What Are The Most Abused “Medications?”

opioid crisis

Have you ever been surprised that you needed an ID to prove you were over 18 just to purchase Nyquil? While it’s startling to believe that an over-the-counter medication for a cold might be abused, it’s much more common than you might think. Or, you might know first-hand the full addictive powers of over-the-counter or prescription medication.

Many within the United States have abused or misused medication to some extent. Many more have experienced full-on addiction, which required detox, and life of rehabilitation to sustain sobriety. Our Carolina rehabilitation experts are here to help you make a full recovery.

Prescription Pills

Barbiturates are among the most commonly abused, and you may know them by brand names such as Ambien or Lunesta. They give the user a feeling of euphoric drowsiness. They’re typically used to treat sleep disorders, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, and extreme cases of stress. They’re usually not prescribed lightly.

Benzodiazepines are also in the top five most abused prescription pills, and perhaps the most popular variant is Xanax. WebMD recently reported that the use of Xanax and it’s cousin, Valium, was on the rise. The estimation is that 1 out of every 5 people prescribed Benzodiazepines misuse the product and likely have an addiction.

Of course, the most common variant of prescription medications abused by its users and many others is opioid-based drugs. Not only are these available via prescription, but they’re also overflowing on the streets. It is possibly the easiest time in history to find opioid prescription medication on the street, and it is remarkably dangerous.

OTC Drugs and Abuse

Some over-the-counter or OTC medications are easy to abuse and give an effect that clearly people desire. Dextromethorphan or DXM found in cough medication such as Mucinex is commonly abused among teenagers and young adults. Pseudoephedrine and Loperamide are also commonly abused OTC medications.

The struggle with OTC drugs is that you don’t need to see a doctor first, and most times, there’s no catalog or documentation on the purchase. Sudafed and its generic variants now require the cashier to swipe the purchaser’s driver’s license, but this isn’t to stop the misuse of the drug, but instead to downplay the possibility of using it for manufacturing other illegal drugs, namely Meth.

How Do Doctors Continue to Prescribe These Medications?

It’s much easier than you might imagine because doctors use their best judgment for each individual visit. Rarely do doctors actually remember you from the prior visit, and rarely do they thoroughly check your history for any type of drug-seeking behavior. It has become far too easy for a doctor to prescribe something and walk away from the problem.

If anything, people become infuriated at pharmacists when they refuse to fill a prescription because of misuse in the refill process. For example, if you were on codeine, and the doctor was only approved to give three refills, and you had already used those, they would not continue to issue your medication, even with a new prescription from the same doctor. Pharmacists are becoming more responsible for ending drug-seeking behavior than the doctors are, and that’s probably making much of the opioid-based addiction worse.

How Do People Become Dependent or Addicted to Medicine?

Some medications are just addictive. We know that opioid substances are addictive in nature, but we continue to use them. We even use them knowing that they’re marketed as “non-addictive,” such as methadone, which is an opioid and is addictive. However, there are many times when the general public isn’t aware of the addictive qualities.

Nose spray, for example, is highly addictive and, with long-term use, can lead to serious health problems. But, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a nasal spray on a shelf in CVS or an ABC store that acknowledges it’s addictive. Instead, they simply direct you to see your doctor after using it for a week and hope that your doctor will tell you to discontinue use.

When To Get Help

At Rehab Carolinas, you can get the relief you need in the form of support and guidance, as well as therapy and ongoing group therapies. There isn’t one single relief option from sobriety. It takes years of hard work, but ultimately it results in a much better life than one dependent on a medication. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of the Big Pharma take over; instead, choose sobriety.

Call or visit Rehab Carolinas now to speak with one of our therapists about your personalized sobriety plan. Through a unique blend of therapy options, you can work with counselors that care about your sobriety and care about your continued movement towards a better place in your life.

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