Prescription medications are different from illicit drugs in that they have legitimate medical purposes. Yet this clear benefit of prescription drugs is also its biggest trap. The fact that the drugs are prescribed for real medical problems does not make them any less addictive than their illicit counterparts. And unfortunately, prescription drug addiction is every bit as real as addictions to alcohol and illegal drugs.
Are you concerned someone you care about is suffering from prescription drug addiction? Are you worried you might have a problem with prescription drugs? If so, MHA is here to help. Our range of services includes full support and treatment for prescription drug abusers and their families. We have the ability and resources to help you overcome and go on to live a life free of prescription drug problems.
Basics of Prescription Drug Addiction
People often make the mistake of assuming that prescription drugs are less addictive than illegal drugs or alcohol. This may be true with more benign drugs such as antivirals and antibiotics, but it is not true for prescription medications that have psychoactive effects. The reality is that any psychoactive substance, regardless of how it is obtained or used, has the potential to become addictive.
In the US, the most commonly abused prescription medications include those in the following categories:
- Sleeping pills
- Weight loss pills
- Anti-depression medication
- Anti-anxiety medication
- ADHD medication.
Some prescription drug addicts start with legitimate prescriptions given to them by their doctors. A patient needing pain medication after surgery is a good example. When patients take their medications in ways that go beyond their doctors’ instructions, tolerance and eventual addiction can be the result.
Others become addicted to prescription drugs without ever legally obtaining a prescription. They either buy the drugs on the street, purchase them online, or steal them. Unfortunately, the black market for prescription medications is now growing at an alarming rate. People use them because they are cheap and easy to get.