What Are The Top Prescription Drugs Of Abuse

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    Drug abuse and addiction are no longer primarily problems involving illegal street drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin. The nationwide patterns of drug abuse are shifting to a point where if current trends continue, the number one drug of choice in the United States may soon be a prescription painkiller such as Vicodin or Oxycontin. This startling prediction is made in light of the fact that 22 million Americans began abusing pharmaceutical drugs between 2002 and 2012, and that prescription painkillers are now second only to marijuana throughout the country for the prevalence of drug abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Next to cannabis, the two most commonly abused drugs among high school seniors are Vicodin and the ADHD stimulant drug Adderall.

    One of the greatest contributors to the rapid rise of prescription drug abuse is the fact that many people are simply unaware of the dangers that are involved. Pharmaceutical medication comes from a doctor and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but this does not mean that it isn’t a drug. Many of these medications are included in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule of Controlled Substances on the same levels as traditional street drugs, for the reason that they are similarly dangerous and potentially addictive. The first step in combating the spread of prescription drug abuse is to acquire a basic understanding of what drugs are most commonly used and what their effects are. Not all prescription drugs are susceptible to abuse, after all: nobody is taking cholesterol regulating medications to get high. Arm yourself with information to protect yourself and your loved ones by reading through the following brief summary of the types of prescription drugs which are, according to NIDA, most widely abused:


    There are many drugs which fit into this category, but the two most common are the painkillers hydrocodone, marketed as Vicodin, and oxycodone, which is sold as OxyContin. As the name of the category implies, these drugs are synthetic derivatives of opium, and they are therefore essentially similar to heroin. Oxycontin, in fact, is commonly referred to as hillbilly heroin, due to the fact that it is widely popular in rural areas. Opioids are notoriously addictive, and the withdrawals can be so overpowering that many people are unsuccessful in quitting. The drugs are abused for the feeling of sedation and euphoria, but the user quickly builds up a tolerance and has to take steadily more of the substance to get high. Fatal overdose is common due to the fact that the drug will often depress the function of the respiratory system.


    The most common pharmaceutical stimulants are, paradoxically, prescribed to treat conditions of overstimulation. The ADHD drugs Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta are all becoming increasingly common in schools and universities across the country, and the students who abuse them include both those who have been prescribed the drugs and those who haven’t. Students will often start out with taking more than the recommended dosage in order to achieve stronger effects for studying or for staying up late at night to party, but it doesn’t take long before they discover that by crushing and insulating — commonly referred to as snorting or railing — the pills, it is possible to get a far more powerful high almost immediately. Ritalin and Concerta are both methylphenidate, which is substantially the same in structure and function as cocaine, while Adderall actually is amphetamine. Stimulant drug abuse produces effects such as euphoria and exhilaration, increased focus and greater levels of energy, but it also brings the risk of cardiac complications including heart attack, as well as seizures and stroke. These drugs are also potentially addictive.

    Central Nervous System Depressants

    This category of drugs consists primarily of pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), diazepam (Valium), and  alprazolam (Xanax). Part of their function is to slow down the mechanisms and processes of the brain, which makes them especially dangerous when taken along with alcohol or other medications that cause drowsiness. They can slow the heart and brain down to fatal levels. The common effects of abuse include relaxation and a sense of well-being, as well as feelings of self-superiority and the feeling that nothing is or can be wrong. One of the worst aspects of addiction to these drugs is the fact that the addict experiences a devastating crash from the state of elation when coming back to reality.

    Over the years prescription drugs have become increasingly dangerous, according to Narconon reviews, taking many lives of those who could have been helped with treatment.

    Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/prescription-drugs

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