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Prescription Drugs Aren't As Bad As Street Drugs, Right?
Simply because prescription drugs are legal does not mean they are always safe — and prescription drugs are only legal for the person for whom they’re prescribed.
Abuse of prescription medicines can be just as addictive and dangerous (even fatal) as the abuse of illegal street drugs. In fact, some of those “hardcore,” illegal street drugs are made of the same stuff as prescription pain relievers.
For instance, heroin and oxycodone are both opioids derived from a common root: poppy. While kids might think that taking a prescription painkiller (like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin) gives the full-on euphoria of heroin without the risks, the truth is, if misused or abused, prescription painkillers are very dangerous.
Also, if you take someone else’s prescription you may not know what the pill really is or what the strength is. A large, single dose of oxycodone can result in potentially fatal respiratory depression.
It’s also important to point out that combining prescription drugs with other substances — particularly alcohol — can result in life-threatening respiratory distress and death.
From Partnership for Drug-Free Kids