Addiction Treatment

Most Prescribed Drugs in America

Written By:

Becky Babb

a doctor writes a prescription which represents that answer to the question of most prescribed drugs

Nearly half of all Americans take at least one prescription medication regularly, with more than 23% taking three or more different prescriptions at a time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 3 billion medications are either prescribed or ordered each year. Additionally, the CDC found that the vast majority of emergency room encounters and doctor visits result in patients receiving prescription medications. However, some of the most prescribed drugs are also incredibly addictive and come with unforeseen dangers.

Central nerve system depressants are the second most prescribed drugs, which include opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines. Of the 200 most prescribed drugs, five are opioids. Hydrocodone, which is more commonly known as Vicodin, is the 9th most prescribed medication nationwide.

Xanax and Ativan, highly potent and addictive benzodiazepines, are both among the top 50 most prescribed drugs. The prevalence of doctors prescribing potentially addictive medications, some of which carry black box warnings, has led to widespread prescription drug abuse.

What are the Most Over-Prescribed Drugs in America?

Unfortunately, prescription drug use is very common in the United States. The most commonly prescribed drugs overall are heart-related medications, ACE inhibitors, and blood pressure medications.

Some of the most prescribed drugs in the United States include:

  • Heart medications like Lisinopril
  • Medications like Synthroid treat thyroid problems
  • Antidepressants and SSRIs
  • Anti-anxiety medications and benzodiazepines
  • Opioids, including Vicodin, morphine, and OxyContin
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Beta-blockers

Even if you take your prescription medications exactly as prescribed, certain ones can carry black box warnings and are prone to abuse. Vicodin and hydrocodone are among the 10 most prescribed drugs. Opiate-based medications and benzodiazepines are highly addictive and difficult to quit using. A prescription drug detox program can help you end drug abuse and address the underlying conditions of your addiction.

Chronic anxiety and panic disorders require the use of medications like Ativan and Xanax, but both medications can cause physical dependency and withdrawal symptoms when you stop using. Addiction treatment and therapy can address healthier long-term strategies for anxiety management.

How is Prescription Drug Abuse Treated?

Prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem. Medications like OxyContin and Xanax are physically and psychologically addictive. Painful, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms often occur when you immediately stop using substances or medications you are dependent on. Medical detox programs involve around-the-clock monitoring by medical professionals to help relieve the most severe symptoms so you can start further treatment.

In terms of treatment, you have both inpatient and outpatient options. Inpatient programs can solely provide detox services or provide them in addition to short-term and long-term residential treatment. Inpatient programs can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months, depending on your needs.

Following discharge, you can choose to reside at a sober living home or halfway house. Outpatient programs can include partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and individual counseling. Partial hospitalization programs last at least 6 hours per day and meet for 5-7 days a week.

We Can Help End RX Drug Abuse

Even the most prescribed drugs in the United States can result in substance abuse and addiction issues. When you become physically dependent on any substance, finding help from a treatment center can help you regain control of your life. At The Last Resort, we understand what it takes to beat RX drug addiction. Call us today today to learn more about how our programs can help you or a loved one find recovery.

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