* Depressants that slow brain function and can cause confusion and memory loss. Depressants include pentobarbital sodium, diazepam and alprazolam. (Brand names include Nembutal, Valium and Xanax.)
Prescription drug abuse has serious risks:
* Very quickly drug abusers need more and more of a substance to get the same feeling. Soon you may feel you can't live without it, and you might try to feed your addiction with dangerous or illegal activities.
* Mixing prescription drugs with alcohol or other drugs can be deadly.
* Getting over a drug abuse problem can include muscle and bone pain, nausea, depression, diarrhea, insomnia, seizures, hallucinations, vomiting, and cramping.
There is an easy way out. Make the right choice. Would you let just anyone perform surgery on you? No way! It's not safe to take anyone else's prescription drugs, either. Instead, have fun and stay healthy. Join a club or a group at school or in the community. Volunteer your time to help others.
If you get a prescription from your health-care provider, be sure to ask about the risks and side effects of the medication and how to use it safely. Follow the instructions exactly. Never let anyone use your medications.
Maddox is president, founder and chairman of Drug and Alcohol Presentations Inc. He is holding drug and alcohol education classes in his office. Sign up at 733-B Central Ave., Charleston, or call 304-925-1565 for more information.