What prescription drugs do people become addicted to?

Prescription drugs are medications that, when used according to the instructions of a medical professional, can effectively treat illnesses, conditions and chronic pain. Unfortunately, some prescription drugs are highly addictive, either because of their primary effects or their side effects. Dependence on these medications can develop either from extended medical use, or from use that has not been recommended by a doctor.

The classes of prescription drugs that people tend to become addicted to include the following:

Pain medication: Opioids such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone are highly effective pain relievers that also produce a feeling of euphoria.
Sedatives: Medications that are prescribed for anxiety and insomnia have calming effects that are appealing to users. Examples include Xanax, Valium, Nembutal and Lunesta.
Stimulants: Amphetamines that are used to treat ADHD, narcolepsy and similar conditions generate a sense of euphoria, alertness and confidence.

What are the dangers of prescription drug abuse?

Many people believe that because prescription drugs are safe for medical use, they are not harmful. This is a fallacy: prescription drugs can be dangerous when used for non-medical purposes, for several reasons that include the following:

Drugs that are safe for short-term use can cause harm when used for an extended period of time
People who are addicted to prescription drugs generally take doses that are higher than what is recommended
Medications can have unpredictable effects when used in conjunction with other substances, such as alcohol or prescription drugs that are being used for legitimate medical purposes
Some prescription drug abusers use medications that are prescribed for other people, and this can result in allergic reactions and other adverse effects

How do I know if I or a loved one has a prescription drug addiction?

If you started out by using a prescription drug for medical reasons, it can be hard to tell whether you have crossed the line into addiction. This is especially the case for medications designed for long-term use, such as those that treat conditions like ADHD or anxiety.

If you are wondering whether you or someone you care about has a problem, consider the following questions:

Am I using the medication as prescribed, or am I taking higher doses than stipulated on the bottle or box?
Am I making frequent visits to the doctor to get refills?
Is the medication I am taking prescribed for me, or for someone else?
Have I been visiting multiple doctors in order to get multiple prescriptions?
Have I tried to forge prescriptions?
Am I showing the signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse, such as mood swings, irrational behaviour, changes to sleeping patterns and increased consumption of alcohol?

How can I get help?

Many people who are addicted to prescription drugs believe they can simply stop taking them, but the easy availability creates a high risk of relapse. Inspire Change Wellness Addiction Treatment Centre for Men offers prescription drugs treatment in Vancouver, for men who want to embark on a path to a more positive, productive life.

Call us today for more information.

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