In America roughly 20% of people who take prescription drugs have admitted abusing or misusing these substances in some way. This misuse and abuse can include:
- Taking more of a medication that what was prescribed
- Taking prescribed medication when it is not really needed
- Taking a prescription drug that was not prescribed for the individual
- Buying prescription drugs on the street
- Trading these drugs for other ones that are illegal
- Taking a prescription drug in order to get high or experience a feeling of euphoria
Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the USA, one that affects the entire nation. Parents may take their child’s ADD or ADHD medicine for the stimulant effect, and individuals often engage in doctor shopping and will visit numerous doctors in an attempt to get as much of the desired prescription medication as possible. Many view this class of drugs differently than illegal street drugs or alcohol but the truth is that these medicines can be just as dangerous and deadly as any other substance when it is not used properly and according to the directions given by the prescribing physician.
Which prescription medications are abused most frequently? Narcotic painkillers are often abused, and this can quickly lead to addiction even with short time use. This category includes Vicodin, morphine, and other drugs intended to treat moderate to severe pain. Sedatives are another class of drugs that are commonly abused and this includes tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Stimulants are also a favorite for those who abuse drugs and alcohol because they provide a burst of energy.