Last updated: 06/25/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 2 minutes
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug abuse in America has continued to increase. There were roughly 23.9 million people aged 12 or older that had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic drug in the past month in 2012. This is over a 10% increase from 2002.
Opioids, which include drugs like Oxycontin, Percocet and Percodan, are the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Opioids are painkillers and when taken in high doses cause a person to feel sedated and euphoric. Many people who abuse opioids crush them up and snort them to receive a faster effect from the drug. All opioid drugs are highly addictive and also have intense and painful physical withdrawal symptoms once a person stops using.
Prescription amphetamines such as Adderall are also highly abused drugs. Adderall and other prescribed amphetamines, when taken in high doses, cause a person’s serotonin and dopamine levels to increase, resulting in a person feeling more pleasurable and more awake.
People Who Suffer from Prescription Drug Addiction
According to the National Institute in Drug Abuse, people in their late teens and twenties use illicit drugs more than any other age group. In 2012, 23.9 percent of people aged 18 to 20 years old reported using an illegal drug in the past month. Prescription drugs are the second most widely used illicit drug in America. Furthermore, in 2012, 6.8 million Americans, 12 or older, had used prescription drugs non-medically in the past month.
Anybody can develop an addiction to prescription drug, especially people who abuse the drug frequently. Prescription painkillers are commonly abused by a wide range of age groups, even elderly people in their 70s and above abuse prescription painkillers and develop addictions to them. Adversely, prescription amphetamines are more commonly abused by teenagers and people in their early to late twenties. Amphetamines are commonly abused in the club scene or by people who need to enhance their performance, such as in school or in sport, which is why these drugs are more abused by a younger crowd of people.
Prescription drug addiction is a disease that will take time and effort for a person to heal from, and it is a disease that will negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health. Furthermore, prescription drug addiction not only impacts the user, but also the people close to them. If a person has developed an addiction to prescription drugs, they should get help for their disease before it becomes worse. There are numerous programs available to people to help them learn to manage their addiction, as well as various free drug hotlines a person can call to talk about their addiction.