Prescription drugs have become a leading cause of addiction in the United States. Due to massive over prescribing and off label prescribing practices, these prescription drugs have become widely available on the black market. There are three main categories of addictive prescription drugs. Opioids, which have made the most headlines as of recent, are a leading cause of overdose and addiction. There are two other categories that have made less headlines but have proved to be just as insidious and devastating. The central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates and stimulants such as adderall and Ritalin. You can learn more about stimulant and the withdrawal effects on Crownview Co-Occurring Institute’s page at http://crownviewci.com/blog/addiction/76-stimulant-withdrawal.
Opioids and the abuse of them have become an epidemic in the United States. This class of prescription drugs are in the same family as heroin and are extremely addictive. They are prescribed for short-term and chronic pain but due to over prescribing for years many of the people taking these medications have become addicted. Opioids produce a much sought after euphoric and calming effect. The danger is that these drugs also produce respiratory depression which can lead to death. Opiate overdose has become the leading cause of death in young people in the United States. There are many resources and outlets for treatment if you are struggling with opiate addiction.
The central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines have become a major problem. Due to the indefinite nature of anxiety disorders they have become widely and over prescribed. Benzodiazepines produce a calming anxiety-relieving effect, thus leading to them being widely abused.They are prescribed for anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle relaxation, and alcohol withdrawal. They are highly addictive and when stopped abruptly the withdrawal effects can be fatal. It is debatable that benzodiazepines such as xanax could be the most commonly abused drugs today.
The class of prescription drugs known as stimulants include Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. The use and misuse of these drugs has exploded over the past decade. They are classified as amphetamines and are cousins to the street drug methamphetamine. They are prescribed for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. They produce a euphoric and speedy like effect, with increased focus and a lack of appetite. The main demographic for their abuse has been seen among the student population. Although it is prescribed for ADHD, many people have begun using these stimulants as a “study drug”. Although this class of drug is not physically addictive, it is still a highly addictive drug. These stimulants work by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain, a chemical that helps heighten attention.
If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drug addiction or abuse, it is important to seek help. There are many options for treatment such as counseling, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and detox facilities.