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Prescription medications identified as key gateway drugs in new study

Prescription drugs

(NaturalNews) Big Pharma is responsible for turning teenagers into illegal drug users by prescribing them dangerous medications which they may later misuse, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.

A study conducted by the UM School of Medicine revealed that teens who were given prescriptions for drugs designed to treat sleep disorders or anxiety were 12 times as likely to abuse those same drugs later, compared to those who had never had those types of drugs prescribed to them.

The teens who had received these medications were prone to later experiment with them or use them to get high, sometimes mixing them with alcohol - a very dangerous combination. Misusing these drugs is a felony, which means, for instance, that anyone who shares them with friends is committing a crime.

Abuse of prescription medications can lead to criminal behavior, health risks

The result is not only risky behavior in terms of health, but also criminal behavior when the drugs are used for anything other than their intended purposes.

Drugs such as Xanax and Ativan, which are prescribed for anxiety, or Ambien and Restoril, used to treat sleep problems, are among the medications which are commonly misused. Combining them with alcohol or other drugs can lead to deadly consequences - the death of actor Heath Ledger is one example of what can happen when these types of medications are abused.

Professor of Nursing Carol Boyd, the first author of the study, said:

"I recognize the importance of these medications in treating anxiety and sleep problems. However, the number of adolescents prescribed these medications and the number misusing them is disturbing for several reasons."

University study's original intent was to research teens misusing their own prescriptions

When Boyd and her co-authors first conceived of the study, their intention was to conduct research into teens misusing their own prescriptions. When they began seeing the results, which indicated that many of them were later taking other people's medications, the focus of the study was changed.

The study is the first to investigate the tendency of those who were prescribed these types of medications towards later abusing them by obtaining them from other people.

Concerns about these drugs have been voiced by many others who feel that they are often over-prescribed and that they are dangerous, even when used as intended. Many are addictive to begin with, and there are usually other natural alternatives to the chemicals Big Pharma peddles to the masses for huge profits.

For many years, we have been warned about so-called 'gateway drugs' - ones which lead users to harder, more dangerous substances. Marijuana is one of the most common examples - its use has been decried as having the potential to turn people into hopeless junkies, but the evidence suggests that this is not the case at all.

Use of prescription drugs more likely gateway to drug abuse

Marijuana is almost completely harmless, especially when compared to some of the prescription drugs mentioned above. It is a natural medicine which can be used to treat a wide range of illnesses and symptoms, but since it is non-patentable, Big Pharma has no use for it.

In fact, it could be argued that alcohol and tobacco, which are much more dangerous and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, have far more potential to become gateway drugs than marijuana.

It's time to recognize the value of marijuana and other natural treatments, as opposed to the addictive and dangerous substances that the pharmaceutical industry pushes. Nature provides almost everything we need to stay healthy and maintain a sense of well-being - we need to criminalize the real drug pushers in the medical industry and remove the obstacles to pursuing a natural, healthy lifestyle.

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