4 Types of Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

person holding a prescription worried about Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Not all drugs are illegal substances people buy off the streets. When most people think of drug addiction, they’re thinking of stuff right out of “Breaking Bad” – shady street dealers selling hugely expensive and illicit substances like cocaine, heroin, meth, and ecstasy. However, some of the most dangerous drugs come not from street dealers but doctors and pharmacists. Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs might be the ones you keep behind your bathroom mirror.

Drugs like Xanax, Amytal, OxyContin, and Ambien are available at nearly every drugstore or pharmacy. Many people take them every day to relieve conditions such as chronic pain and insomnia. Those drugs provide relief to most people but are highly addictive vices that require drug detox programs for others.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are much more widely and legally available than anything you see on TV. They’re in every pharmacy or drugstore, and all you need is a doctor’s note to get some of these prescription drugs that can lead to addiction.

Every drug has physical and psychological effects on the body, but most are usually mild enough that users can take them safely without worrying about repercussions. However, for those that experience dependence and other issues with taking addictive prescription drugs, there are detox programs available.

1. Amphetamines

Amphetamines such as Adderall and Mydasis help treat ADHD. These drugs boost energy and alertness, making them a perfect solution for those who struggle to pay attention in school or at work.

However, the brief “highs” that amphetamines provide is often enough for people to start abusing them. They’re stimulants, meaning they speed up messages between the brain and the nervous system. Taking too many amphetamines can result in chills, fevers, racing heartbeat, strokes, or even death.

Sadly, Adderall abuse is on the rise in the United States, with the FDA reporting over 19,000 ADHD medicine-related complications since 2013. Among those 26 and up, the recreational use of Adderall increased from only 345,000 cases in 2006 to 1.4 million in 2014 – a fourfold increase.

2. Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos, are prescription drugs that depress the central nervous system. Most people take benzos such as Xanax and Valium as sleeping pills as they help with disorders such as insomnia.

However, like all drugs, benzos can be addictive and cause side effects such as anxiety, irritability, blurred vision, hallucination, and excessive sleep.

3. Opioids

Commonly used for pain, opioids are one of the most widely taken and widely abused prescription drugs in America. You might recognize such brands as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. Some other famous opioids include heroin, morphine, and Carfentanil. The latter is used to tranquilize elephants and other large animals.

The opioid epidemic is one of the biggest problems facing the nation right now. Doctors are quick to prescribe opioids for pain relief, but many patients soon fall into addiction symptoms.

Consider these opiate abuse statistics:

  • Almost 30% of patients abuse prescribed pain relievers.
  • 12% of opiate users develop an addiction.
  • Almost 6% of opiate users will eventually try heroin.
  • Four-fifths of current heroin users started on opiates.

4. Sleeping Pills

Ambien, Sonesta, and Lunata are the three most commonly prescribed sleeping pills. These medications are best as short-term solutions for insomnia and other sleeping disorders. However, many people develop emotional and psychological dependency and become addicted. Sleeping pills are meant for temporary use on an as-needed basis, but many turn to them whenever they encounter the slightest difficulty.

Recover from Drug Abuse Today

Are you or a loved one struggling with one or more of these commonly abused prescription drugs? Don’t suffer in silence. Drug addiction, whether it comes from illegal street drugs or everyday prescriptions, is something that can ruin someone’s life and the lives of those around them.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Summit Detox as soon as possible. Call us at 866.341.0638 and find out how we can help.

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