Mind Your Meds: 5 of the Most Addictive Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs have eliminated many of the world’s worst diseases. They allow us to recover from surgery and live longer and healthier lives than the generations before us.
However, many of the most popular prescription drugs also have some destructive side effects. Many drugs that doctors prescribe to address common mental and physical problems can become seriously addictive if taken too frequently, or without proper medical supervision.
Here are five prescription drugs that may lead to addiction if they are prescribed or taken outside of recommended limits.
One of the most addictive prescription drugs on the market today is Xanax. This is the brand name for alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers.
Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. It is commonly given to patients to treat anxiety or panic disorders, and it can be very effective when taken as prescribed.
However, Xanax is frequently abused. There have been reports of an increasing number of overdoses and deaths related to Xanax, often when used with alcohol.
Xanax and other “benzos” can be very hard to stop taking and may require medical supervision during the withdrawal. For more information, you can learn more here.
Oxycodone is one of the most addictive painkillers available. It is the active ingredient in such frequently prescribed medications as Percocet and Oxycontin.
“Oxy” is extremely effective in managing pain, which is why doctors often prescribe it after surgery or traumatic accidents.
These meds are known as narcotics or opioids. The country is currently in the throes of an opioid epidemic, with approximately half a million people dying from opioid overdoses in the last twenty years. Many heroin addicts began their addiction to opioids with a prescription to Oxycodone.
Klonopin is another benzo or sedative that has been known to become highly addictive. It is usually prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.
Even small amounts can cause someone to become addicted if they take this drug over an extended period of time, even under a doctor’s supervision.
Adderall is a stimulant commonly prescribed to young people diagnosed with ADHD. It impacts the brain’s serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels to reduce overstimulation and improve concentration.
This is why many people call it the smart drug and take it while studying for exams or to lose weight.
However, Adderall is an amphetamine that is categorized by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule II controlled substance. This categorization means the risk of addiction or potential for abuse is high.
Seconal is a barbiturate, another prescription drug that is often abused and can become addictive. It’s used as a sedative, often before surgery to relax.
Like other barbituates like Tuinol and Phenobarbital, people often abuse these sleep aids. The pills are especially risky when used with alcohol. This combination has caused the deaths of many people including celebrities like Marilyn Monroe.
Popular Prescription Drugs: Always Talk to Your Doctor
Popular prescription drugs can often lead to crippling addiction if they are abused. Unfortunately, even people under a doctor’s care may find themselves becoming overly dependent on these powerful chemicals.
If you suspect that you or someone you love is becoming addicted to prescription drugs, there is help available. Contact a substance abuse counselor or clinic in your area.
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