Prescription drug addiction is more common than you think. A 2017 survey revealed that nearly 2 million Americans misused prescription drugs.
Some prescription drugs are more addictive than others. Most of them affect the brain rewards system of your brain. This result is a euphoric, or “high” feeling. Over time, you may become dependent on that drug to feel good. Some people might also develop a tolerance to the drug.
Which prescription medication is the most addictive? Keep reading to learn more about addictive prescription drugs.
Why Are Opioids The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs?
You’re probably aware of the opioid crisis. Around 21 percent of people who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
When taken in large quantities, opioids produce a “high” feeling. Opioid misuse may also cause lethargy, dizziness, change in vision, and drowsiness.
There are a few ways to treat opioid addiction. One of them is methadone. What is methadone?
It is a medication that helps reduce the craving for opioids and ease withdrawal symptoms. It’s often used under the supervision of a physician.
Here are a few commonly used opioids:
Oxycontin is a pain reliever that is often prescribed after a surgery or serious injury. When used in high quantities it produces a “high” feeling. It can be ingested orally or injected or snorted. Taking oxycontin in unauthorized doses can lead to addiction and overdose.
Codeine is prescribed to treat mild to moderate pain. It’s also found in prescription cough syrup.
When taken in high doses, codeine cough-syrup can have a sedative effect. It also alters your levels of consciousness. Codeine syrup if oftentimes used for the concoction “purple drank”, “sizzurp”, or “lean”.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is prescribed for acute and chronic pain. It’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and produces feelings of euphoria.
Although this is a prescription drug, it is oftentimes manufactured illegally. In some cases, it is mixed with heroin and cocaine. This combination makes it the deadliest type of opioid. In 2017, the CDC reported that fentanyl was involved in over half of opioid-related deaths.
Meperidine is another synthetic opioid. It’s usually sold under the name Demerol. This drug is used to treat mild to severe pain. Like the other drugs on this list, it produces a euphoric feeling.
Vicodin is an opiate-based pain medication that produces a “high” feeling when abused. It’s often compared to stronger drugs like heroin because both drugs activate the same neuroreceptors in the brain.
This prescription drug can also cause serious withdrawal symptoms like trouble breathing. Vicodin abuse can also cause complications like liver damage or failure.
Are You Affected by Prescription Drug Abuse?
Prescription drug addiction greatly impacts the lives of those abusing them and their loved ones. If you know someone who is misusing addictive prescription drugs, it’s important to get them professional help.
For more on how you can help someone struggling with drug addiction visit www.samhsa.gov.
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