Grafitti in Hamra shows various boxes of prescription drugs (The Daily Star/ Jude Swearky)
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users loath to seek helpAlthough overprescription of certain medications contributes heavily to drug abuse worldwide, experts and former users said that highly addictive drugs can often be obtained without a prescription in Lebanon, either at pharmacies that do not abide by laws, or via dealers who smuggle them in from abroad.Much of the money Yasmeen earned writing essays while under the influence of prescription drugs was spent on her sister Salma's legal fees in a court case involving alleged drug use.As someone who had used prescription drugs, including Lexotanil, Xanax, Ritalin, tramadol and Lyrica, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and MDMA, Salma said that the prescription pills could often have much more sinister effects.One drug user, who asked to be identified as Bill, said that this was a little-understood fact of prescription drug abuse.Salma and Bill see this as one of the main reasons for the success of Skoun's treatment, namely that they can both continue to use other drugs, such as hashish and alcohol, recreationally, while also reducing the overall harm they inflict upon themselves from other substances they abuse.
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