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Prescription Drug Abuse & Addiction [with infographic]

prescription drugs

Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic. Many people have become addicted to prescription drugs because they are so readily available. Furthermore, the media have recently uncovered the popularity of perscription drug abuse among celebrities.

Prescription drug abuse can and has become a serious problem affecting people of all ages and demographics. However, treatments are available for those who abuse prescription drugs, and addicted individuals should seek medical attention immediately.

Indicators of Prescription Drug Abuse

The most noticeable indication of a prescription drug addiction is that the patient will begin to need more drugs than before. A tolerance for the drug will build up after long term use, creating the need for more and more prescriptions. Someone who is addicted to prescription drugs may suffer from dangerous withdrawals if the prescription is suddenly unavailable.

  • Drug Abuse Screening Questionnaire: The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers a self-help questionnaire for those wondering if their prescription drug use has become a problem.
  • Appropriate Prescription Drug Use: Department of Justice in Montana discusses how prescription drug abuse has become a public safety concern. Includes information about how prescription drug abuse often begins.
  • Prescription Drug Abuse Symptoms: Southern Methodist University website gives detailed list about the symptoms of prescription drug abuse.
  • Prescription Drug Addiction: NYU website explains how prescription drugs affect the mind and can lead to addiction.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is associated with three types of prescription drugs; Opioids, CNS suppressants, and stimulants. Opioid addictions are extremely dangerous and may need methadone treatment to recover from. CNS suppressants are very commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and withdrawal without treatment can be extremely dangerous. Stimulants, such as Adderal, can leave patients with the same withdrawal symptoms as cocaine. Prescription drug abuse is very dangerous and can become a problem very quickly. Using prescription drugs inappropriately can quickly disrupt a patient’s neurological pathways, disrupting the ability to feel pleasure from normal activities. Medical complications can also be extremely dangerous leading to seizures, anxiety, depression, and even death. All drug addictions need to be properly evaluated by a medical professional to avoid complications.

Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse

Teen prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed in only the past few years. Prescription drugs are readily available at school or in the medicine cabinets at their own homes. Parents need to be especially careful with controlled substances and add prescription drug abuse to their discussions about the harmful effects of drugs. Teens are especially vulnerable due to peer pressure and the ease of accessibility in the illegal use of prescription drugs.

The Elderly and Prescription Drug Abuse

Elderly patients are also at risk for prescription drug abuse. Many elderly patients suffer from tremendous pain and have difficulties remembering to take their medications. Developing a system for preventing abuse is essential to ensuring elderly patients do not become addicts. This should include monitoring daily medication intake and refill time periods.

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addictions come in many forms and affect people of all age groups. Teens, the elderly, and sufferers of chronic pain are all susceptible to becoming addicted. Prescription drugs are so readily available and often dispensed too easily. Awareness of this growing epidemic is the only way to prevent more members of society from becoming addicts.

Where to Find Help

Rehab will be necessary for anyone suffering from a prescription drug addiction. Treatment plans need to be determined by professionals and can vary depending on the type of drug abused and the length of time abused. Treatment professionals will assess the situation and determine the appropriate cause of action. Addicts should never attempt to immediately stop using any prescription drugs and should always seek the advice of a physician.

Prescription Drug Abuse in America


Prescription Drug Abuse in America - infographic

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