Last Updated on January 16, 2019 by Keisha Mclean-Green
How dangerous are the drugs your doctor prescribes? Have you ever really wondered? Most of us visit the doctor, receive a diagnosis and a prescribed treatment, and then we fill any prescriptions, follow the treatment plan, and get better. That’s it. We don’t think much about the drugs we take. After all, if your doctor recommends them, they must be okay. Right?
Legally dead is a new term used to reference the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and addiction in the United States. 34% of adults take at least one prescription medication, and 11.5% take three or more. These drugs are often just as addictive as opioids like heroin.
Which drugs are the most addictive? Here’s a list of the ten most habit forming prescription drugs currently causing documented abuse and addiction cases in the United States:
The Development of Dependency
What makes prescription drugs so dangerous? Dependency. Whether a patient is treated for a temporary or chronic condition, these drugs are easy for the body to become dependent on. 3M Littmann guide will be useful for detecting any of such conditions. The most commonly abused and addictive pharmaceuticals place in three categories:
- Opioids: An opioid offers a short-term euphoric effect. Most painkillers fall into this category.
- Stimulants: These drugs increase or stimulate brain activity to deliver greater alertness and energy.
- Tranquillizers: You might see a tranquillizer referred to as a depressant or a central nervous system depressant. These drugs calm and relax, like anti-anxiety medications.
Prescription drug abuse and addiction can be a gateway to illegal and illicit street drugs. Since prescriptions are carefully monitored by medical personnel, a dependency that goes undiagnosed eventually reaches a point where the doctor will no longer write the prescription. When this happens, the patient begins to suffer withdrawals. They may try to find a new doctor who will continue the prescriptions, or they may turn to street drugs as a solution.
The drugs prescribed by medical professionals are legal, but they can be just as dangerous and deadly as those sold illegally on the streets. In addition, an entire black market for selling prescription drugs illegally operates on the streets today.
Spotting Prescription Drug Abuse
How can you tell if you’re growing addicted to a prescription? If you believe you need it despite your doctor’s assurances that you do not, you may be suffering from a dependency issue. If it begins to take higher and higher doses of a prescription medication to feel the needed or desired effects, you may be building a tolerance. Tolerance can lead to dependency, which can then lead to abuse and addiction.
Much like alcohol, the legal and monitored nature of prescriptions does not make these drugs safe. Always follow your medical practitioner’s instructions when using prescribed medications. If you suspect you might be developing an addiction, talk to your doctor immediately. It’s better to seek help upfront than to hide the condition.