Prescription Drug Abuse: An Epidemic of Epic Proportions


DrugPrescription drug abuse results in severe medical complications, or worse, death. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), in 2009, an estimated 1.2 million emergency room visits were associated with nonmedical prescription drug use. Further, it is reported that prescription drug abuse led to more fatalities each year than those caused by heroin or cocaine abuse. Because of this, it is considered the number one accidental cause of death in the U.S., followed by vehicular accidents.

The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug intake is supposed to be under the care of a doctor where medication is taken as instructed, in carefully monitored doses, and only for a specific duration. Prescription drug abuse Utah recovery centers deal with, on the other hand, happens when you take medication without a doctor’s supervision — over and over again regardless of the potential risks.

In general, the following are the most commonly abused prescription medication:

  • Stimulants – Used for increasing alertness and energy, but can likewise increase breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.
  • Depressants – Use for slowing down or relaxing brain function. These generally include tranquilizers and sedatives.
  • Antidepressants – These are psychiatric drugs for managing depression.
  • Morphine and Opioids Derivatives – These are painkillers that contain substances similar to opium.
Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

When you are addicted to prescription drugs, you have a compulsive need to take more and more of your drug of choice once your “high” passes. Because the main source of prescription medication is doctors, abusers or addicts become proficient in finding doctors willing to write prescriptions for them. This is a problem for doctors since it makes it hard for them to determine whether a patient is really sick or just pretending to get a prescription for their drug of choice.

Fortunately, prescription drug abuse is treatable, much like how other drug addictions are treated. Users can go into a drug rehabilitation facility and start their journey towards a drug-free life.