What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
A prescription is more than consent to use a drug that isn’t available over the counter. The doctor designates what drug should be taken and gives specific instructions for how the drug should be administered. Various drugs come in different strengths. An opioid-based pain medication may be available in three strengths. The same drug may also be available as a liquid or a pill. Each form of the drug can have a different effect on your body, so it is important to talk with your doctor if you have any concerns—rather than take matters into your own hands.
There are two primary ways to abuse a prescription medication. The first approach is to take the medication without a prescription. Any time an individual exposes himself to an addictive medicine for recreational purposes, he is likely to develop a tolerance to the drug. The second way highly addictive prescription drugs are abused can be subtle.For example, the individual may consume the drugs more frequently than prescribed because the pain has returned. He may even give drugs to someone who has identical symptoms to “save a trip to the doctor’s office.” Lastly, the other way is to take the medication in another form such as crushing and dissolving tablets.
Although prescription drugs can help individuals cope with the effects of illness and injury, addicts abuse many prescriptions drugs. The following list consists of the most commonly abused prescription drugs.
7 Highly Addictive Prescription Drugs
Vicodin – This opiate-based painkiller can give an addict euphoric effects. However, the drug carries strong withdrawal symptoms. Sadly, the fear of drug withdrawal can lead to continual Vicodin abuse. Statistics show estimates of 2.1 million people in the United States abusing prescription opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin.
OxyContin – This drug is a time-release prescription painkiller that produces intense euphoria when it is snorted or injected. The misuse of OxyContin and other prescription opioids has led to 15 thousand overdose deaths in the United States in 2015.
Demerol – This addictive opioid drug inhibits the part of the brain that controls pain and gives the user a euphoric feeling. Demerol can also bring about serious withdrawal symptoms such as depression, chills, fever, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Percocet – One of the first notorious prescription drugs used for its euphoric effects. Percocet is highly addictive and has even been linked to heart failure in many individuals.
Darvocet – Another opioid originally created to help individuals suffering from pain following injury or surgery. Because of the presence of acetaminophen in Darvocet, those who take the drug for an extended period can develop a liver disorder.
Ritalin – This drug was once a form of treatment for children with Attention Deficit Disorder, this drug has been used as a substitute for cocaine. This drug can make blood pressure fluctuate and lead to psychotic episodes.
Amphetamines – These drugs produce euphoric effects where the individual experiences a “rush” for a limited amount of time. This feeling is generally followed by periods of exhaustion, anxiety and depression. Truckers, students and individuals who want to stay awake for long periods of time commonly use amphetamines.
These drugs are only a small fraction of the many commonly abused prescription medications. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem, especially with young people. Children and teenagers have discovered that many times they do not need to go to the street dealer to get drugs; parents often have powerful drugs available in the medicine cabinet.
If you or someone you love struggles with drug addiction, know you can defeat prescription drug addiction by seeking professional help. Michael’s House is a residential drug treatment center that understands the special needs of individuals struggling with prescription drugs. Please contact Michael’s House today at 760.548.4032 for more information.
 Volkow, Nora. “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.” Drugabuse.gov. 14 May 2014. Web. Accessed 2 June 2017.