Although prescription drugs are recommended by doctors to treat certain conditions they still can be addictive or be abused by people. This is especially true when people do not follow the doctor’s guidelines, use medications for a purpose other than the reason for which they have been prescribed or tamper with the dosage.
In such circumstances, the use of prescription drugs is termed as an abuse. It is largely believed that prescription drug abuse often turns into an addiction, which is no less dangerous than an addiction to illicit drugs, such as cannabis.
In this series on “Prescription drug addiction,” a detailed discussion on the prevention, treatment and detoxification from prescription drug abuse will be conducted. Looking at the widespread prevalence and dangers of this abuse, it is worthwhile to find out the most addictive prescription drugs to spread awareness.
Here, we highlight the most addictive prescription drugs to deter people from self-prescribing them for alleviating pain.
Medications that give a high
Though most addictive prescription drugs fall under the categories of opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants and stimulants, some specific addictive drugs are:
- Xanax: Self-prescription or misuse of Xanax (alprazolam), a psychoactive drug that treats panic disorders by inducing calm in a person through depressing his or her CNS, can severely impact the user. Being the most abused prescription drug, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, people often consume it since it is a fast-acting sedating and relaxing drug.
- Oxycodone: Often compared to heroin, oxycodone, an opioid popularly sold as OxyContin, and in combination as Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen), is used to treat pain. It changes the way the brain and the nervous system respond to pain. It also creates a euphoric and sedative effect when taken as a drug. Though prescribed about six million times a year on an average in the U.S., patients often resort to stealing the pills that are extremely costly.
- Klonopin and Valium: These drugs are often abused by people since they have sedative properties similar to Xanax. Like alcohol, Klonopin and Valium can cause drunkenness, talkativeness, etc. Being benzodiazepines, which can be extremely addictive, these drugs are extremely habit-forming and can cause blackouts, as well as death due to overdose. Xanax, Klonopin and Valium are commonly taken along with other drugs.
- Demerol and Darvocet: The commonly abused painkillers Demerol and Darvocet cause immediate side effects. Since people often develop tolerance toward these drugs, they end up gradually increasing their dosage to be able to experience the same effects which then results in an addiction. Further when someone tries to quit their addiction they can experience painful withdrawal symptoms.
- Codeine (purple drank): The opiate codeine is used to treat a cough and pain, and thus is an essential ingredient of prescribed cough syrups. If consumed in high doses, codeine results in a sedative effect which can also alter one’s level of consciousness.
- Amphetamines (speed): Simply known as “speed,” amphetamines are potent CNS stimulants. Largely used for treating mental disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they usually help people in maintaining their focus and stay alert. However, people often misuse it for its energizing effects.
- Ritalin: The stimulant Ritalin works by suppressing the CNS by enhancing the levels of the attention-increasing hormone, dopamine, in the brain. Like other stimulants, such as Adderall, it can also be habit-forming.
Quit prescription drug abuse to avoid dire consequences
Prescription drug abuse can have adverse repercussions and in extreme cases, can even prove fatal. Self-prescription and abuse of prescription medications is a sure shot invitation to problems. Therefore, it is essential to get rid of it by treatment and support.
If you or your beloved needs help from the drug addiction treatment centers in Florida, contact the Florida Prescription Addiction Helpline counselors to take you through the best prescription drug rehab centers in Florida. Alternatively, call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866- 292-3211 or chat online to know more.