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When used as prescribed, prescription drugs are useful in combating pain caused by various diseases. However, the trend is toward abuse. In 2010, 7 million people in the United States reportedly had used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the previous year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The number of people who had used prescription drugs in the previous year for non-medical purposes was even more staggering – 16 million.

Many teens are finding it easy to obtain prescription drugs. In many cases, all they have to do is look in their own cabinets. Many also obtain them from their friends.

Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Which drugs are the most addictive? The ones that fall into the categories of stimulants, depressants and opioids. Stimulants include amphetamines such as Adderall, a drug used for ADHD patients. According to a June 2010 article from the Huffington Post, Adderall is a drug commonly abused by college students. It is estimated that close to 30 percent of college students abuse the drug. It can be used several ways, including swallowing, injecting, snorting and “stuffing,” which involves putting the pill into a mucous membrane in the body. There are many negative consequences of using Adderall, including serious side effects, possible addiction and trouble with the law (it is considered a felony to possess the drug for non-medical purposes).

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are other stimulants that are highly addictive. These include Dexedrine, Concerta and Ritalin. When one abuses these drugs, they get a high that includes mental alertness, increased energy and euphoria. However, after the high wears off, there are numerous negative effects to one’s health. These include increases in blood pressure and heart rate, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia, weight loss, stroke, seizures and heart attack. An overdose can result in unconsciousness or even death.

Depressants include barbiturates such as phenobarbital, benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium, and sleep medications such as Lunesta. Although many of these drugs cause drowsiness and sedation, they can also reduce anxiety and increase one’s sense of well-being. Barbiturates can cause excitement and euphoria.

Opioids are also highly addictive prescription drugs. Opioids include a long list of popular painkillers, including codeine, morphine, methadone, fentanyl, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and Demerol. These drugs are commonly abused because they provide pain relief and can cause euphoria. They are also very potent.

*Common Effects of Prescription Drugs

Many people abuse prescription drugs to get a high. But when the high wears off, the person is left with many physical effects that can be life-threatening. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, they include the following:

  • Increased/decreased heart rate and blood pressure (depending on the drug)
  • Respiratory problems
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Paranoia
  • Unconsciousness/coma
  • Risk of death when used with alcohol

Finding Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Facilities

You may already know that there are treatment facilities to help those with illicit drug and alcohol addictions. The same goes for those addicted to prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse is becoming an epidemic in many areas across the country. There are many options for help if you are willing to admit you have a problem. Stop living in denial and give us a call today. We can help you find the best luxury inpatient and outpatient recovery programs in your area.  Make that call now to start living without addiction.

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