Which Prescription Drugs are Addicting?

Statistics show how abuse of prescription drugs is one of the fastest growing drug problems in America.  What makes this statistic more frightening is the abuse is growing at a staggering rate among juveniles.

Addiction is a disease affecting the pleasure center of the brain.  Anything offering a person pleasure as a reward can become addicting.  After being rewarded enough times, a person can become dependent on that act even if it is a seemingly good thing.  Drugs are particularly quick at shaping the pleasure center of the brain.  These categories of prescription drugs are known to lead to drug dependence quickly when used unregulated.


Opioids are drugs that contain opium.  They are usually semi-synthesized and are purposed to help manage pain.  The intensity of these drugs vary widely based on the level of pain they are designed to target.  

Oxycodone and Percocet are the most prescribed opioids.  Good news was released recently stating that doctors will soon only prescribe these in seven day supplies.  Typically they were prescribed for thirty.  Seven day conversations with patients will help doctors determine if patients truly need more, thereby increasing accountability.

Other opioids that are addictive include: Hydrocodone, Codeine, Fentanyl, Demerol, and Meperidine.


Stimulants are used mostly to treat cognitive disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Narcolepsy.  Ritalin and Adderall are the most common names known in this category.  Taken appropriately these drugs can help a person concentrate better and stay awake.

Many argue that these drugs are highly overprescribed leaving excess for misuse.  Even elementary and middle school children are known to sell and misuse these drugs. Many college students, along with others who need to stay awake, also misuse them.  College students abuse them often to stay awake and cram for exams.  Truck drivers and other third-shift workers also admit abuse.


Depressants have many medical uses.  The prescriptions most abused are those given to treat conditions like panic disorders, anxiety disorders, and  muscle spasms.  The commonality among this category is they are all considered downers.  Downers are drugs that slow the heart, or offer some form of euphoria to relax the body.

The most widely abused prescriptions in this category are Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax.  Valium and Klonopin act as muscle relaxers by giving a person the feeling similar to drunkenness.  Xanax is used to treat anxiety.  Xanax gives the user a feeling likened to being zoned out.



The Lakehouse Treatment Center understands the worlds of active addiction and active recovery. Years of comprehensive experience have helped us build a unique program focused on changing lives and rebuilding families. From detox to sober living, The Lakehouse program focuses on learning how to live and have fun again- a treatment experience like no other. Call us anytime: 877.762.3707


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