According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens who are educated about the abuse potential of prescription drugs have only half the rates of drug abuse as those whose parents do not discuss the issue. Prescription drug abuse is not just a problem for teens, as the CDC states in early 2012 that it has become an epidemic that encompasses people from all socioeconomic classes and walks of life. Understanding what addictive prescription drugs have the highest rates of addiction can help you make more informed choices about your healthcare and that of your children.
Addictive Prescription Drugs
This opiate-based painkiller is often doled out to those suffering from chronic pain or those who are recovering from surgery or an injury. Sadly, the euphoric effect of the drug and the near-total pain control it gives to some users can lead to an abusive dependence quite quickly. Vicodin is also known for its withdrawal symptoms, which can include sweating, shaking, vomiting, sleep disturbances and irritability. As a person spirals into addiction, they may resort to crushing the pills and snorting the powder or even mixing it with water and injecting it directly into the bloodstream.
This painkiller is very similar to Vicodin and carries all of the same nasty withdrawal symptoms. Often called ‘Hillbilly Heroin,’ OxyContin is often prescribed in a time-release formula. For those looking for a quick high, overdosing is quite simple as the tablet’s release into the bloodstream slowly enough that the addict will not vomit. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believes OxyContin overdosing was responsible for over 464 deaths in just a two-year span.
This drug is prescribed in order to help children manage the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). However, it is considered to be a good substitute for cocaine by many addicts and can cause death when snorted or injected. This drug has a deleterious effect on blood pressure when abused, causing the pressure to soar or drop unpredictably. Ritalin has also been known to cause psychotic episodes in abusers, which can lead to deadly violence or other risk-taking behaviors.
Adderall is prescribed and dispensed under the generic name Mixed Amphetamine Salts, which gives users a better idea as to the true nature of the drug. Amphetamines, in general, give the user energy and the ability to stay awake for long periods of time. While this is great for those taking their correct dosage to combat narcolepsy or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), it can prove quite dangerous when used as recreational. College students trying to pull all-night study sessions have dotted news reports for abusing Adderall, sometimes with horrific consequences. A report in the Huffington Post claims that 20 to 30 percent of college students regularly abuse Adderall, and the consequences have ranged from psychotic breaks to violent outbursts to death.
Found in many prescription cough suppressants, DXM can cause respiratory failure if abused, as well as high blood pressure, nausea, confusion and paranoia. Once found in common, over-the-counter remedies, this drug is now restricted because it was easy to abuse. Children especially are vulnerable to the dazed high it provides, which is called ‘robotripping’ in popular slang.
Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem. Knowing which drugs are the most commonly abused and which ones are the most addictive prescription drugs can help you make good decisions for yourself and your children concerning healthcare. If you think you or a loved one may be addicted to or abusing prescription medication, do not hesitate to seek inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment offers addicts a safe place to rest and recover from drug abuse, all while under the care of a qualified medical staff. Your health is your most important asset, so don’t delay treatment if you need help getting off of addictive prescription drugs.