Doctors can prescribe hundreds of different medications for various medical conditions, and some drugs are riskier than others when it comes to addiction. Prescription drugs that regulate behavior, aid sleep, or allay the symptoms of psychological disorders all carry a significant potential for abuse. It’s crucial to understand the risks that come with some of the most commonly seen prescriptions in the country.
Types of Dangerous Prescription Drugs
Many prescription medications carry a significant risk of addiction. Rehab for prescription drug abuse is available for those who need it, and anyone who may be starting a new medication should investigate the risks of addiction.
Lyrica is an anti-seizure medication. Although it is a Schedule V controlled substance, doctors often prescribe Lyrica to people suffering from:
- Various seizure disorders
These medical conditions are very debilitating, so Lyrica quickly grew to astronomical popularity shortly after its release thanks to the marketing behind it touting it as a treatment for fibromyalgia. This drug basically slows chemical transfers in the brain to regulate hyperactive neurons.
Lyrica produces a calming effect, and some users report the effects as being very similar to those of Valium. Doctors also often prescribe Lyrica for general anxiety disorder, post-surgical pain and some forms of chronic pain.
Lyrica abuse is fairly common, as many people will start to abuse this medication even after it stops working for them. There are also many known negative side effects associated with regular use of the drug, so someone struggling with Lyrica addiction will likely experience these symptoms.
Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription medications used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. These drugs are central nervous system depressants that lower excitability and relax the nervous system, allaying the symptoms of panic disorders and anxiety. However, many doctors only prescribe these medications for short-term use, as long-term use can be risky in several ways.
Detox for benzos typically involves flushing the remaining benzo medications from the patient’s system and then reassessing the patient to determine a better course of treatment. Like any other type of substance abuse, benzo addiction recovery is possible through a robust, comprehensive treatment program that addresses the addiction as well as any mental health disorders.
Some of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine medications include the following list. Click on any of the names to learn more:
Soma (Carisoprodol) and Robaxin (Chlorzoxazone)
Muscle relaxant medications are common prescriptions for neuromuscular disorders, muscle pain and spasms. Soma is the most common brand name, but various types of muscle relaxers such as carisoprodol, robaxin and chlorzoxazone all carry significant potential for abuse.
These medications are depressants that treat pain quickly, which unfortunately encourages some patients to abuse them at the first sign of stress.
Soma abuse can lead to severe withdrawal effects, such as:
- Extreme pain
Ritalin, Adderall and Other Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Medications
Some ADHD medications that require addiction treatment after abuse include:
- And more
ADHD medications are generally stimulants that encourage neurotransmitter production in the frontal lobe of the brain. These medications can help improve focus, concentration and sleep patterns in individuals with ADHD. Unfortunately, the stimulating properties of these drugs can lead to abuse from both the people with prescriptions and others who may try to obtain them without a prescription.
Adderall abuse is common on college campuses and in high-stress work environments. A person who doesn’t have ADHD will experience intense focus, improved concentration, heightened energ, and other seemingly positive effects when taking these drugs. However, the drug’s effects are highly habit forming.
Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien, is a very powerful sedative prescribed to aid sleep. This drug carries multiple risks, including accidental overdose, dependency and a host of side effects from abuse.
Ambien addiction can lead to:
- Memory loss
- Sleep problems
Primidone and Pentobarbital (Nembutal)
Primidone addiction is common among older males who take the medication, particularly among those who take other medications for multiple sclerosis. This barbiturate is an anticonvulsant and can treat some anxiety disorders as well.
Pentobarbital, often found with the brand name Nembutal, is a more powerful barbiturate and carefully controlled substance. Pentobarbital is also one of the most commonly used drugs for suicide due to its potency and ability to coerce a peaceful, painless death. People who take this drug for longer than absolutely necessary risk creating a dependency once the effects diminish. Accidental death is also a very significant risk.
Loperamide and Imodium
Loperamide, sold under the brand name Imodium, is a laxative medication designed to aid digestion and bowel movements. While this may not sound like an addictive drug, loperamide abuse is fairly common due to the trace amount of opioids present in the drug. This drug is available over the counter without a prescription. Unfortunately, many people suffering from opioid addiction mistakenly believe it is a viable substitute.
Loperamide can actually help some individuals wean themselves off stronger opioids, but there are a host of negative side effects associated with long-term use of the drug, including:
- Intestinal pain
- Urinary retention
- Central nervous system damage
- Abnormal cardiac behavior
- And other complications
The Need for Rehab for Prescription Drug Abuse
These medications can all provide health benefits, but it is important to know they can cause dangerous side effects if taken too often. Before taking these kinds of medications, it is extremely important that you weigh the risks and benefits of each.
And finally, keep in mind that entering a comprehensive prescription drug treatment program is the best way to treat any type of prescription drug abuse. At Reflections Recovery Center, we can help you or a loved one find the root cause of addiction and develop proper habits to maintain a long-lasting recovery.