No matter what the internet might serve up on the rumor mill, pot’s never been responsible for a fatal overdose. In fact, marijuana offers many pain-reducing qualities without harmful side effects. But unlike weed, legal over-the-counter drugs do not promise the same safety. Actually, the drugs you can get at the local pharmacy might potentially run the risk of the worst side effect: overdose. Keep safe with Mary Jane, and try to stay away from these 5 over-the-counter medications that are more dangerous than weed.
1. Epsom Salts
This drug seems like a multi-purpose item for your bathroom cupboard. A bath with Epsom salts promises to help reduce muscle soreness and eliminate cramps. If Epsom salts are added to water and digested, they may help the user deal with any constipation issues.
Made mostly of magnesium, Epsom salts also serve to encourage sleep and reduce stress because this element produces neurotransmitters in the brain. Some people even report that ingesting Epsom salts helps with their fibromyalgia and arthritis.
But be wary. Epsom salts still come with their own set of dangers, especially when consumed. The common side effects can be nausea, headache, lightheadedness and flushed skin.
But the more worrisome side effects some people experience can be heart problems, coma, paralysis and in rare cases, death.
Needless to say, Epsom salts may be more high-risk of overdose than say, if you just ate one too many pot brownies.
2. Cough Medication
Any local nightly news program has an almost monthly story on the dangers of cough syrup for teens. The drug is easy to get, coming in candy-like flavors like cherry and grape. It aims to help suppress a cough through the main ingredient Dextromethorphan (DXM).
Drugs containing DXM also often contain antihistamines and decongestants. DXM is actually an opioid, but it doesn’t have any of the pain-relieving effects of something like Oxycodone.
It works as a depressant and can cause the user hallucinations similar to that in PCP use.
Unlike the warmth of a marijuana sunshine daydream, these drug-induced moments can seem so euphoric to the user that it encourages return visits.
Because of this, cough syrup can be very addictive. Over long periods of time abusing cough syrup, the drug can cause liver damage.
Many doctors suggest a daily dose of aspirin to ward off heart attacks and strokes. But this common medicine cabinet item could actually be one of the most dangerous of all.
A major study in Oxford found that those taking these blood-thinning pills might actually be at highest risk for overdose. Because it thins the blood. This property means that it could be responsible for the 3,000 excess bleeding deaths a year in the United Kingdom.
In fact, though the FDA has agreed with doctors everywhere in the past that aspirin was a good idea to prevent heart attack, they’re now rethinking their stance. It reversed its decision that it reduces heart attack, especially if the aspirin user has never had a heart attack.
Furthermore, it concluded it risked other dangerous side effects, such as gastrointestinal ones.
Certainly aspirin, because of its cultural acceptance and availability, is one of the most concerning over-the-counter medications that are more dangerous than weed.
The side effects of a monthly visitor or a migraine cramping your style? Typically, the drug of choice is Midol. The drug is mostly marketed to women for its pain-relieving properties during menstruation. It has acetaminophen or APAP, one of the most popular over-the-counter drugs because it treats pain and reduces fever.
But acetaminophen continues to show itself to be highly dangerous for a number of reasons. It isn’t safe to consume during pregnancy, contributing to a potential for the unborn infant to have autism and ADHD.
Consuming Midol for female pain might be the wrong idea even if you’re not worried about becoming or being pregnant. The drug has a high overdose rate, and when in pain from a period or other issue, taking more than recommended happens occasionally.
Instead, consider marijuana to treat these specific ailments. It’s natural, safe, and you don’t run the risk of overdosing just to tame that awful ache in your abdomen.
Taking a Tylenol doesn’t need to be advised by your doctor. Really, the drug can be found generally in someone’s purses, in a tiny pouch behind the cashier at the gas station, in office drawers.
The drug is universal for over-the-counter pain relief. But Tylenol, like Midol, has that dangerous ingredient: acetaminophen or APAP. Not only does the medicine potentially cause asthma, but it’s become the drug of choice for many teen suicides who recognize its overdose potential.
Acetaminophen, in the form of medicine cabinet staple Tylenol, is responsible for about 50,000 emergency room visits and 25,000 hospitalizations. It can cause liver failure. And to top it all off, the drug takes the lives of 450 people annually, about 100 of which are unintentional.
So if your sprained ankle acts up or you can’t handle that hangover headache, try to stay away from Tylenol and all drugs with acetaminophen. Acetaminophen may, in fact, be the worst drug of the over-the-counter medications that are more dangerous than weed.
It may seem like the quickest route to pain reduction, but trying a more natural substance or method like cannabis may be a better option.
Final Hit: 5 Over-The-Counter Medications That Are More Dangerous Than Weed
Finding relief from whatever ails you, whether that be a cough or joint pain, is critical. Finding the right medication for treating that condition is most important. Keep up with your doctor on what medications you may be using to treat whatever symptoms you have, including weed.
But be wary. The shelves of pharmacies are stocked with over-the-counter medications that are more dangerous than weed.
And maybe all you need for that migraine or those period cramps is the comforting and relieving power of ganja.