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5 Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

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Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs play an important role in keeping people of all ages safe and healthy. There are prescriptions for everything from anxiety, to pain, to a variety of illnesses, conditions, and diseases. Unfortunately, they are also quite expensive.

For example, if a senior citizen needs a few prescriptions, it could run them hundreds of dollars a month in some cases. Thankfully, Medicare prescription drug coverage can help to make these costs easier to manage for those 65 years or older.

While most seniors treat these drugs with respect and only use them as advised, this isn’t always the case. Drug abuse is common amongst seniors, and prescription drugs are often the choice. Of course, people of all ages can become addicted to prescription drugs and begin to abuse them; it is a problem that unfortunately spans all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

But which prescription drugs are these individuals normally abusing? Well, that is exactly what this article is going to look at. We’re going to go over 5 of the most commonly abused prescription drugs out there.


Among the most commonly misused and abused prescription drugs are opioids. These are used to treat pain and can lead to a euphoric feeling. It is this feeling that is commonly what people are after when they abuse opioids. Unfortunately, these opioids can have incredibly dangerous side effects if misused or abused.


These can include vomiting, mood changes, reduced cognitive function, respiratory issues, and even death. Feeling constipated and being constantly confused can also occur in people abusing opioids. Prescription drugs like OxyContin, Demerol, and Vicodin.


Benzodiazepines are used to assist those who struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. They work by slowing down the activity in the brain, which can result in a calming and drowsy experience. These central nervous system depressants work well, but can easily become addicted to.


If you abuse these prescription drugs, you will likely experience confusion, dizziness, and impaired coordination. If paired with alcohol, abusing these drugs can be particularly bad. Withdrawal can also be challenging as you could get symptoms like panic, sweating, muscle pain, and nausea. Common benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.

Sleeping Aids

Sleeping troubles are incredibly common as most of us lead busy and exhausting lives. If people need assistance falling asleep or staying asleep, they will often enlist the help of a prescription sleep aid. These can help people calm down and get the rest they need. However, this is not a replacement or substitute for good sleeping habits.

If you use these drugs longer than you were prescribed (which is normally only short-term), you can become dependent on them for a good sleep. They can cause hallucinations if abused, memory loss is common and abuse can and eventually lead to rebound insomnia. Some common sleeping pills and sleep aids out there include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata.


Stimulant Causing Obsessions with Laptop

While some may use prescription drugs to fall asleep and relax, others will use them to stay up and get a jolt of energy. Stimulants work by increasing the activity of your brain, which helps provide better alertness and makes it easier to pay attention. These are often used to treat issues ranging from narcolepsy to ADHD.


Unfortunately, these prescriptions are often abused by those wanting to stay up to study, be able to stay up late to work, or even simply for the feelings of exhilaration. Unfortunately, abusing these drugs can lead to digestive issues, irregular heartbeat, and even heart failure or seizures. Some of the most popular stimulants out there are Adderall and Ritalin.


Like benzodiazepines, barbiturates seek to depress the central nervous system. They are used to bring sedation and are often known as tranquilizers, for the ability to make a person very drowsy. While they do a similar thing to benzodiazepines (assist with anxiety and sleep problems, plus seizures), they are perhaps more dangerous.


This is large because of the incredibly dangerous withdrawal, which can be life-threatening in some cases. In addition to the horrific withdrawal, barbiturates also can cause breathing difficulties, fever, lowered blood pressure, and several other health issues. Some of the most common types of barbiturates are Seconal, Amytal, and Nembutal.


In conclusion, we hope that this article has been able to help you learn a little more about some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Of course, these are far from the only prescription drugs being abused, but they are among the most common.