Prescription drugs (such as Xanax bars and Oxycodone) were designed to help people get well, but unfortunately they have become a tool that millions of Americans use to abuse their bodies and destroy their lives.

Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem, especially among the young, who have access to these medications online and in their parents’ medicine cabinets. With prescription drug abuse on the rise in the United States, it is crucial that those who become addicted to prescription drugs have ready access to the right recovery resources.

Why is prescription drug addiction treatment so important?

Individuals, who have a dual diagnosis, or a psychiatric disorder combined with an addictive disorder, are especially vulnerable to prescription drug abuse. Some of the drugs prescribed to reduce anxiety, prevent panic attacks or relieve the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal have a high potential for addiction.

If you or someone you care about has been using prescription drugs without a doctor’s order to relieve the symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or another mental health condition, reaching out for help may prevent the serious consequences of prescription drug abuse, such as:

  • Legal or financial problems
  • Divorce or loss of custody
  • Chemical dependence
  • Accidental injuries
  • Suicide attempts
  • Overdose and death

Specialized treatment facilities for co-occurring disorders offer comprehensive recovery services for mental health disorders and substance abuse. The sooner you get in touch with a qualified Dual Diagnosis treatment center, the greater your chances of reaching your recovery goals.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Individuals use a variety of medications to get high, numb their emotional pain or relieve stress and anxiety. Many of these drugs are originally prescribed for legitimate reasons, including the treatment of anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorders or chronic pain. Several prescription meds stand out in terms of usage and the potential for addiction:


Oxycontin Abuse

Oxycontin is the brand name for oxycodone; Oxycontin is a continuous release formulation of the narcotic drug oxycodone. A powerful opioid painkiller, OxyContin has generated headlines because of its widespread abuse throughout the United States.

The drug has also received publicity because of the number of overdoses associated the medication, which is intended to provide long-term pain relief. When the timed-release coating on these pills is removed and the medication is ground up and snorted, it can easily cause an overdose. The use of alcohol, tranquilizers and other depressants in combination with OxyContin increases the risk of an overdose or death.

Benzodiazepines Abuse

Benzodiazepines like Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam) are among the most widely prescribed tranquilizers in the United States.

They also have a high potential for abuse, as Xanax addiction can pose as serious treat to the person involve. Hence they are usually prescribed on an “as-needed” basis to minimize acute anxiety symptoms, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Taking these central nervous system depressants for more than one or two weeks can quickly lead to dependence and addiction, and taking more than the prescribed dose may cause respiratory depression, coma or death.

Hydrocodone Abuse

Hydrocodone is an opioid pain reliever and cough suppressant that is found in many prescription medications, including the drug Vicodin. The drug is highly addictive and can turn people from all walks of life into criminals who will lie, cheat and steal to get their pills. As one of the most commonly prescribed, affordable pain medications, hydrocodone is also accessible to users of all ages.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that hydrocodone abuse has increased since 2009, and that the medication has become one of the most commonly abused opiates in the country.



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