Prescription drug abuse is a significant health crisis that has reached epidemic proportions. It is estimated that 16 million Americans over the age of 12 abuse prescription medications yearly. Of those who abuse prescriptions, 2 million are addicted to these medications. Sadly, many people are losing their lives to prescription drug abuse. According to data provided by the CDC, drug overdose deaths topped the 100,000 mark in 2021. Of those deaths, three quarters were attributed to opioid overdoses.
The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious matter that can have life-threatening consequences. This article explains why prescription drug abuse is common and what prescription drugs are most commonly abused. Most importantly, you will learn where you can get help for prescription drug abuse and addiction.
Why is Prescription Drug Abuse Common?
Many people who take prescription medications feel that because they are prescribed by a doctor, they are safe. While these medications are very effective as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, they are extremely powerful and have a high addiction potential. Without close medical supervision, people can become easily hooked on prescription medications—and their effects can be devastating for the user.
People can become addicted to medications for a variety of reasons. For example, people may abuse prescription painkillers because they help them feel relaxed or high, and it helps relieve any nagging aches or pains. People may abuse tranquilizer medications because it helps them fall asleep, relieves tension, or may help in coping with their emotions. Those who misuse stimulants may do so because it helps them stay alert and extremely focused for work or school, or they do so to get high.
Overall, the risk of prescription drug abuse has increased because there are more ways for people to get these medications. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of online pharmacies where people can place orders. People will also go to multiple doctors to get prescriptions, or they may have the ability to obtain these medications on the street or black market. Additionally, people seeking prescription medications may resort to stealing a family member or friend’s medications from their medicine cabinet.
What Prescription Drugs are Most Commonly Abused?
When it comes to the most commonly abused prescription drugs, there are numerous prescriptions that come to mind. The following are the most commonly abused prescription drugs:
One class of prescription drugs that are commonly abused are amphetamines. These stimulant drugs are most often used to treat those with ADHD and include Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin. These drugs can cause high blood pressure, seizures, strokes, and even hallucinations when misused.
Perhaps the most known group of prescription drugs that are commonly abused are prescription painkillers. These include Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, and Percodan. These opioid painkillers are used after surgical procedures and can be helpful for people dealing with cancer. When abused, painkillers cause nausea, low blood pressure, confusion, and can even result in coma.
Commonly known as benzos, this family of drugs are central nervous system depressants used in anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Vallum. The side effects of misuse include dizziness, impaired coordination, and memory problems. Benzos are often used with alcohol, and this combination increases the risk of breathing problems and can cause the heart to stop.
Prescription cough medicines contain powerful opiates such as codeine as well as powerful antihistamines. Over-the-counter cough medicines contain the stimulant dextromethorphan, and misuse can lead to nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, and paranoia.
How to Find Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment Near Me
Prescription medication addiction can have absolutely devastating effects on your life and those you love. If you are fighting a losing battle with prescription addiction, you need immediate professional help. With all the treatment options that are available to you, you may feel anxious and unsure what facility has the programs you need to overcome your addiction. Water Gap Wellness is your first choice if you are looking for drug treatment in the Tri-State area.
Our premier facility offers detox services, aftercare, and outpatient treatment programs that are evidence-based and customizable to meet your specific needs. Our experienced staff will provide you with the tools and support you need to address and overcome your addiction to prescription medications. Call us today and find lasting health, happiness, and recovery.