When you think about drug abuse problems, you probably think about heroin, PCP, methamphetamines, and a variety of other illegal drugs. However, prescription drug abuse is more of a problem in the U.S. than illegal drug use because of the availability of prescription drugs. So, what is the most-abused prescription drug types?
The Most-Abused Prescription Drug Types
According to National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the results of the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that an estimated “2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,600 initiates per day.” We define prescription drug abuse as using a prescription drug without a prescription. It can also look like not following doctor instructions for use, or for just the experiences or feelings associated with the drug. The three most-abused prescription drug types include:
- Central nervous system (CNS) depressants
With each drug type, we’re going to list:
- What the use of the drugs are
- Examples of the drugs you’re familiar with
- Consequences of abusing these drugs
What these are used for: To treat pain, especially after a surgery Examples: Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Kadian, Avinza Consequences of abuse: Taking opioids in one large dose can lead to severe respiratory depression and death. Moreover, regular abuse of opioids can lead to physical dependence, and in many cases, addiction. Withdrawal symptoms of opioids include:
- muscle and bone pain
- insomnia diarrheavomiting
- cold flashes with goose bumps
- involuntary leg movements
What these are used for: To treat anxiety and sleep disorders Examples: Xanax, Lunesta, Ambien, Sonata, Valium. Consequences of abuse: Continued abuse of CNS depressants leads to physical dependence and withdrawal when abruptly stopped. Since CNS depressants work by slowing brain activity, if you stop taking them after long periods of use, there will be a rebound effect which can lead to seizures and other harmful consequences.
What these are used for: Usually to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by increasing alertness, attention and energy. Examples: Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta. Consequences of abuse: Continued abuse of stimulants can lead to feelings of hostility, paranoia or even psychosis. This is a loss of contact with reality that usually includes delusions and hallucinations. Abusing high doses of a stimulant can lead to a dangerously high body temperature and an irregular heartbeat. There’s also a potential for seizures or cardiovascular failure.
Find Prescription Drug Addiction Recovery with Gallus Detox Centers
As you can see, illicit or illegal drugs are not the only drug problems in the United States. Moreover, these prescription drugs are often abused and this abuse leads to addiction, permanent injury and, in some cases, death. But, if you or anyone you know has become addicted or physically dependent on prescription drugs, Gallus Detox can help. Our addiction detox programs include: