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19 Dec Types of Prescription Drug Abuse


A 2009 survey on drug use and health found that more than 16 million Americans had taken a prescription drug for a non-medical reason within the past year. This means that more and more people are using prescription medications outside of the supervision of a doctor. Prescription drugs are just as dangerous and harmful to your health as other drugs and are illegal when used without a prescription. The definition of prescription drug abuse is taking drugs that aren’t prescribed for you or taking a higher dose than prescribed or for a different reason than it was prescribed.

There are three main categories of commonly abused prescription drugs. Opioids are used for pain relief for people with chronic conditions or after major medical events like surgery. They are highly addictive and their use should be monitored closely by a medical professional. Abuse of opioids can have serious side effects, similar to those of heroine. These include depressed breathing, drowsiness, constipation and altered personality. Some well-known varieties of opioids include :

Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
Oxymorphone (Opana®)
Propoxyphene (Darvon®)
Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
Meperidine (Demerol®)
Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®)
Central nervous system depressantsare another type of commonly abused prescription drugs. These medications are used for treating conditions like anxiety and sleep disorders. Abuse of depressants can result in drowsiness and a dangerously slow heart and respiration rate. Central nervous system depressants include :

Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal®)
Diazepam (Valium®)
Alprazolam (Xanax®)
The other commonly abused prescription drug category is stimulants. These medications can help people with a myriad of problems including ADHD or narcolepsy. Abuse of stimulants can result in increased heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. They can also cause anxiety and paranoia. Some examples of stimulants are:

Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
Methylphenidate (Ritalin® and Concerta®)
Amphetamines (Adderall®)
Some people view prescription drug abuse as less dangerous than other drugs because these medications are used to help people feel better. The truth is that when these medications are taken in a manner other than how they were prescribed, they can cause just as much damage to your body as illegal drugs. They are also habit-forming so people who abuse them on a continual basis can end up with an addiction that is difficult to break.

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