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If you or a loved one are struggling to stop using drugs or alcohol, our team of addiction experts can help you get sober a learn the skills for lifelong recovery.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

a person looks pensively at the floor thinking of commonly abused prescription drugs

At the mention of the word “drugs,” people generally tend to gravitate towards one meaning or another depending on the context: addictive, illicit drugs, or prescribed medication. For example, while you wouldn’t want to be found with drugs on you while driving, it’s perfectly normal to pick up drugs for your mother on the way home. This contextual fill-in-the-gaps idea works fine for the most part, but it does blur the idea that certain drugs don’t have to be one or the other.

To dispel the double meaning of “drug” and address what a drug is: any substance that has a physiological effect when introduced to the body is a drug. Some of these effects are intentional, while some are byproducts of the primary effect. In any situation where the product alleviates pain, stress, or sadness, it’s ripe for abuse, whether it’s a legal drug or not. Taken in a high enough quantity, painkillers, antidepressants, and stimulants can have comparable effects to illegal drugs. In addition, these types of drugs are distributed more widely than any regulated substance. As a result, commonly abused prescription drugs meet the criteria of being easy to access and inducing some positive effects. At California Centers for Recovery, we focus on treating each patient at every stage of recovery. Call us at 877.328.5682 today and learn about our prescription detox center and the support you can expect to find here.

Benzo Abuse

Benzodiazepines are a type of sedative used for treating anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. They achieve this by slowing down the brain and depressing the nervous system. As with any prescription drug with a high risk of forming dependence, pharmacists will usually only prescribe benzos for a short time. Some of the most common benzos include:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin

Most accidental deaths due to benzo overdoses are due to medication being taken with alcohol. You often hear that mixing stimulants and depressants is dangerous, but mixing two or more depressants is not any better.

Opioid Abuse and Opiate Abuse

In addition to being the most widely prescribed pain medication, opioids are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. They primarily ease pain by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain to significant effect. Prescription duration for opioids has been cut back over the decades, given how it doesn’t take long to form a dependence. Even still, over 10 million Americans misused opioids in 2019. In the same year, 14,139 died of an overdose directly related to a prescription opioid.

Methadone is a prescribed anti-narcotic opioid. For an idea of how potent methadone can be, heroin addicts sometimes switch to it instead. To combat its would-be astronomical abuse potential, it’s unique in how the administration of methadone is only done by a clinic daily for those in an outpatient setting. This model is inconvenient but serves as a strong deterrent to over-prescription. Even still, the drug is manufactured secondhand or sold illegally.

Opiates are distinct from opioids in that they’re natural as opposed to synthetic. Some popular opiates include:

  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Opium

Both opioids and opiates achieve similar effects, but since people can manufacture opioids, it’s more common to see opioids being abused. That said, morphine and codeine are both still prescribed for severe chronic pain and are regularly misused for recreational purposes.

Painkiller Abuse Treatment at California Centers for Recovery

Due to the nature of prescription drug abuse, it can blindside people when they discover a loved one has an addiction. The consequences of living with an addiction to opioids, benzos, and other prescribed meds are sometimes just as dire as abusing illegal substances. Fortunately, treating this addiction is possible and affordable. California Centers for Recovery is in-network for several major insurance providers for minimal out-of-pocket expenses. Don’t wait for drug misuse to turn into a total addiction. Call 877.328.5682 or contact us online now and learn about our South Bay Area prescription detox center and how we approach rehabilitation for commonly abused prescription drugs.