The most commonly abused medications include anxiety prescriptions, pain relievers, and stimulants used for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ease of access is one of the contributing factors regarding prescription drug addiction. In this guide, we’re outlining more about commonly abused prescription drugs, and if you or a family member should attend a prescription drug treatment program.
Identifying the Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Even though many medications are safe for some patients, others can develop a prescription drug addiction. Here are the most commonly abused prescription drugs:
- Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives: Ambien, Nembutal, Valium, and Xanax are the most abused. If someone has slowed breathing, memory issues, poor coordination, slurred speech, or unsteady walking, they could be exhibiting signs of addiction,
- Antidepressants: Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft are the most common within this category. You might notice bloodshot eyes, changes in appetite, diminished appearance, odd sleeping habits, and slurred speech when someone has an antidepressant addiction.
- Opioids: Fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone top this list. Someone with this addiction might exhibit confusion, drowsiness, poor coordination, or worsening of pain or sensitivity.
- Stimulants: Adderall, Dexedrine, Mydayis, and Ritalin are the most misused. Signs and symptoms of a stimulant addiction include agitation, anxiety, high blood pressure, high body temperature, insomnia, and reduced appetite.
If you notice a loved one, friend, or family member exhibiting the signs of addiction, it might be time to talk to them about a prescription drug addiction treatment program.
Understanding Why People Abuse Prescriptions
People abuse prescription drugs for many reasons. They might experiment with them to be able to study more effectively, fit in, have fun, lose weight, or sleep better. It might be easier to get these medications than street drugs because family members often have them. However, you might also be able to find them sold on the streets.
Some believe that using prescription drugs are less addictive and safer than illegal substances. They qualify that belief by saying their friends and family are using them. For example, someone might use their sibling’s ADHD medication to lose weight because they read about the dangers of using diet pills.
The only time a prescription is safe is when the person receiving that prescription uses it as recommended. Their doctor examines their condition and prescribes the appropriate dose to address that issue. During that examination, that person receives specific instructions for how to use that medication safely.
The Dangers of Abusing Prescription Drugs
No matter if you’re abusing anti-anxiety medications or stimulants, there are adverse effects and risks in doing so. Here are some examples:
- Accidents: Prescription drug abuse could lead to impaired driving. Because your thinking isn’t clear and your reaction time slows, that increases your risk for accidents.
- Health issues: In addition to causing a decrease in your cognitive function, medications can also slow your breathing and seizures. If you take too much of a prescription, that could also lead to coma or death.
- Legal issues: It’s illegal to misuse prescriptions, particularly if it isn’t your prescription. When abusing medications, you’re at a higher risk of committing crimes. That could lead to facing fines or jail time.
- Performing poor academically: Even if you’re taking a medication to boost performance or relieve anxiety, abusing them could have the opposite effect. You’ll find this is especially true if addiction develops.
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center Today to Learn More About Abusing Prescription Drugs
Even if you think taking a little more of your prescription drugs is safe, you could be making a hazardous mistake. It’s even more dangerous to take medications that aren’t prescribed to you. If you or someone you know is abusing medications, now is the time to reach out for help. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 to learn more about how a prescription drug addiction treatment program can help.