Drug addiction is a serious problem across the globe. Among the worst addictions, prescription drug addictions are growing at an alarming rate. Because the drugs are legal and often prescribed by a doctor, many don’t accurately understand the dangers until it is too late. These are the top ten most abused prescription drugs.
Oxycontin, Oxycodone, or Oxy, stands number one on the list. Doctors prescribe Oxycontin for long term or constant pain expected to last for an extended time period. Highly addictive, even at regular doses, it slows or potentially stops breathing.
Users crush, chew, snort, or inject it to bypass the time release, getting a massive high all at once. As a result, after 2010 the widespread abuse led manufacturers to add a crush-resistant coating. However, users continue to abuse it by removing the coating first. Street cost averages $10 per milligram.
Xanax, or Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine, is used as an anti-anxiety med. When abused, usually with alcohol, it causes blackouts. Detox and withdrawals are dangerous and potentially fatal without medical treatment. In addition, Xanax also causes side effects if taken along with grapefruit juice.
The most recognizable brand name for Hydrocodone mixtures, Vicodin ranks almost as potent as morphine for pain. A semi-synthetic opiate, Vicodin tolerance progresses slower than other opiates, making long-term addiction harder to notice until well established.
Doctors prescribe it for ADHD, sleep disorders, and even for severe cases of depression. Consequently, Adderall is the “study drug” of choice across college campuses and widely prescribed to young adults.
Over time, increased doses become necessary, leading to a list of side effects, including blistering, aggression, numbness, paranoia, and seizures. Overdoses cause delirium, tremors, cardiac arrhythmia, and even coma or death.
While laughable in Spaceballs as the name of the tired, apathetic prince, doctors prescribe Valium for anxiety, alcohol withdrawals, or muscle spasms. Often overprescribed, it lowers inhibitions and as a result, most complications occur with alcohol.
It alters sex drive in abusers, as well as causes suicidal thoughts, seizures, and a host of other side effects. All use causes increased tolerance and the need for higher doses, leading to potential addiction. Any sudden cessation leads to severe detox and even seizures in heavy users.