Prescription Drug Abuse may Instigate Violence

Prescription drug abuse can inflict harm in more ways than one. It has been found that prescription drugs can also incite tendency of violence in the abuser. According to a study, “Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence towards Others,” published in 2010, “Acts of violence towards others are a genuine and serious adverse drug event associated with a relatively small group of drugs.”

Drugs like Varenicline and antidepressants like serotonergic are strongly implicated in such cases. The research called for “more prospective studies” to systematically evaluate this side effect and establish any incidences, confirm differences among drugs and identify any additional common features.

According to the researchers, the adverse effects of prescription drug abuse are seldom studied despite the fact that non-medical use of drugs induces violent thoughts and acts towards others. It is a common occurrence in our society. Several studies have already been conducted with the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through meta-analysis of clinical trials to study the risks of suicidal behaviors – but not amounting to violence – associated with antidepressants.

We also come across numerous drugs that contain warnings, necessitated by the FDA, to doctors or patients about the possibility of aggressive or violent acts. This is also a clear indication that certain drugs do have the capacity to trigger violent behavior, if consumed in ways other than prescribed.

Drugs that come with such warnings include Varenicline, Zolpidem, Montelukast and all antidepressant pills. The patients taking Varenicline, the antidepressants or quetiapine are advised to contact a physician immediately if they experience any aggressiveness or anger within and feel inclined to violence. Whether it is the prescription drug abuse treatment in California – among the best in the U.S. – or elsewhere, seeking prescription drug addiction help is the only solution in such cases.

This study aimed at evaluating and summarizing the evidence about reported acts of violence associated with therapeutic drugs. The researchers studied all serious adverse drug events reported to the FDA from 2004 through the third quarter of 2009.

Takeaways

In a span of 69 months, the study “identified 484 evaluable drugs that accounted for 780,169 serious adverse event reports of all kinds.” There were 1,937 cases of violence, which included homicides and physical assaults.

Several drugs were also identified having a close association with violence. These included Varenicline (a smoking cessation aid), 11 antidepressant drugs, three drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and five hypnotic/sedatives. The psychoactive medicines accounted for most of the drugs goading people to violence.

Another study, “Mental Health and Rape History in Relation to Non-medical Use of Prescription Drugs in a National Sample of Women,” is also of the opinion that prescription drugs and interpersonal violence are closely interrelated. According to it, “All forms of prescription drug use was associated with increased severity of assault history, with multiple assault victims being the most likely to have used these prescription drugs in the past month.”

The study achieved an important advancement in the realm of prescription drug abuse. It revealed that there are a large number of cases of drug-alcohol facilitated rape or DAFR, which is a direct consequence of prescription drug abuse.

“Lifetime history of DAFR (rape by means of the perpetrator’s deliberate intoxication of the victim), PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder), and other forms of substance abuse were identified as factors significantly associated with NMUPD (non-medical use of prescription drugs) and should be assessed by medical professionals prior to selection of treatment options,” it concluded.