Even when legally prescribed, some prescription medications can still be abused. Prescription opioid pain relievers, stimulants, and depressants all have the potential for abuse. Understanding the risks of these medications can help you reach out for help if you find that you’re struggling with substance abuse or addiction.
Some of the Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Among the most commonly abused prescription drugs are barbiturates, benzodiazepines, sleep aids, opioids, and amphetamines. While these might be prescribed for legitimate reasons, they all have a potential for abuse.
Barbiturates are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs on the market. Common barbiturates include:
These are prescribed to patients who have trouble with seizures, insomnia or sleep disorders, and anxiety in some cases. Even at lower doses, barbiturates can be addictive. At high doses, they can lead to trouble breathing. Withdrawal can also be dangerous.
Benzodiazepines include drugs like:
These drugs are a kind of sedative. Their purpose is to slow down the body to encourage reduced anxiety, panic, and sleep issues.
Unfortunately, if they are overused, they can cause physical dependence and addiction. It’s worth mentioning that stopping these medications quickly can lead to serious side effects, some of which may be dangerous.
If you have trouble sleeping, you might receive sleep aids from a medical provider. Prescription sleep aids include drugs like:
These drugs work to help you go to sleep and stay asleep longer, but they can have negative side effects. Over time, some patients become dependent on them, and addiction is likely if they’re not taken as prescribed.
Opioids include many drugs. Some include:
- Xtampza ER
Opioids are prescribed to manage pain. They work by blocking the pain signals in the brain, helping control the severity, and helping patients feel more relaxed and calm. Some people do get a sense of euphoria from them. It’s worth noting that most opioids are Schedule II drugs. Opioids are highly addictive.
Amphetamines include drugs such as:
- Adderall XR
These drugs are most often prescribed to those who have ADHD. However, some people use amphetamines to get high, to stay awake longer, or to lose weight.
Amphetamine use can be dangerous because there is a potential for them to cause an irregular heartbeat or significant increase in the body’s temperature.
What Should You Do If You Think You’re Addicted to a Prescription Medication?
If you take any kind of addictive prescription medication, it’s important to follow the directions on the bottle. Do not take more of the drug than advised, and make sure to take it at the appropriate intervals. Doing this will help reduce the risk of dependency and addiction.
If you believe that you’re forming a tolerance to the drug, which happens when it doesn’t have the same effects that it used to have because your body has gotten used to it, then it’s a good idea to reach out to your medical provider. They may change your prescription or ask you to taper off the medication you’re on to prevent a full-blown addiction or dependency on the prescription drug.
If you or someone you love is already struggling with addiction, then your medical provider may help you start a taper, so you can slowly withdraw from the medication and stop taking it safely.
Contact Georgia Addiction Treatment Center Today
If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with a prescription drug addiction, there is help available. At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, we can help you find a substance abuse treatment program to help you or your loved one stop taking these substances. Call us today at 833.641.0661 or reach out online to learn more about how we can help.