Which Prescription Drugs Are The Most Addictive?

Most of us are more than acutely aware that addiction is a prevalent disease that knows no bounds. The available data continues to prove this point. In fact, a report from 2009 reported that 23.5 million people aged 12 and older in the US were in need of treatment for a drug or alcohol abuse problem, per findings from the National Institute On Drug Abuse. Of these 23.5 million people, only 2.6 million received treatment. All drugs have the potential to be abused, but for today’s post specifically, we will be discussing prescription drug abuse. More importantly, we will be discerning which prescription drugs are the most addictive, and how our prescription drug treatment in Bergen County NJ will provide more than enough help for recovery. 

The Addictive Properties Of Prescriptions

Certain types of medications are addictive by nature whereas others are not. An OTC medication like Tylenol for instance, is not a physically addictive medication. The base ingredient, acetaminophen, has no properties that allow for dependency to grow, and this is really what addiction is all about- a chemical and physical dependency on a drug. When this dependency develops, the user feels like they cannot function without the substance. Without the substance, withdrawal symptoms can set in and make not having the substance seem unbearable, to say the least. The symptoms can vary from person to person, but often include:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea that may or may not be accompanied by vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Drug cravings
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Mood swings

Apart from withdrawal, a dependency on prescription drug is suspect if the following signs appear in a person’s life:

  • Shopping around for doctor’s
  • Overspending on drugs
  • Tolerance to the medication, which leads to the need for a larger dose for the drug to be effective or the user to achieve the same effect.
  • Decreased contact and interactions with friends and family; often retreating from the activities they once enjoyed doing

The Most Addictive Prescription Drug Categories

Prescription drugs are rapidly growing in popularity among the drug abuse community, further warranting the need for prescription drug treatment in Bergen County NJ. While hard substances such as heroin and cocaine can pose serious risks to a user’s health, the average person is less likely to encounter these illicit substances in their lifetime, than they are prescription drugs. Likewise, overdoses on prescription opioid pain relievers are more at fault for more lives lost each year than both cocaine and heroin combined! More than 16,000 deaths in 2010 alone. Overall, the most addictive prescription drugs fall into the following categories:

  • Opioid pain relievers
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Stimulants
  • Barbiturates

Amongst opioid painkillers, drugs like Oxycodone, Demerol, and Codeine are popularly prescribed and the most addictive. Xanax and Klonopin fit the bill among Benzos, Amphetamines, and Ritalin among stimulants, and phenobarbital has remained the most addictive barbiturate. Back in 2012, the CDC accounted for an astonishing 259 million prescriptions being written for patients for opioid pain relievers. Benzodiazepines come in at about half the amount. We can go on and on about the absurdity and concern that is prescription drug abuse. Instead, let’s shed some light on how to combat this addiction as well as naming healthier alternatives. 

Alternatives To Addictive Medicine

In place of using any of the addictive medications that we named, consider trying these alternatives.

  • OTC, non-addictive medications
  • Herbal remedies to manage your symptoms
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Changes in diet

The best way to mitigate an addiction to prescription drugs is to be cognizant of the warning labels that come with any prescribed medication. Always avoid any inappropriate use and misuse of any drugs at your disposal. Using a medication more often than intended qualifies as misuse, so does using someone else’s prescription. For those who have a well-documented history of addiction, prescription drugs that have addictive potential should only be utilized when deemed medically necessary, and of course, when under the supervision of a trained doctor. 

Recovery Awaits: Beating The Most Addictive Prescription Drug Habits With Our Prescription Drug Treatment In Bergen County NJ

At North Jersey Rehabs, support, and compassion awaits you. Prescription drug addiction is not something you should battle all on your own, and it can be dangerous to attempt it in cases where withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening. If you or someone you love is dealing with an addiction, contact us today to learn more about our specialty prescription drug treatment in Bergen County NJ and the surrounding counties! 


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