New Infographic at Reveals the Dangers of Prescription Drug Use and Abuse

Share Article

Drug-related deaths at home up over 3,100% in last two decades; prescription drug deaths now kill more than automotive accidents, a resource for families affected by one of the most prevalent congenital birth defects, has released a concise but alarming infographic about the types and potential consequences of prescription drugs. “This is Your Brain on Prescription Drugs” invokes the old egg-and-frying-pan imagery of anti-drug campaigns in the past to bring to light the under-recognized dangers in prescription abuse. Effective use of data visualization guides the viewer through this need-to-know information.

Frequently misused or abused prescription drugs include CNS depressants, opiates and stimulants. Many of these have brand names and generic versions, so keeping track of all the different types can be quite difficult. “This is Your Brain on Prescription Drugs” summarizes some of the key titles while also providing brief descriptions of the intended uses and effects of each category of drug.

  •     It’s important to know that using any prescription in a way other than it has been prescribed is considered abuse, and it is also illegal to share any prescriptions—they are intended solely for the person to whom they have been given.
  •     Since about 60% of new users of pain pills report getting these from friends or family for free, this law must not be as widely known as is necessary.
  •     Prescription drug deaths as a result of interaction with alcohol or street drugs have risen 3,196% between the years 1983 and 2004. In some areas of the United States these numbers exceed the deaths caused by traffic accidents or suicides.
  •     Prescription abuses, particularly opioids, have risen staggeringly in the last decade—opioid abuse is up 400% from ten years ago, and unintentional poisoning from psychotherapeutic drugs rose 84% between 1999 and 2004.
  •     Acetaminophen, a common pain reliever found either on its own or in combination with other prescription and over-the-counter medications, is contributing cause of about 56,000 emergency room visits each year.
  •     Prescription drug misuse and abuse affect vital centers of the brain, such as those devoted to movement, memory, judgment, and coordination. Since drug use is up among children and teens with developing brains, the potential repercussions of these abuses are both numerous and severe.

Share this tool with friends, relatives, colleagues, blog subscribers and more. Drug use in pregnant and nursing women can contribute to birth defects and health problems in babies—and this does not apply strictly to abuse or street drugs. To learn more about a birth defect linked to prescription drugs including causes and more, spina bifida, visit



Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Melissa Steele
Visit website