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Abusing prescription drugs can cause a number of problems. Prescription drugs can be especially dangerous when taken in high doses, when combined with other prescription medications or certain over-the-counter medications, or when taken with alcohol or illegal drugs.
Examples of serious consequences of prescription drug abuse include the following.
Because commonly abused prescription drugs activate the brain's reward center, it's possible to become addicted to them. People who are addicted continue to use a drug even when that drug makes their lives worse — just like people addicted to nicotine continue smoking cigarettes even when it harms their health and they want to quit.
Other potential consequences include engaging in risky behaviors because of poor judgment, using illegal drugs, being involved in crime, motor vehicle accidents, decreased academic or work performance, and troubled relationships.
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