Prescription drug abuse is something that has been haunting our nation’s people for decades. For almost 30 years, people in our country have been dying of opioid overdoses. And, much of the people who have overdosed on opioids and other drugs started their journey of addiction with prescription medication. Sadly, some of these people who’ve died as the result of prescription drug addiction didn’t find their first addictive substance on the street. Rather, they found it at their local pharmacy. Others may have moved on to prescription medications when their drug of choice wasn’t available. In either case, death by prescription medication abuse is avoidable through treatment, if individuals are willing to get the help they need.
If you think that a loved one is struggling with a dependency on addictive prescriptions, it’s vital that you learn more so that you can get your loved one the help she needs. So, educate yourself further on some of the most common medications that can result in prescription drug abuse.
Prescription Pain Medications – Opioids
One of the most abused classifications of prescription drugs is opioids. Prescription opioids help people with pain, whether due to chronic illness or injury. Essentially, opioids are synthetic substances that mirror similar effects of opiates, which are natural substances of similar chemical makeup. But, since each opioid is synthetic, there are multiple variations and a number of available prescription opioids on the market today. Some of these addictive medications include:
Oxycodone: Otherwise known as a popular oxycodone prescription, oxycontin, this opioid evokes sedation. It’s a synthetic that mirrors the effects of opium. And, is in the same conversations as the brand name medication, Percocet. Percocet is a combination of two medications; oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is one of the most commonly prescribed painkillers for pain.
Codeine: This opioid is a common medication helpful in treating cold and flu pain. Specifically, it’s in prescription cough syrups to repress pain and help induce sleep. As a street drug, it’s usually mixed with other beverages to create a liquid, opioid cocktail.
Fentanyl: One of the most dangerous and highly potent opioids, fentanyl has gained a lot of attention in the past few years. Because of its high potency, overdose is a common occurrence in those who use this drug without being under medical supervision. As far as prescription medication, it usually only has a place patients in severe cases of pain. And, is commonly offered in slow-release applications to avoid overdoses like lollipops and skin patches.
Prescription ADHD and ADD Medications – Stimulants
Stimulants are known for their ability to make those who use them feel more focused and energized. While this classification of drugs includes common street narcotics like cocaine, it also includes certain prescription medications, which are helpful in treating individuals with various health issues. Some of these medications include:
Amphetamine: This drug is notorious for its highest-selling brand name, Adderall. It’s a prescription medication for ADD and ADHD patients. It helps balance brain chemicals that associate with the symptoms of these disorders. But, unfortunately, it’s a very popular drug for misuse by those who don’t have ADD or ADHD too. This is because it’s commonly misused by people to stay awake or focused, like by truck drivers who drive through the night and college students who study for hours on end.
Methylphenidate: Generally referenced as Ritalin, the most popular brand name of this substance, methylphenidate is another ADHD medication. It’s similar to amphetamine, but it’s also helpful in a number of other medical cases. For example, individuals living with cancer, depression, narcolepsy, brain injuries, and chronic pain.
Mental Health Prescriptions – Central Nervous System Depressants
Benzodiazepines, or prescription medications that are central nervous systems depressants, are some of the most deadly prescription drugs out there. There are a number of different brand names that are benzodiazepines, or “benzos”, their name on the streets. For example, Klonopin, Xanax, and Valium. While each of these medications may have varying levels of side effects, they’re all typically helpful to individuals living with mood disorders. Specifically, anxiety or panic disorders. But, when used outside of prescription guidance, these drugs can lead to severe overdose and death.
Help for Women Struggling with Prescription Drug Abuse
No one ever plans to live with an addiction to prescription medication, regardless of whether they have a prescription for these medications or not. No matter the prescription medication you or a loved one may be abusing, there is help available. And, hope for a future that doesn’t involve prescription drug abuse.
Learn about Willow Place for Women’s outpatient substance abuse programs right from our website. Or, call us for a confidential conversation today at 1-888-651-4212.