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Prescription Medication

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prescription drugs



Of concern also is the misuse & abuse of prescription medication. These are those drugs prescribed legally and ordered by doctors. Whilst they are lawful, the misuse of these drugs can sometimes be as damaging as illicit drugs. If ever there was a lesson to be learned regarding the potential effect of prescription medication abuse is that of the late Heath Ledger. The coroner found that he had died from a cocktail of prescription medication (sedatives & painkillers); aged 28.   


Sedatives & painkillers top the list of prescription drug misuse & abuse. Drugs such as the ‘benzodiazepines’ are highly addictive if used excessively and for extended periods of time. Painkilling medication such as morphine, codeine, pethidine etc. is also very addictive.


Below are examples of the more common medications included in the ‘benzodiazepine’ group of drugs (the name in the brackets refers to the ‘generic’ name, the first name is the ‘trade name’ – (this is the one that is more commonly referred to by most people):-






·           Valium (diazepam) – prescribed primarily for stress & anxiety, and short term 

treatment for epileptic seizures, particularly ‘status epilepticus’. Diazepam (valium) tablet 


·           Normison (temazepam) – used as a ‘sleeping tablet’. 


·           Mogadon (nitrazepam) – yet another drug ordered as a ‘sleeping tablet’. 


·           Serepax (oxazepam) – anxiety & stress are the primary symptoms for which this 

                                     is prescribed.  Oxazepam (serepax) tablet 


·            Kalma, Ativan (alprazolam) – another drug designed for the treatment of stress,                

                                       anxiety etc. 


·            Rivitrol (clonazepam) – perhaps a little ‘stronger’, this drug is used in treatment of  

higher levels of stress & anxiety, manic symptoms (particularly 

as they relate to bipolar disorder & as an adjunct for the management & treatment of epilepsy) 



You will note that this particular group of drugs ends with ‘..pam or …lam’. It may seem simplistic, though for the ‘non-medical’ average person this can help in establishing whether a particular drug is a ‘benzodiazepine’. As a note, there is a significant illegal ‘street’ market for ‘Benzo’s, as they’re often referred to. Injectable Benzodiazepine medication is highly dangerous. There have also been instances where ‘normisson’ (‘sleeping medication’ in capsule form) has had its contents withdrawn via a syringe & injected. Other ‘crazier’ acts have been the melting of the capsules’ casing themselves & the injection of that. One wonders where these ideas have originated and what drives someone to do such a thing.


These are but a few of the more common types you will see. Along with the obvious ‘calming/sedative’ effects, they also have ‘anti convulsant’ properties; meaning they can be used to treat ‘fits’ or ‘epileptic seizures’ in the ‘short term’. Withdrawal from these medications or sudden cessation can result in serious symptoms including ‘seizures’, as will the abuse & overdose of such drugs. They are not harmless, if used inappropriately, excessively, habitually and contrary to medical direction & advice. Death is not uncommon for those who use in such a manner.


Please do not think that taking this medication when properly and appropriately prescribed by your doctor, and taken according to the directions ordered, will result in the negative effects detailed above. Nor should you think that you will become ‘addicted’ by simply taking these drugs. They are extremely useful for the treatment of anxiety related symptoms. What is important is to realize that the misuse & abuse of these drugs can have serious consequences.


Drugs on the Brain




Painkilling medications are certainly of concern, given the injuries footballers will experience during their careers. Most rugby league players will require painkilling medication at some time. Many of these medications are highly addictive, if misused or taken for extended periods of time. Many of these substances are classified as ‘Opioids’. Drugs such as ‘Morphine’ & ‘Pethidine’ are probably the most common, though other ‘oral’ medications with significant proportions of ‘codeine’ in them are also addictive. This category of drugs also includes ‘Heroin’, however this falls into the ‘illicit drug’ category.   


You are extremely unlikely to ever be given ‘Morphine’ or ‘Pethidine’ to help you play through a game. The ‘pain killing’ medication generally given for this purpose has more of a local anaesthetic quality combined with an anti-inflammatory agent. It is not generally addictive, nor will it affect your level of alertness, capacity to think or any other cognitive function.


It is essential that your analgaesic (painkilling) medication be prescribed & monitored by your GP or specialist. Try not to take someone else’s medication to alleviate pain. It might work; it might seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s fraught with serious possible consequences. Aside from the addictive nature of the medication, it also has the potential to ‘mask’ pain from injury that would be better investigated and treated. Pain is an indication of damage or illness etc. It is the signal that you need to seek professional assessment as to the cause and probable intervention & treatment. You will cause yourself more physical damage by continuing to mask pain by self medicating. That is of course unless the damage already present cannot be any worse and is scheduled for surgery anyway. Irrespective, be guided by your doctor.


 There is also a growing trend toward the use of ‘anti psychotic’ medication as a means of alleviating the psychotic effects caused by certain illicit substances. The most common drug used is Olanzepine (Zypreza).  This again is a foolish & dangerous act of ‘self medicating’. If you experience psychotic symptoms, seek assistance from the appropriate professionals or health service and cease taking the substance that caused them.


What you must always be aware of when taking medication, particularly without prescription, authorization from a doctor or correct monitoring & assessment, is that there are side effects. This applies to every drug. Some are far more serious than others and some side effects could be described as a second type of action. For example:- Asprin will reduce fever, inflammation & pain. It also is an anticoagulant (thins the blood, reduces clotting). The 2nd action noted is potentially dangerous for anyone with a blood clotting disorder.


Prescription medication is a valuable asset for the amelioration of symptoms relating to specific illnesses. When used correctly according to medical & pharmaceutical advice & direction, they can be of great benefit in easing anxiety, insomnia, pain, inflammation etc. If, however, they are misused & abused they have the potential to create unhealthy dependence & the development of side effects not consistent with a healthy mind and/or body.


The prescription drugs mentioned here in this section of the book are but a few of the examples of medication ‘out there’ in the general community. There are many others, though it would be impractical to mention them all. Suffice it to say, any drug not prescribed by a medical professional and taken according to the directions indicated is totally inadvisable, dangerous & foolish.


Please ensure that any prescription medication is precscribed & strictly monitored by the appropriate medical professional



 Prescription Drug Abuse (legal & prescribed....yet 'deadly') 


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Benzodiazepines - effects on the Brain

Click here for Prescription Drugs 'Fact Sheet'

Should you have concerns regarding any issue relating to your 'mental or physical well-being', 'Kick off' strongly recommend you seek professional assistance. This may entail contacting your GP or similar clinician (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counsellor etc.). You may also contact the appropriate agency or service that might assist you. Irrespective of your choice, ensure you see someone who might help. 

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