Which Prescription Drugs are Addictive?
The most addictive prescription drugs are those that contain opiates. These opiate-based drugs include widely-used pills such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, OxyContin and other painkillers. Many people abuse these prescription drugs -taking them for their opiate effects, and not because they were prescribed by a physician. Sadly, people who take the medications to cope with legitimate pain may also find themselves becoming addicting. And even the doctors prescribing these drugs are at risk -studies show as many as 10% of doctors who prescribe opiate-based painkillers become addicted.
What makes Prescription Drugs so Addictive?
But what makes the prescription drugs so addictive? The answer lies in the opiates themselves, and the effect they have on the human brain. Opiates, such as the ones found in prescription drugs, create artificial endorphins in the brain -which produce, in the early stages of use warm, good feelings in the user. But over time, opiates trick the brain into stopping the production of these endorphins naturally. At this point, the only way a prescription drug addict can experience positive feelings is by using the drug in question. This process is the reason why opiate-based prescription drugs are so addictive.
What happens to your body when you stop taking prescription drugs?
When the body stops producing its own endorphins, a person feels sick and depressed whenever they are not taking the prescription drugs. For these individuals, taking the drug is no longer about the positive feelings that were felt the first few times they took the drug. Now, the opiate use has become about avoided negative feeling and symptoms. When this “switch” occurs (achieving good turns to avoiding bad) the person has become addicted to opiates.
One particularly addictive prescription drug is OxyContin. One of the reasons that OxyContin stands apart as more addictive than other drugs is because of the way it is misused. When an individual snorts or injects OxyContin, they are getting much more of the drug at once than the manufacturers ever intended. This intense high creates problems in the individual’s brain, which will in turn seek out more and more of this intense feeling caused by the large dosage. And when you’re dealing with OxyContin, repeatedly seeking out and ingesting large doses can prove to be addicting and even fatal.