Addiction to Prescription & OTC Drugs

Prescription drugs that are abused or used for nonmedical reasons can alter brain activity and lead to dependence. Misuse of prescription drugs means taking medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain; or taking a medication to feel euphoria (i.e., to get high). The term nonmedical use of prescription drugs also refers to these categories of misuse.

Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include:

  • opioids (often prescribed to treat pain)
  • central nervous system depressants (often prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders)
  • stimulants (prescribed to treat narcolepsy, ADHD, and obesity)

Commonly used opioids include:

  • oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • propoxyphene (Darvon)
  • hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • meperidine (Demerol)
  • diphenoxylate (Lomotil)

Common central nervous system depressants include barbiturates such as pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal) and benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax).

Stimulants include:

  • dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and
  • methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Long-term use of opioids or central nervous system depressants can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Taken in high doses, stimulants can lead to compulsive use, paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures, and irregular heartbeat.

Over-the-Counter Drugs

Some people mistakenly think that prescription drugs are more powerful because you need a prescription for them. But it’s possible to abuse or become addicted to over-the-counter (OTC) medications, too.

For example, dextromethorphan (DXM) is found in some OTC cough medicines. When someone takes the number of teaspoons or tablets that are recommended, everything is fine. But high doses can cause problems with the senses (especially vision and hearing) and can lead to confusion, stomach pain, numbness, and even hallucinations.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

Florida Center for Recovery provides Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment offering all-inclusive Inpatient Medical detox and rehab. Our program includes intensive family therapy, chronic relapse program, and trauma therapy through Rapid Resolution Therapy, for those who need it. In addition, we offer addiction treatment for pregnant women.

If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug addiction and would like to explore treatment options, feel free to give us a call at (800) 851-3291 or visit our addiction treatment programs’ page for a better insight about or rehab programs.

You can also visit our reviews’ page.

Florida Center For Recovery
Offering Comprehensive, Reliable and Affordable Addiction Treatment Programs since 2002.

National Institute on Drug Abuse, Prescription Drugs: Abuse and Addiction, August 2005
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Press Release dated Feb. 20, 2007

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