Prescription Drug Addiction Among Young Moms in the USA
Prescription drug abuse by young moms is hardly news. The practice has been around since the mid-1930s when amphetamines (Benzadrine Sulfate) were first prescribed by doctors to help women deal with the daily pressures of being wife and mother.
However, it is not just physical fatigue that young mothers have to contend with. These days, women are under a lot of pressure to become multi-tasking divas, supermoms, Jill-of-all-trades etc. A lot of them are also single-moms and have to work for a living on top of everything else they are expected to do at home without getting a hair out of place.
The following is a list of other conditions that many young moms often experience and for which they take various prescription drugs:
All mothers suffer from varying levels of anxiety on a day to day basis. While it is quite natural to worry about many small things at the same time, some moms have it worse than others and the anxiety gets in the way of their ability to cope. Many moms rely on anti-anxiety medications to get through the day. The general categories of anti-anxiety medications include antidepressants, antipsychotics, beta blockers, anticonvulsants and benzodiazepines. Some of the most common brand names are Valium, Prozac and Xanax.
Chronic pelvic pain is only one example of the many chronic pain conditions that women suffer from. Drug use statistics show that it affects 15% of American women aged 18-50, and this age bracket is made up largely by young moms. Some of the most common prescription painkillers are Vicodin, Lortab and OxyContin. The need to be able to function normally for her family drives a wife and mother to seek and depend on pain relief medications. It is easy enough to get their own doctors to give them a prescription and that’s often how prescription drug abuse begins.
Often the result of anxiety over the endless list of things to do, millions of mothers suffer from continuing sleep deprivation. At least 3 out of 10 American women use sleeping pills a few nights per week to help them sleep. When this happens over a prolonged period of time, these women find that the only way for them to get any rest is to take a sleeping pill.
The need to “do it all” and “look good while doing it all” drive many young moms to use prescription drugs that help them focus and feel energized enough to cope with stress, while helping with weight loss as well. It isn’t enough to be just supermoms. They have to be supermodels as well. Adderall is one of the most popular stimulants in the market used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy.
While no wife and mother conceivably sets out to become addicted to drugs, prescription or otherwise, the problem of prescription drug abuse among young moms is increasing. One of the reasons may very well be that prescription medications are considered safe, simply because they are prescribed by a doctor.
People don’t realize that prescription drugs are very powerful and highly addictive. They contain the very same active ingredients as heroin or cocaine. Addiction is the result of trying to cope with the daily stresses of being a wife, mom and employee all rolled into one. Too many people depend on these young moms and they forget to take care of themselves or fail to recognize that they need help, too.
When they use their prescription medication long enough, it leads to tolerance. They increase their dose, and over time their dependence develops into a full-blown addiction. When these young moms first realize they may have a problem, they attempt to stop but almost immediately they begin experiencing harsh withdrawal symptoms like vomiting and violent shaking which keeps them from doing their job as a dutiful wife and mother. So they go back to the drugs and continue the vicious cycle. Many extreme cases see these moms visiting different doctors just to get prescriptions, they steal pills from family members or friends or they buy prescription drugs online.
Prescription drug abuse is a major social problem as it is, but it becomes doubly sad and alarming when it’s our young mothers who are falling victims to it. It destroys the very fabric of the family unit, upon which the future of our society depends.