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The Pros & Cons of Prescription Drugs

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
The Pros & Cons of Prescription Drugs
The Pros & Cons of Prescription Drugs Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Prescription drugs have their place in our medically advanced society. There are many diseases people would die from if not for prescription drugs, and some prescription drugs seem to make life easier when you have a small ailment such as the flu or a cough. But prescription drugs have a dark side as well. Serious misuse, dependency and addiction can stem from too many prescription drugs dealt by the hands of responsible doctors and pharmacists. The pros and cons of prescription drugs must be carefully weighed before making a decision of whether to take them.

Pro: Cures and Remedies

Prescription drugs can often be the answer for life-threatening conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol or even cancer. These drugs help stimulate and mimic a well-functioning body, so there are a number of people whose lives are saved daily because of prescription drugs. Without them, they would have a lower quality of life and even risk death.

Con: Addiction

Unfortunately, some people who take prescription drugs that were only meant for a short time find themselves dependent upon them. Dosages, length of time on the drug and the type of drug can all contribute to the chance that a patient can become addicted to the drug. Drugs prescribed for pain and insomnia that are also narcotics especially put patients at risk for dependency, and not all health care professionals are as careful as they should be when prescribing these drugs.

Pro: Short Term Solutions

Not all drugs are used to treat serious illnesses. Some treat small ailments from time to time with great success. Antibiotics for infections, flu medication and prescription cough medicine are used only while the patient is sick. Some prescription drugs cure the ailment; some make it easier to live with so that the patient can endure the sickness. Prescription drugs make life easier when dealing with a short-term illness.

Con: Misuse

Prescription drugs are subject to misuse by those who were not intended to take the drug. Once the prescription has been written and filled, it's out of the doctor's hands. Teens and adults take prescription drugs that were not intended for them in an effort to feel some of the side effects. Having these drugs in the home means easy access and pill-sharing among friends. This can cause serious injury and even death from misuse and overdose.

Bottom Line

There is a time and a place for prescription drugs. When taken properly, they can enhance your life and make ailments easier to deal with. However, misusing prescription drugs is a problem in a society with a general attitude that if a doctor prescribes it, it's OK for anyone to take it. Prescription drug usage should be carefully monitored by health care providers, and when in the home should be secured without easy access. The only person who should be taking a prescribed medication is the person whose name is on the bottle.

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