NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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The Brain's Response to Prescription Drugs

prescription drug laboratory

Hi! My name is Sara Bellum. Welcome to my magazine series that explores the brain’s response to drugs. In this issue, we will investigate fascinating facts about prescription drugs.

Prescription drugs are medicines that are prescribed to a person by his or her doctor to treat diseases. Some prescription drugs affect the brain—especially those used to treat pain, or mental disorders such as anxiety or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Doctors decide how much of a drug to give a person based on that person’s age, size, and medical history. By doing so, doctors oversee the safe and proper use of prescription drugs. Abuse is when someone takes a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription or in a way or amount that is different from what was prescribed. Abuse of prescription drugs can have serious and harmful health effects, including poisoning and even death.