Make no mistake: Prescription drugs are powerful. These medications have the ability to alter brain chemistry levels, and when they enter the human body, they trigger a chain reaction that can lead to reduced pain, improved performance and sometimes, a cure for an illness. Some prescription medications, however, make alterations that can lead directly to addiction. While almost any medication that alters brain chemistry has the ability to become addictive, if it’s abused and that abuse goes on for a long period of time, there are some medications that are considered just a little more dangerous than others. These are just a few of the prescription drugs most experts find concerning, when they’re dealing with issues of addiction.
Drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and fentanyl can tap into powerful receptors inside the brain and bring about a surge of pleasure and euphoria. These medications were once held in reserve for very serious pain cases, but some experts suggest that the drugs are handed out much more regularly now than they ever were before. For example, TIME reports that there’s been a tenfold increase in opioid prescriptions in the United States since 1990. Some people are likely taking these drugs for serious problems, including:
- Dental pain
- Surgical pain
- Cancer discomfort
But at least some of these people are abusing the drug for recreation, and perhaps, some people began taking the drug for a specific medical condition and then transitioned into taking the drug for recreation. These drugs are just powerful, and addiction is often considered a risk when painkillers enter the picture.
Valium, Xanax and Librium can slow down the activity of a busy mind, but these drugs can also cause a spike in pleasure chemicals, deep inside the brain. People who take drugs like this may find that they need to take larger and larger doses of the drugs to feel the pleasure they once experienced with a small hit, and they may feel unable to cope or feel at ease without the drug. This kind of addiction is considered especially deadly, as people who try to stop taking these drugs on their own can develop seizures as they try to heal.
Ritalin and Adderall are the most common stimulant medications on the market, and they are commonly provided to people who have attention disorders. These drugs are also a target for abuse by young people, who may feel that the drugs allow them to stay awake and succeed in school, where they might be tempted to sleep or drift away without the help of drugs. Experts suggest that 20 to 30 percent of college students abuse stimulant drugs like this on a regular basis, hoping to boost their grades and deal with the pressures of school, and their addictions may be quick to form and hard to break.
A Word of Caution
Just because these drugs have been linked to addiction doesn’t mean that they’re bad or worthless. In reality, many people need these drugs in order to help them cope with very real medical or mental health issues, and these people may take these drugs appropriately for long periods of time without developing any kind of addiction issue whatsoever. But, if you’ve been abusing prescription drugs and you want to get better, we can help. Please call The Oaks at La Paloma admissions coordinator to find out more about our programs and schedule your own intake appointment with us.