It is a common misconception that abusing prescription medications is safer than taking illegal street drugs. Not only is abusing prescription medications extremely dangerous, it can be deadly. The potential to overdose on a prescription medication or become addicted is very real. The abuse has risen to unprecedented levels, accounting for almost 40% of drug overdoses in the United States. Over 50% of all prescription medications for nonmedical use are obtained from friends or relatives.

Prescription drug abuse help at Footprints to Recovery

How We Can Help

  • Develop the skills needed to stop or reduce substance use
  • Help to build a strong social support system
  • Set reachable goals
  • Coping with or avoiding triggers that might cause relapse
  • Resources to assist with housing, employment, and skill building.
Commonly Abused Drugs

The most common types of drugs abused are opioids, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.

Opioids (Pain Killers):
• hydrocodone and acetaminophen (Vicodin)
• oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet)
• oxycodone (OxyContin)
• fentanyl (Duragesic)
• hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
• morphine (Avinza, Kadian)
• codeine.

Tranquilizers/Sedatives:
• Benzodiazepines – alprazolam (Xanax)
• diazepam (Valium)
• lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam (Klonopin).
• Barbiturates – pentobarbital (Nembutal)
• mephobarbital (Mebaral),
• phenobarbital (Lumninal)

Stimulants:
• methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin)
• dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine).

Signs & Symptoms

• Taking higher doses than prescribed
• Increase or decrease in sleep
• Continuous ‘loss’ of prescriptions
• Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor

Dangers of Abuse & Dependence

• Low blood pressure
• Dangerously slowed breathing rate
• Coma
• Memory problems
• Seizures
• Heart complications
• Death

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