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The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

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If a doctor prescribes it, it can’t be bad for you, right? It’s this line of thought that can cause people to slide down the slope of prescription drug abuse. Unlike cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs that have widespread reputations of being harmful and addictive, prescription drugs are typically regarded as beneficial for your health. When used in excess or beyond their medical purpose, prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as any narcotic. Once addiction has begun, substance abuse treatment may be the only option for recovery. Here are three types of prescription drugs that millions of Americans commonly abuse.


Stimulants are a category of prescription drugs that can address medical conditions such as obesity, sleeping disorders, and behavioral issues. Ritalin is a stimulant that is often prescribed for narcolepsy. It has also become a popular medication for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. So why has Ritalin become a frequently abused prescription drug? Since this chemical allows users to better concentrate on one task at a time, it can prove useful to anyone who feels the need to become more focused. For instance, taking Ritalin before an exam may allow addicts to stay up all night and study.


Xanax represents a second classification of prescription drugs: depressants. When used in strict accordance with a doctor’s instruction, depressants can prove highly effective at minimizing the occurrence of panic attacks or anxiety-related disorders. Individuals suffering from stress often abuse Xanax to numb these negative sensations.


If you have recently suffered a serious injury or undergone a major surgery, you might be prescribed Vicodin to alleviate your discomfort. Due to its ability to stimulate a feeling of relaxation and ecstasy, Vicodin is a drug that many people can become addicted to. Vicodin and other drugs like it, which are collectively called opioids, make up the final category of prescription drugs that Americans most often abuse.

Recognizing that your prescription drug use has evolved into addiction is the first step toward getting help. Las Encinas Hospital offers specialized chemical dependency treatment options for prescription drug addiction. We encourage those in Pasadena and Los Angeles to call (888) 348-2165 to learn more about our program services.