Prescription Drugs and Addiction

Brief Description
Prescription medications such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives are very useful treatment tools, but sometimes people do not take them as directed and may become addicted.

Commonly Abused Prescription Medications
While many prescription medications can be abused or misused, these three classes are most commonly abused:

Opioids
Often prescribed to treat pain. Examples of opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin); propoxyphene (Darvon); hydrocodone (Vicodin); hydromorphone (Dilaudid); meperidine (Demerol), and codeine.

CNS Depressants
Used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Examples are: Barbiturates, such as secobarbitol (Seconal) and pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), which are used to treat anxiety, tension, and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide HCl (Librium), and alprazolam (Xanax), which can be prescribed to treat anxiety, acute stress reactions, and panic attacks.

Stimulants
Prescribed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Examples are methylphenidate (Ritalin), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine).