Essay: OTC and Prescription Drugs Curbing

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[. . .] But when taken to extreme, they can over-stimulate the nervous system. Sleep aids are another group of OTC drugs, which are often mis-used. When taken in extreme, they can lead to narcolepsy, a neurological disorder, characterized by strongly disrupted sleep. Users abruptly fall asleep at dangerous times, such as when driving, climbing the stairs or performing risky tasks (Saar).

Dependence or Addiction

Addiction is a condition of dependence on something for one's normal functioning

(Salmon 2008). It creates a mental state, which later creates physical dependence. In that state, the person relies on the substance for relief to the condition. It develops into an addiction when the drug tolerance reaches a high level. Addiction to prescribed drugs can happen without overdosing. One can become addicted or dependent on any drug according to his perception of addiction or dependence. It is addiction or dependence to rely or become inclined towards any substance or thing in order to function or survive. In such a case, the problem lies in the personality and not on the substance or thing (Salmon).

Drug addiction is the result of the nature of the drug, the personality make-up of the user and the circumstances attending to the abuse (Salmon 2013). It is primarily brought about by the personality weakness of the person. Most often, his emotional response to some personal setback or peer pressure opens him to dependence or addiction to mind-quieting drugs. It is not the drugs themselves that lead to it. Tranquilizers, heroin and alcohol are the major addictives when taken in heavy doses and frequently. Moreover, dependence and addiction are two different things. Dependence occurs when one stops using the substance. It is a tolerance problem. Addiction, on the other hand, means deliberately using the drug, a chronic problem symptom (Salmon).

FDA Regulation of OTC Drugs

The criteria for drug manufacturers to follow are safety, effectiveness, dosage and cost (Terzo 2013). The FDA approved around 270 active ingredients, which manufacturers can use to synthesize their drug products. They can still be purchased without a doctor's prescription. And they remain more affordable than prescription drugs. Buyers can now be confident that they can purchase OTC without need for a doctor's prescription but with the FDA's guarantee that these drugs are safe and effective (Terzo).


Anti-drug abuse campaigns have created the awareness on the fatal consequences of addiction and dependence on dangerous drugs. Narcotics are on top of the list of major addictives and this is why they are strictly regulated by special prescription by a qualified medical doctor. But not only prescription drugs but also non-prescription drugs can produce addiction or dependence. Not only do some OTC drugs contain addictive ingredients. Users with weak personality make-ups are also especially prone to the influence of either prescription or non-prescription drugs. All drugs are at least potentially habit-forming or addictive. Aware of this situation, the Food and Drug Administration set up certain criteria for drug manufacturers.


Alta Mira. An Overview of Highly Addictive Drugs. Alta Mira Recovery Programs:

Alta Mira Recovery Center, 2013. Retrieved on September 26, 2013 from

Saar, Natalie. Abuse of OTC Drugs. National Institute of Neurological Disorders: eHow,

2013. Retrieved on September 26, 2013 from

Salmon, Charles. Are All Drugs Addictive? Ezine Articles: Ezine, 2008. Retrieved on September 27, 2013 from

Terzo, Geri. What are the Benefits of Regulating OTC Drugs? Food and Drug

Administration, 2013. Retrieved on September 27, 2013 from

-. Why are Some Drugs OTC and Others are Prescription? Food and Drug

Administration, 2013. Retrieved on September 27, 2013 from… [END OF PREVIEW]

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OTC and Prescription Drugs Curbing.  (2013, September 27).  Retrieved October 16, 2019, from

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"OTC and Prescription Drugs Curbing."  September 27, 2013.  Accessed October 16, 2019.