There is little question that prescription drug use is on the rise in the United States. The rapid increase in the number of hospitalizations and and deaths related to prescription drug use and abuse has led many parents, doctors, and law enforcement agents to search for possible ways in which the tide of prescription drug addiction can be stemmed. People of all ages and backgrounds may become addicted to prescription drugs, and there are a number of different types of drugs that a person may become dependent on. Here is a list of four of the most commonly abused prescription drugs today.
- Oxycontin Oxycontin has long held its nefarious place as the most abused prescription drug by people of any demographic. Oxycontin is a highly dangerous and addictive opioid that is only intended for patients with severe pain that requires a drug that lasts a very long time. Part of the reason that oxycontin is so addictive is that it is derived from the same substance as heroin. In fact, many heroin users may use the drug when they cannot find heroin itself, and many people who are addicted to oxycontin may go on to be addicted to heroin. Oxycontin abuse is tied to severe damage to the liver, kidneys, and stomach, and it is possible for a person to die of an oxycontin overdose or from complications related to mixing this drug with others.
- Concerta Intended as a drug for patients with Attention Deficit Disorder, Concerta is a stimulant. Many people may abuse Concerta because of the fact that it allows one to stay up for long periods of time and, during its peak effects, can give the user feelings of euphoria and intense focus. Concerta is frequently abused by students, who may use the drug to binge study, and other individuals who are seeking to stay awake for prolonged periods of time. Concerta can cause extreme mood swings, periods of major depression or instability, and may cause cardiovascular damage or irregular heart beat in some users.
- Ambien Ambien is a drug that is manufactured and prescribed to treat insomnia, but doctors and physicians are advised to use extreme caution when prescribing the drug because of the fact that it can be very habit forming and can cause rather unpredictable behavior in users. Ambien is frequently used and abused recreationally by individuals who are seeking the sometimes hallucinatory or euphoric effects of the drug. Ambien is intended to be taken immediately before going to sleep, and it is very dangerous for a person to be awake while under the influence of Ambien because of the fact that the drug can cause very unpredictable actions. Often, a person who has taken Ambien, even as directed, may experience side effects like sleep walking, and it is very dangerous to mix other depressants like alcohol with this drug.
- Xanax The depressant Xanax is prescribed to treat psychiatric conditions like anxiety. Xanax is a highly addictive sedative that may induce in users a sense of euphoria or calm during its peak effects. Xanax is a very strong sedative, so it becomes even more dangerous when it is taken in large quantities or alongside other recreational illicit drugs. Xanax is very habit forming and is very frequently sold on the black market. Xanax can cause major damage to the liver and also puts a user at risk for jeopardizing their cardiovascular system.
A person can be addicted to prescription drugs even if they have a valid prescription. In fact, many prescription drug addicts seek out doctors or pharmacists who will enable their addiction unwittingly.