Most Abused Prescription Drugs: What Should Be Known About Them?

There are many prescription drugs that are beneficial to patients. For example, anxiety medications can help someone to feel calmer and more at ease. Pain medications can help someone feel more comfortable when recovering from surgery. The problem is there are many prescription drugs that are abused. By learning more about the most abused prescription drugs, you can help prevent drug abuse and addiction or help someone get treatment as well. 

Learn More About Drug Abuse

When talking about drug abuse, many people think about illegal street drugs. The truth is there are many prescription drugs that are abused as well. Many prescription drugs can be very addictive and even dangerous if they are abused. If you want to keep yourself and your family members safe, learning more about drugs and drug abuse can help you do that. 

If you already have an addiction to prescription drugs or you know someone who does, seek out addiction rehab help right away.

Use and Abuse of Barbiturates

Barbiturates are sedatives. Some examples of barbiturates are secobarbital, pentobarbital, and phenobarbital. These medications are often prescribed for treating some types of seizures, sleep disorders, and anxiety disorders. However, if someone takes more of these medications than prescribed, they can become addicted to them. Very high doses of barbiturates can lead to breathing issues, especially when combined with alcoholic consumption.

Use and Abuse of Benzodiazepines

Diazepam and alprazolam are two of the benzodiazepines commonly prescribed. These are sedative medications. They are often prescribed for sleep disorders, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders.  Benzodiazepines are sometimes prescribed, rather than barbiturates, because they are safer. However, if these medications are abused, someone can become dependent upon or addicted to them. Benzodiazepines are amongst the list of most commonly abused prescription drugs.

Use and Abuse of Sleep Medications

According to Phys.org, there are 70,000,000 people in the United States who have some sort of sleep disorder. Anyone who has trouble falling or staying asleep may have other difficulties in their life as well. They may have a difficult time playing with their children, attending social events, or even keeping a job. Due to the negative impact of sleep disorders, many people get prescribed sleep medications such as zolpidem, zaleplon, and eszopiclone. 

However, if someone is taking sleep medications longer or more than their doctor prescribes, they can become dependent upon them. Some people even abuse or become addicted to sleep medications.

Use and Abuse of Morphine and Codeine

When it comes to prescription drug abuse, morphine and codeine often rank in the most commonly abused drugs. Research is constantly being done to track prescription drug abuse statistics. For example, NIDA states over 2,000,000 Americans abuse opioids. 

Opioids are commonly prescribed for treating and reducing pain. However, medications such as morphine and codeine are often abused. When someone takes these medications in larger doses, they may get high. Many opioid abusers feel euphoria. They may also experience a range of dangerous and negative side effects such as breathing issues, overdose, and death. Morphine is generally prescribed for treating severe pain. Codeine is generally prescribed for treating mild pain or moderate to severe coughing. Some of the morphine brands are MS Contin, Kadian, and Avinza.

Use and Abuse of Percocet and OxyContin

When taking a look at prescription drug abuse facts, oxycodone is another opioid that is commonly abused. Oxycodone is found in drugs such as roxicodone, percodan, percocet, and oxycontin. Those who abuse this drug often snort, inject, or crush the pills. This increases their risk of overdosing on the drug. Abuse of these drugs can cause nausea, vomiting, breathing issues, slowed heartbeat, seizures, and more.

Use and Abuse of Lorcet, Lortab, and Vicodin 

Lorcet, lortab, and vicodin all have hydrocodone and acetaminophen in them. These medications can cause constipation and drowsiness. While they are commonly prescribed for treating pain, the negative side effects can dull the benefits. When these medications are abused, they can lead to dangerous and severe breathing issues

Use and Abuse of Amphetamines

Amphetamines, such as dextroamphetamine and adderall, are often prescribed for treatment in someone with an ADHD diagnosis. These medications are stimulants. While they can benefit patients with ADHD, there are some who abuse these drugs. They get high from abusing them. The high causes them to feel alert, have excess energy, or even to lose weight. Those who abuse amphetamines might experience irregular heartbeat or high body temperature. Sometimes, cardiac arrest, may occur as well.

Use and Abuse of Methylphenidate

Many ADHD drugs, such as methylphenidate, can be beneficial to patients. However, these drugs are often abused as well. These are stimulant drugs. Many people will abuse them, along with decongestants. Mixing these drugs can get the user high. However, doing so, can also create severely high blood pressure levels and irregular heartbeats.

Use and Abuse of Dextromethorphan

Sometimes doctors recommend or prescribe over-the-counter medications. One of the most commonly recommended or prescribed OTC drugs is dextromethorphan. This is used to treat coughing. However, when taking a larger dose than recommended, the user can get high. It can cause the user to hallucinate. Many teenagers will use this drug to get high, since they can often find cough medicine in their homes.  Higher doses of dextromethorphan can cause increased heart rate, vomiting, or even brain damage.

Use and Abuse of Pseudoephedrine

In cases of a severely stuffy nose, a doctor might prescribe or recommend pseudoephedrine. This medication is a type of decongestant. It can help relieve someone’s stuffy nose. However, it should also be known that pseudoephedrine is used in illegal meth. There are United States laws that limit how pseudoephedrine is bought. However, some people are still abusing this medication.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Are you concerned that someone you know is abusing prescription drugs? You could ask them. However, in most cases, they aren’t going to tell you the truth. There are some signs of prescription drug abuse you can look for. You can watch for the following:

  • Behavior changes
  • Mood swings
  • Missing medications
  • Isolation
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Increased alertness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Sleepiness

These are just some of the most common signs of prescription drug abuse. If you notice these signs in someone you know, it may be time to talk to this person about getting treatment. The effects of prescription drug abuse can be mild, moderate, severe, or even deadly. Now that you know more about the most abused prescription drugs, you can watch out for signs of drug abuse or addiction. If you or someone you know is abusing or addicted to prescription drugs, drug rehab center treatment is available.