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Prescription Drug
Addiction Information

prescription drugsPrescription drugs have quickly become a major problme in Canada and the United States, eclipsing many street drugs in terms of number of people abusing them. Prescription drugs appear to be less dangerous to some people, but in actuality are just as harmful and just as addictive as the more recognized street drugs.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs generally fall under three categories - painkillers, sedatives and stimulants.

Prescription painkillers are usally synthetic opiate narcotic drugs, meaning they are in the same category as heroin or morphine. These drugs include brand names such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet, Lortab and many more. Painkillers represent the largest category of prescription drug abusers.

Prescription stimulants have become a major problem in the last decade. Drugs such as Ritalin, Dexedrine and Adderall have flooded our schools and now there are millions of prescriptions in North America for kids, despite their highly addictive potential. These stimulants are amphetamines - a form of speed - and are very commonly abused by young adults, despite being every bit as dangerous as cocaine in a similar quantity.

The last major category of prescription drug addiction is a little more broad. Sedatives and tranquilizers can come in many different forms. These include hypnotics such as Lunesta and Ambien or the commonly abused benzodiazapines such as Xanax, Valium and Klonopin.

If you or a loved one is given any one of these prescriptions on a routine bases, then tolerance and dependence is a very big risk. Many people who become very serious prescription drug addicts were first prescribed these pills for a legitimate issue, but because the drugs are so powerful, they became addicted just like their more crude street versions.

Prescription drugs have also become a sort of "gateway drug" all their own, as many young people take prescriptions from their homes and give them to each other. After developing a substance abuse issue with these drugs they often go on to use many other substances, including illicit drugs. Common examples include children on stimulants winding up on methamphetamine or cocaine as well as people taking painkillers becoming addicted to heroin. The body's natural tendency is to develop a tolerance and then seek something stronger. This warning of natural progression is not heeded by many people. In many cases, we recommend seeking out a second opionon from a doctor who is not as quick to prescribe addictive prescription drugs.

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