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Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

open bottles signifying commonly abused prescription drugs

Some people are still under the impression that if a doctor has prescribed medication, it is safe to use even without following directions. The widespread abuse of prescription opioids across the United States has proven that this is not true. If you need treatment from a prescription drug rehab center, call Woodland Recovery Center today at 662.222.2989.

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Abusing prescription medications is not the same as being addicted, but it is the first step toward developing a substance use disorder. Taking larger or more frequent doses of a medication than your prescribing doctor instructed is abuse. Buying prescription drugs illegally is also abuse, even if your physician prescribed that medication for you in the past.

Signs that someone may be abusing their medications include:

  • Isolating themselves from friends and family
  • Doctor shopping
  • Frequently “losing” their medications or complaining that someone else has taken them
  • Being irritable and moody
  • Frequently unable to fulfill their school, work, or social obligations
  • Physical symptoms such as slurred speech or being unusually sleepy or overactive

If the abuse continues, it can cause chemical changes in the brain that result in addiction. Once a person has become addicted to a prescription drug, they will most likely need the support of a substance use treatment program to help them recover.

What Are the Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs?

People abuse medications because the drug reacts with the brain’s reward center and stimulates feelings of pleasure or relaxation they can’t find in other ways.

Abuse may begin out of a need to control pain or balance the mood, but as it continues, brain chemicals get out of balance. In time, the brain is no longer able to produce its own chemicals and becomes dependent on the drug to do the job.

The most common prescription drugs that are abused are in the following categories of medication:

  • Opioids such as hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl
  • Anti-anxiety and sedatives such as Nembutal, Ambien, Valium, and Xanax
  • Antidepressants such as Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, and Prozac
  • Stimulants such as Dexedrine, Adderall, Ritalin, and Mydayis

Some medications are prescribed only for short-term use, and others require regular medical check-ups before prescriptions can be renewed. However, all of these medications, and more, can also be purchased illegally. Individuals steal and resell medications or obtain them through fraudulent prescriptions.

Because it has become legalized for prescribed medical use in at least 39 states, some addiction experts project that marijuana will soon be added to the list of most commonly abused prescription drugs.

How Can Substance Use Treatment Help with Addiction to the Most Common Prescription Drugs?

If you have become addicted to one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs, treatment for substance use disorder can save your life. A comprehensive treatment center provides:

  • Medically supervised detox to manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Medication-assisted treatment programs, when appropriate
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment
  • Options for inpatient, outpatient, and intensive outpatient treatment
  • Support for veterans and the LBGTQIA+ community
  • Robust aftercare that includes an alumni program

Recovery is about much more than stopping drug use. It is about finding and healing the causes of prescription drug abuse, finding alternatives for managing chronic conditions, and providing support even after treatment is over.

Woodland Recovery Center Provides Effective Treatment Without Judgment

If you have questions about the most common prescription drugs that are abused or concerns about developing a substance use disorder, the caring staff at Woodland Recovery Center is here to help. Contact Woodland Recovery Center today at 662.222.2989 if you or someone you love needs the professional support of our treatment program.