Prescribed Medication

Key points:

Misuse of prescription drugs means taking any medication in a way or amount that is different to medical advice. Typically misuse of prescribed medication can be:

1/ Taking another person’s prescribed medication for your own use, medical or otherwise.

2/ Taking more than the recommended dose of your own medication.

3/ Taking a medication to “get high” eg snorting ADHD medications.

4/ Lying to a GP to get extra medication.

5/ Taking illegal “street” versions of prescribed medications.

Typical examples of medications that are misused: Benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Diazepam and Morphine.


The law around prescribed medications is complicated as they are prescribed legally but misuse of them means they become classified accordingly and can range from Class C to Class A depending on the drug being used. As with all drugs, the laws relating to personal use are different to supplying drugs. Crucially though, possession/distribution can result in a prison sentences ranging from 2 years to 14 years. 

Effects on the body and risks:

Misusing Prescription medications can:

  • Result in overdose, especially if used alongside alcohol or other drugs.
  • Lead to dependency/addiction.
  • Disturb your sleeping pattern/struggle to sleep.
  • Make your emotions/mood change.
  • Cause a number of side effects including a worsening of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
  • Cause damage to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver.

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