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There are hundreds of thousands of drugs in the world, from prescription drugs to over-the-counter medications to supplements. It is important to understand which medications you are taking, the side effects, risks, and possible interactions with other drugs. This is especially important for the operational readiness of our active-duty service members.
Prescription drugs are medications that are prescribed by your health care provider. When taken as directed, these medicines can be safe and effective for treating many health conditions. There are many categories of prescription drugs including pain relievers , central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants. Though helpful, these medications can be misused and abused. Make sure to take your prescription medications as prescribed and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Over-the-counter, or non-prescription, medicines can be purchased at local pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores, and online. These medicines treat a variety of conditions and symptoms including pain, coughs, colds, gastrointestinal issues, acne, and more. Though a prescription is not needed to purchase these products, some OTC medications have active ingredients with the potential for misuse in doses higher than the recommended amount provided on the label.
Even though OTCs are not prescribed, active-duty service members should be aware the medicine they are taking is both being used correctly and does not contain any banned substances.
Though there are a variety of Substance risk factors, some people are at higher risk for substance use than others. Though no one factor or combinations of these risk factors cause SUD—substance use disorder—they can increase the risk of substance use and misuse.
Though there are a variety of SUD risk factors, there are also protective factors that reduce a person’s risk.
Safe disposal of your medicines protects you, your family, and your community. Proper disposal helps prevent accidental drug misuse and abuse, and reduces chemicals that leech into our water systems and environment. There are many options for safe disposal of your prescription medications. Military pharmacies offer mail-in envelopes you can pick up and take with you and/or secure bins where you can drop your unwanted medications onsite. Each option comes with easy-to-follow instructions for proper disposal.
Though some states have legalized the use of prescription and/or recreational marijuana, the use of marijuana, cannabidiol, cannabinoid derivatives, and THC-infused products is prohibited for military members (Uniform Code of Military Justice via Article 112A).
After tobacco and alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly used addictive drug. With the rise in popularity of vaping and e-cigarette devices, THC (the ingredient in marijuana that produces the high) use in these devices has also increased. Service members who use these devices should be cautious to ensure they are not consuming prohibited substances.
Too Much to Lose - Marijuana, CBD, Hemp Facts
Marijuana’s short-term effects include:
Marijuana’s long-term effects include:
SAMHSA National Helpline at 800-662-4357
Contact your Medical Provider and/or your Command Drug and Alcohol Abuse Advisor (DAPA) for assistance
Too Much to Lose is a Defense Department (DOD) educational campaign, aligned to the Defense Health Agency, for the U.S. military. The mission of the campaign is to inform Service members on the facts and risks related to prescription drug misuse and illicit and prohibited drug use including marijuana, hemp and CBD that can impact their health, career and overall well-being.
Visit TooMuchToLose for more information - https://www.toomuchtolose.org
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