400% between 1997 and 2007, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.