Prescription Drug Facts

When prescription drugs are taken as directed by a medical professional, they can effectively and safely treat various illnesses and disorders. However, it is widely known that people commonly abuse prescription drugs despite the consequences. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription drugs are the third most frequently abused substances by Americans aged 14 and older.

Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Opioids: Includes pain relievers such as oxycontin and vicodin.

Depressants: Includes drugs that depress the central nervous system that are typically used for anxiety disorders such as xanax and valium.

Stimulants: Includes medications typically prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta.

How Prescription Drugs Are Abused

There are multiple ways to tell whether or not a prescription medication is being abused. Here are some of the most common:

Taking drugs without a prescription is commonly seen amongst teenagers and young adults. Drugs like Adderall are popular in the academic realm because of the effects that they have on concentration. It is illegal to distribute or possess prescription medications that are controlled substances. Consequences can include fines and jail time.

Taking medications in higher doses than is prescribed is a way to abuse drugs. Medications are usually distributed with a quantity that should last whatever amount of time that a physician sees necessary. By taking more than is prescribed can result in an addiction to the substance.

Taking medications in another way than prescribed is substance abuse. Most prescription medications are taken by swallowing orally. However, sometimes people will crush and snort medications, or mix them with other drugs or alcohol to achieve a desired effect.

Side Effects Of Prescription Drug Abuse

If you suspect that you or someone you know is addicted to a prescription drug, there are some symptoms that you can look for that are typical in someone that is abusing prescription drugs.

  • Addiction: The individual may clearly be overwhelmed by the desire to take the drug or does not function normally without it.
  • Overdosing: Addict may accidently take too much of a drug and need immediate medical attention.
  • Suicidal: Due to the effects that prescription drugs have on the brain, a person is vulnerable to severe depression and suicidal tendencies.
  • Mood swings: Abusing medications can cause severely erratic behavior. As addiction develops, individuals may become excessively anxious and then severely depressed.
  • Change in sleep patterns: Depending on the drug, individuals may sleep excessively while others seem like they suffer from insomnia.
  • Anxiety: When faced with the possibility of not being able to attain the medication, individuals may become extremely anxious and remain so until they get their next fix.
  • Hyperactivity: If stimulant medications are being abused, you can usually tell by unnatural hyperactive behavior.
  • Legal issues: Due to the illegal aspects that pertain to prescription medications, individuals may run into trouble with the law.

Getting Help

If you notice that any of these symptoms of drug abuse pertain to you or someone that you care about, don’t wait any longer to get help. Call our free addiction helpline to talk with a specialist about finding an addiction treatment program that will help end the battle with addiction. All they need is minimal information about your addiction as well as any personal preferences that you have concerning your future drug rehab facility.


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