What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
A prescription is more than just permission to receive a certain type of drug that isn’t available over the counter. The doctor writes the type of drug to be taken, but also includes specific instructions on how the drug is to be administered. Various drugs come in different strengths. One opiate pain medication might be available in no fewer than three strengths and two forms – liquid and pill. Highly addictive anti-anxiety medication may also come in more than once strength. The doctor determines which strength and form you need to treat your condition, as well as how many times per day you should take the dose.
There are two ways to abuse a prescription medication. The first is obvious – taking the medication when you don’t have a prescription. Any time an individual exposes themselves to an addictive medication for recreational purposes, they are allowing themselves to develop a tolerance to the drug. The second way that highly addictive prescription drugs are abused may be more subtle, for instance:
- Consuming the drugs more frequently than prescribed because pain has returned
- Consuming more of the drugs than prescribed at any given time because the pain feels “more intense”
- Giving drugs to someone who has similar or identical symptoms to “save a trip to the doctor’s office”
- Taking the medication in a form other than the original (e.g., crushing and dissolving tablets rather than taking them orally and whole as intended)
Although they were created to help individuals cope with the effects of illness and injury, many prescriptions drugs have become the “substance of choice” for the addicts who use them illicitly. What follows is a list of some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs, and they damaging effects they can have on the body and the mind.
7 Highly Addictive Prescription Drugs
Vicodin – This opiate-based painkiller is abused in order to obtain its euphoric effects. The drug carries strong withdrawal symptoms however, which leads to a Vicodin addiction for thousands of people every day.
OxyContin – Also known as the “Hillbilly Heroin”, OxyContin is a time-release prescription painkiller that produces intense euphoria when crushed and snorted or injected. Misuse of OxyContin in this manner has led to many overdose cases across the country.
Demerol – Another addictive opiod drug that inhibits the part of the brain that controls pain and produces feeling of euphoria among users. Can also bring about serious withdrawal symptoms including depression, chills, fever, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Percocet – One of the first notorious prescription drugs used for its euphoric effects instead of its intended use as a painkiller. Percocet is highly addictive and has been linked to heart failure in many individuals who have taken excessive amounts of the drug over a prolonged period of time.
Darvocet – Another opiod 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 of time can develop disorders of the liver.
Ritalin – Can cause increases or decreases in blood pressure as well as psychotic episodes. Prescribed to help children with Attention Deficit Disorder, the drug has been used as a substitute for cocaine.
Amphetamines – These drugs produce euphoric effects similar to those found during cocaine use. The individual experiences a “rush” for a limited amount of time, generally followed by periods of exhaustion, anxiety and depression. It is the strong need to avoid these adverse effects of the amphetamines that lead individuals into addiction. These drugs are commonly used by truckers, students or other individuals who need to stay awake for long periods of time.
The drugs in the list above represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to commonly abused prescription medications. The abuse of these drugs 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 because their parents have the materials right there in the bathroom medicine cabinet.
Parents are urged to store their prescription medication securely, and always throw out unused drugs that could be found, and taken illicitly by kids. To defeat prescription drug addiction once and for all, contact Michael’s House. Located in beautiful Palm Springs, California, Michael’s House is a residential drug treatment center that understands the special needs of those individuals who have developed a dependence on these highly addictive drugs.
Contact Michael’s House today at 1-877-345-8494 for more information.
Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877.345.8494