Some Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

According to a report published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in relation to prescription drug abuse:

  • 44 people die every day in the U.S. due to overdose of prescription painkillers
  • Nearly 2 million Americans abused prescription painkillers in 2013
  • Almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency departments every day for using these drugs in a manner other than as directed by a physician

The above data shows the alarming condition of prescription drug abuse in the country, so it needs to be addressed with utmost urgency. It calls for setting up of prescription drug addiction help centers to raise awareness about the menace and educating people on how to combat this malady. The rehabs for prescription drug abuse treatment are doing a commendable job in treating and helping people tackle the problem.

One of the remedies for prescription drug abuse is to gather relevant information. For example, if you know the most commonly abused prescription drugs available in the market you will be able to prevent others from misusing it, especially when a doctor prescribes those to somebody close to you. The commonly abused prescription drugs broadly fall into three categories:

(a) Opioids, which bring in an ecstatic feeling owing to their pain relieving abilities for short term or chronic pains.

(b) Tranquillizers or depressants, which soothe the central nervous system like a comforting blanket, giving a relaxed and calming effect.

(c) Stimulants which result in a gush of energy and alertness in a person.

Here are some drugs which are generally abused by patients and, at times, their friends or relatives:

  1. Xanax (alprazolam): This is undeniably the most abused prescription drug given to the patients suffering from panic disorder. Because of its immediate effect on the central nervous system, which sedates and relaxes a person, there is rampant misuse of the drug by non-patients also.
  2. Klonopin & Valium: These sedatives instantly relax persons consuming the pills. The highs derived from these drugs are akin to drunkenness so make those immensely popular. These are lethal drugs, often causing blackouts and even deaths in extreme cases.
  3. Oxycodone: Often named as OxyContin, this is an opioid and acts on the central nervous system. It changes the way the brain reacts to pain and is highly popular because of its sedative properties. It gives the desired kick to abusers, who go bonkers after taking it. The drug is also compared to heroin and is a bit dearer, often prompting the addicts to indulge in stealing and other dubious tactics.
  4. Codeine (Purple Drank): It is prescribed to reduce cough and pain, often in conjunction with other drugs. A high consumption of Codeine-based cough syrups gives a sedative effect and alters the levels of consciousness. This is what the addicts look for in Codeine-based drugs.
  5. Amphetamines: These drugs are also referred to as “speed”. Prescribed by doctors for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, it is widely misused by students, shift workers and truck drivers who need to stay awake and alert.
  6. Ritalin: This drug is a stimulant which affects the central nervous system increasing the dopamine level. As it heightens the brain attention, it is prone to become a habit in users leading to gross misuse.
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