The Most Abused Prescription Medication

The rate of prescription medication abuse and addiction has greatly increased in the last 15 years. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA, states that in 2017, at least 18 million people had abused prescription medication. The reason for the increase is predominantly in ease of access. The most commonly abused prescription medications include opioids that are prescribed for pain, central nervous depressants prescribed for anxiety-related disorders, along with stimulants which are used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 “The three classes of medication most commonly misused are: opioids—usually prescribed to treat pain, central nervous system [CNS] depressants (this category includes tranquilizers, sedatives, and hypnotics)—used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, stimulants—most often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)…In 2017, an estimated 18 million people misused such medications at least once in the past year…The reasons for the high prevalence of prescription drug misuse vary by age, gender, and other factors, but likely include ease of access…Moreover, misinformation about the addictive properties of prescription opioids and the perception that prescription drugs are less harmful than illicit drugs are other possible contributors to the problem. Although misuse of prescription drugs affects many Americans, certain populations such as youth and older adults may be at particular risk.” (NIDA)

Generally, the drugs that offer a strong euphoric rush when taken in large doses are commonly abused. Addicts like to get their hands on drugs that are easy to obtain and abuse. As the addiction epidemic continues to ravage the country, the situation is dire in many areas. For those that are addicted to drugs and can’t stop using, an addiction treatment program is the best solution to get help.

Most abused medication

What are the Most Abused Medications?

Some of the most abused medications are opioids, CNS depressants, and stimulants. They all fall into the category of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States. To identify if you or your loved one is abusing opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Fentanyl, Norco, Percocet or other opiate pain killers, check for these signs and symptoms of opioid abuse and addiction:

  • Constipation, Nausea, Feeling high (euphoria), Slowed breathing rate, Drowsiness, Confusion, Poor coordination, Increasing the dose required for pain relief, Worsening or increased sensitivity to pain with higher doses (hyperalgesia)

To identify abuse or addiction of CNS depressants such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, or Ambien, the Mayo Clinic lists the following:

  • Drowsiness, Confusion, Unsteady walking, Slurred speech, Poor concentration, Dizziness, Problems with memory, Slowed breathing

When a person is abusing or is addicted to a stimulant prescription drug, the signs, and symptoms of abuse include:

  • Increased alertness, Feeling high, Irregular heartbeat, High blood pressure, High body temperature, Reduced appetite, Insomnia, Agitation, Anxiety, and Paranoia

The fact that you or your family member is abusing prescription medication suggests that there is more than likely the presence of an addiction and substance abuse treatment is recommended. Whether you or your family member or friend is addicted to opioids, CNS depressants, or stimulants, there are specific treatment programs that can end the abuse or addiction for good.

Getting Help With Addiction

The types of treatment programs that are available for a person who is addicted to prescription opioid medications are programs that specifically address opioid addiction. Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment (MAT) utilizes methods for treating opioid abuse and addiction. Millions of people are recovering from their addiction to opioids with the help of MAT programs. Without these medication driven programs, the relapse rates would be much greater.

For people that have become addicted to CNS depressants, most commonly Xanax, and other benzodiazepines prescription drugs, the most successful type of treatment for this addiction is comprehensive and personalized drug addiction treatment. This treatment program utilizes specific types of therapy aimed at treatment persons who suffer from anxiety, and depression and utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and individualized addiction therapy. MAT’s are also recommended for this type of addiction.

Stimulant abuse and addiction also require very specific types of treatment and therapy. It is recommended that people who are addicted to stimulants receive professional substance abuse treatment that includes one on one counseling, group therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and participate in 12 step programs.

Prescription medication abuse and addiction are treatable conditions that can be healed with the right treatment approach. Getting help as soon as possible is the first and most important step. Speak to one of our addiction recovery representatives, and they will guide you on what to do next to help yourself or your loved one. It’s time to end the struggle with prescription medication abuse for good.