Addiction Treatment

What Are the Most Abused Prescription Drugs in America?

Written By:

Becky Babb

A girl wondering what the most abused prescription drugs are

When you think about addictive drugs, you are likely to picture illegal chemicals that people purchase in sketchy alleys. However, the reality is that some of the most common causes of drug abuse can be harmless looking pills that your doctor prescribes to you. Prescription drugs might be legal, but they can still be quite dangerous and addictive when used without your doctor’s instructions. Keep reading to learn more about what the most abused prescription drugs are and what you can do about a prescription pill abuse.

The Most Abused Prescription Drugs in the US Are Opioids

Opioids are a class of prescription drugs that doctors give patients to treat pain. Common opioids people abuse include drugs like Oxycontin, Percocet, Norco, codeine, morphine, and dilaudid. These drugs can help reduce chronic pain. They can also help with other symptoms like reduced breathing rate, constipation, confusion, drowsiness, and lowered coordination. Overall, opioids are the most common type of prescription drug abuse because of how they interact with the brain. Just a few weeks of use can be enough for you to develop a dependency. Without regular opioid dosages, you can experience nausea, intense pain, and anxiety. Over time, opioids require higher dosages to get the same effects.

Another frequently abused class of drugs is the anti-anxiety medications. Also called central nervous system depressants, doctors prescribe these for those dealing with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Prescription and generic names for these types of drugs are Xanax, Valium, diazepam, Ambien, benzodiazepines, and alprazolam. In addition to providing the high sensation, they cause slurred speech, confusion, unsteady walking, and sleepiness. When not using the drug, people frequently become irritable and have trouble sleeping.

The third most common type of abused prescription drugs are stimulants. Drugs like dexedrine, Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are prescription drugs that doctors prescribe to help with the symptoms of ADHD and ADD. Some people abuse stimulants while others may simply abuse them every now and then to assist with staying awake or getting recreational effects. Stimulants make people feel very alert, so they may exhibit agitation, restlessness, or paranoia. They also tend to cause insomnia and a reduction in appetite.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Identifying prescription drug abuse can be challenging because it is hard to notice the signs when a person is already using the drug. In addition to the symptoms of the drug they are using, you may notice signs of abuse. Those who are abusing a drug may run out of the drug and need prescriptions faster than recommended. They may also alternate between taking higher and lower than usual dosages to get high. Those who abuse these drugs typically lose interest in spending time with loved ones, participating in hobbies, or doing activities they used to enjoy. They often neglect work, school, or other responsibilities. When family or friends draw attention to these concerning habits, people abusing drugs tend to react by getting upset or angry.

How to Treat Common Prescription Drug Addictions

Prescription drug treatment requires a multifaceted approach. If you are struggling with a drug dependency, you will often need both physical and mental assistance found only at the highest rated addiction treatment clinic. On the physical side of things, you may need medical treatment to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and help with the pain that may have been behind the initial abuse. You will also need help dealing with the mental and emotional causes behind your prescription drug abuse. Depending on your circumstances, things like inpatient rehab, regular therapy, and group support may be beneficial.

Prescription drugs are highly addictive, but you do not have to continue using them. Professional drug addiction treatment can help you get sober and teach you how to manage your triggers. At The Last Resort Recovery, we provide a variety of therapies, including CBT, family therapy, yoga, and acupuncture, which can guide you through the recovery process. Call The Last Resort Recovery today to break the cycle of drug abuse and start the journey to becoming a healthier you.

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