Prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed in the United States over the last several years. In fact, nonmedical use of prescription medications has become so popular in America that people are coming up with unique ways such as requesting the doctor for medicine refills or calling to increase the number of medications. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 183,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids between 1999 and 2015. However, most cases of prescription drug abuse go unnoticed due to the legality of such drugs.
The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioids, stimulants and tranquilizers. Here are some of the most addictive prescription drugs and their effects on the human body:
1. OxyContin: Oxycodone, or OxyContin, is a highly addictive drug that can change the functioning of the brain, triggering a euphoric tendency. It has associative properties of heroin and causes a sedative effect.
2. Amphetamines: Amphetamines, or speed, sold under the brand name Adderall, are prescribed for mental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. The performance-enhancing drug is often misused for its energizing properties by certain groups of people, such as those in the military forces, students or shift workers, who are required to maintain high energy levels and concentration.
3. Vicodin: It is a serious narcotic medicine that is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. Acetaminophen, which is a component of Vicodin, can cause liver problems, even at fairly low dosages. Snorting Vicodin can cause a euphoric effect, but when dissolved in water or injected, it can increase the risk of overdose.
4. Xanax: The drug is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, but is associated with serious life-threatening complications. It is advisable not to use Xanax during pregnancy as it may cause birth defects and may also cause severe harm to the fetus. Drinking alcohol while taking Xanax can increase the effects of alcohol. Like any other antidepressant or anxiolytic, Xanax too, has several side effects such as increased energy, depressed mood, drowsiness, concentration issues, tremor, agitations, etc.
5. Fentanyl: It is an opioid medicine, commonly used as an anesthesia during a medical procedure or surgery. Since narcotic medicines can interact with fentanyl and can cause dangerous side effects and syndromes such as serotonin syndrome, it is important to let the physician know beforehand about any previous illnesses and medications. Like other narcotic medicines, even fentanyl can cause an array of side effects such as increased heart rate, vision problems, dizziness, vomiting, etc.
6. Demerol: It is a narcotic drug used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. The drug should be used as per prescription and should not be shared, abused or misused as it can cause addiction, overdose or even death. Demerol should not be consumed by asthmatic people, or those with breathing problems, as it may slow down the breathing process.
7. Codeine: This opioid is often combined with other medications to suppress pain and coughing. Codeine or purple drank should not be consumed by an infant as it may cause severe drowsiness, slow down breathing, and can even cause death.
Recovery road map
An addiction to prescription drugs can be both short term and long term. While the short-term effects include exhaustion, apathy and depression, the most dangerous long-term consequences can be major health impacts.
If you know someone who is suffering from prescription drug addiction, contact the Prescription Drug Addiction Help to seek guidance and information about the prescription drug abuse treatment centers in the U.S. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-623-3847 or chat online to know about the best drug abuse treatment centers in the vicinity.