With the opioid epidemic at an ever-increasing high in the United States, it’s no wonder that doctors are often considered as dealers dressed in white. However, it’s just not in the US that prescription drugs are widely misused.
There are people who suffer from different physical or mental health issues and are prescribed medication and they turn out to have a dependence on it. They may develop addiction without really meaning to. And even those who are in recovery are often prescribed drugs to help them deal with the dangers of quitting cold turkey. However, these prescription drugs are still substances, even addictive ones, that can also change the brain’s reward system in the same way that meth, cocaine, and heroin can.
Here are the 5 most common prescription drugs that you should be careful of if you want to avoid falling into the pit of dependence and addiction, as many have already done.
1. Fentanyl. This is one of the most dangerous prescription drugs and are also one of the leading causes of opiate-related overdoses. It is 100 times more potent than morphine, and offers immediate effects. It is usually prescribed to patients with terminal illnesses.
2. Adderall. This is a stimulant that is often prescribed for treating ADHD and narcolepsy. It’s a central nervous system stimulant that contains amphetamines levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This drug causes increase in energy levels, wakefulness, agitation, and stimulation. Long-term use of this drug can cause cardiovascular health problems, mood disorders, and dependence.
3. Ritalin. Ritalin, or Methylphenidate, is also a stimulant like Adderall. It is also used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. This drug blocks the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, so the brain is flooded by these neurochemicals. This is one of the most over-prescribed drugs around.
4. Xanax. Xanax is used as treatment for depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. It’s active ingredient, Alprazolam, supresses anxiety and causes sedation and muscle relaxation. It is particularly dangerous when combined with alcohol, and may cause extreme lack of inhibition, poor judgment, impulsiveness and amnesia.
5. Oxycodone. This is one of the most addictive prescription drugs and can be life-threatening for those who are addicted if they suddenly stop. This drug quickly alters the brain chemistry, causing intense withdrawal, and is one of the leading causes of the opiate crisis in the US.
It’s easy to be persuaded to use these prescription drugs. After all, they are prescribed by physicians whom we trust. They have proven therapeutic effects. However, there are health and addiction risks, as the line between therapeutic use and abuse can often be become blurred.