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Which Three Classes of Prescription Drugs are Most Commonly Abused?

Many people with prescriptions ask: which three classes of prescription drugs are most commonly abused? This includes depressants, stimulants, and opioids. 

 

If you or someone close to you has abused prescription drugs, it might be time to get help. Thankfully, treatment is available no matter which of these three types of prescription drugs you have struggled with.

 

Why is Prescription Drug Abuse Common?

Prescription drug abuse is common for many reasons. Firstly, people are given prescriptions for highly addictive substances that alter their brain chemistry, change the release of hormones from the reward center, or shut down pain signals. People might readily accept a prescription without recognizing the significant risk of addiction that comes with it. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of supervision or monitoring for drug addiction after a prescription has been given. The more often you take pills from a prescription, and the more often you get prescriptions, the worse this addiction can become, even if you don’t intend it.

Genetics

Another factor influencing why prescription drug abuse is so common is a genetic predisposition. Some people are genetically predisposed to addiction, and they don’t know it. So, they get a prescription for a legitimate health reason and find that they struggle with addiction within a few weeks.

Addiction History

Other individuals have previous drug addictions that have changed their neurological makeup. Previous struggles with addiction might place you at a much higher risk of addiction should you receive a prescription down the line, even if you don’t know it.

Mental Health

People who have undiagnosed mental health issues like depression or anxiety might find that their prescription drugs help numb the pain or block the symptoms of those undiagnosed conditions. So, they turn to the prescription long after it is medically required for its original intent because it works so well on secondary problems.

Ease of Access

Prescription drugs are easily accessible by other members of the family. Prescription drug abuse is increasingly common among young adults who can access their parents’ medicine cabinets. Getting ahold of prescription drugs from the bathroom is easier than finding drugs on the street.

 

Facts about abused prescription drugs:

  • Over 5 million people have misused a prescription stimulant in the last year.
  • An estimated 0.3% of the U.S. population in 2020 over the age of 12 had a prescription stimulant use disorder in the last year.
  • Over 6.2 million people have misused a prescription sedative in the last year.
  • Over 9.3 million people have misused a prescription opioid in the past year.
  • An estimated 0.8% of the U.S. population in 2020 over the age of 12 had a prescription opioid use disorder in the last year.
  • In 2020, 16,416 people died from an overdose involving opioid prescriptions.
  • Over 4.8 million people have misused prescription benzodiazepines in the past year.

 

But not all prescriptions are abused. Which three classes of prescription drugs are most commonly abused? 

 

Which Three Classes of Prescription Drugs are Most Commonly Abused?

Which three classes of prescription drugs are most commonly abused? Of all prescription drugs, the most often abused are depressants, opioids, and stimulants. Of all prescription drugs, the most often abused are prescription names like Vicodin, Ritalin, and Xanax. 

Depressants

Depressants are used to depress activity in your brain. Depressants include benzodiazepines, sleep medications, and barbiturates. They are used to treat general anxiety disorder as well as sleeping problems. Prescription names include Xanax, Lunesta, and Valium.

Opioids

Opioids come from morphine and are designed to block the pain signals between your body and brain. They are used as pain-relieving medications or sedating medications. Opioids are typically used during surgery as anesthesia and prescribed as a pain reliever after a procedure. Prescription names include Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Codeine, and morphine.

Stimulants

Stimulants help stimulate brain activity and increase energy and attention. These are typically prescribed to treat conditions like ADHD but are commonly abused in any situation where people want extra energy. Prescription names include Ritalin and Adderall.

 

How to Find Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment

If you need help with these three types of prescription drugs, we are here. Our facility offers comprehensive detoxification in Los Angeles with medical supervision for these three types of prescription medications. Many of these medications come with significant side effects, so detoxing at home can be difficult and dangerous. Our Laguna Beach treatment facility offers comprehensive treatment that starts with detox and moves you seamlessly into our inpatient program, where you can learn necessary coping skills and identify underlying factors that contributed to your addiction. We can help you transition into an outpatient program that fits your schedule and gives you ongoing support. 

At Laguna View Detox, we can help you on your path to recovery. Contact us today for inpatient substance abuse treatment in Southern California.

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