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Prescription Medication Addiction

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A false perception that prescription drugs are safer than illegal street drugs are a common misconception and creates an increased denial of this addiction.

The misuse of prescription drugs has become a very serious problem, primarily because of the accessibility to these drugs as well as the addictive nature that many have. People take prescription medications to help them recover from illnesses, ease pain, fight infections, etc, and although most individuals take their medication responsibly, millions are not. Men, women, and children become dependent on prescription medication and continue to take prescribed medication beyond what is needed. While some may use them to cope with life situations, others will turn to medications to feed their addictions, due to the ease of availability of such drugs.

Prescription medication may be obtained by creating medical conditions (self-injuring), purchasing from others with a condition, obtaining leftover medication, or even by stealing. Those who are working in the medical field have an increased access and temptation. Seniors are among those of most vulnerable to medication misuse, simply because natural illness, and pains, lead to more prescriptions than younger people have. Seniors are also a target for theft by addicts.

Taking prescription medication can alter the brain functions, causing damage to the brain after prolonged use, and can become fatal, especially in the case of an overdose, or drug combinations. Medications must be taken as prescribed, by a medical professional. If you or someone you love is self-dosing, they need professional help.

Central Nervous System (CNS)

depressants,including sleeping pills (downers)

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Estazolam (ProSom)
  • Zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Aleplon (Sonata)
  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • Phenobarbital
  • Mephobarbital (Mebaral)
  • Sodium pentobarbital (Nembutal)
  • Secobarbital (Seconal)


  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Chlorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Meprobamate (Miltown)
  • Chloral hydrate (Noctec)
  • Ethchlorvynol (Placidyl)
  • Methaqualone (Quaalude)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)
  • Amobarbital (Amytal)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)


CNS depressants are substances which can slow down normal brain functions, they are used to help treat sleep disorders, tension, stress, panic attacks, and anxiety. Some CNS depressants are related to medications associated with tranquilizers. These medications work by depressing the nervous system, which slows down the heart, and rate of breathing. Which allows your body to become more relaxed and to feel less anxiety, fear, and tension, becoming drowsy, aiding in ease of falling asleep. At increasing doses or when mixed with alcohol, the central nervous system functions can become depressed resulting in coma or death. Taken in high doses some CNS depressants can be used as a general anesthetics.
Most CNS depressants are highly addictive, both physically and psychologically. Tolerance quickly develops, which causes the individual to need a higher dose, or a stronger medication, in order to keep working. Side effects of CNS depressants can include the following, dizziness, confusion, loss of memory, impaired judgment, motor coordination and decreased thinking skills. It can be highly dangerous to take CNS depressants in combination with any another depressant, alcohol, or certain herbal remedies.

When someone has an uncontrollable desire to use sleeping pills on a regular basis or has become dependent on them for rest, he or she have become addicted. Sleeping pills can be purchased over the counter, and when they become inadequate, You can receive a prescription for the treatment for a sleeping problem. Unfortunately, however, many sleeping pills are addictive in nature and some patients become dependent on these drugs. The more you use sleeping pills the greater your tolerance will become toward the drug and you may need to constantly increase your dosage in order to fall asleep. When mixed with alcohol, other drugs, or simply taken in high dosage, the effects on the nervous system can result in a coma or death. After taking certain prescribed sleeping pills, individuals have noted a loss of memory from the night before, or have no recollection of certain conversations, as well as activities.

Dexedrine, Ritalin, Modafini, Adderal, Desoxyn, Destrostat

Stimulants are drugs that enhance brain activity, increase in alertness, attention, wakefulness, and energy. The body’s blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate, and respiration are also increased. Stimulants are prescribed to treat those who have the following, narcolepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, appetite suppression, autism, and asthma. In the past, they were used to treat a much wider range of conditions, but now due to their highly addictive nature, they are now prescribed with greater precautions. A stimulant can be very dangerous, it can cause someone to have increased hostility, and paranoia, and if taken in at a high dose, the patient may be at risk of a cardiovascular failure or a lethal seizure.

Opiates, Opioids, may be referred as Narcotics: 

Morphine, Codeine, Thebane, Oripavine

Heroin (Diacetylmorphine), Oxycodone (OxyContin), Hydrocodone (Vicodin), meperidine (Demerol), and Hydromorphone (Dilaudid),

Fully synthetic opioids, , such as Fentanyl and its analogs, Meperidine/Pethidine, and Methadone

Opioids drugs are used to relieve acute pain, they are an effective analgesic and may be used pre or post surgery. Opioids attach to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. This attachment doesn’t allow the brain to feel the pain. Opioids can be highly addictive, as they block feeling, but can also produce a euphoria by affecting the pleasure regions of the brain.  Large doses of this drug can cause severe respiratory depression that can lead to death.


dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione (Andro)

Steroids are man-made prescription drugs that are legally prescribed to treat a variety of medical conditions that cause loss of lean muscle mass, such as cancer and AIDS. These drugs are very similar to male sex hormones and promote strong muscle growth.

When taking steroids in a combination with other types of drugs, like stimulants, or opioids, it is believed that the individual will have increased muscle growth. This method is often called “stacking”. Another method is “pyramiding” which means to increase the steroids over a period of weeks, and then taper off, forcing the body to adjust to the hormone levels. These methods of steroid use are most common in athletes, and carry large side effects with this type of drug abuse.

Some of the side effects for men are a decreased sperm count and mobility, testicle shrinkage, enlarged prostate, breast development, fluid retention, and baldness. Women may experience an increase in body hair, acne, loss of breast size, deepened voice, irregular menstrual cycle, and fluid retention. Psychologically both men and women may experience psychotic episodes, increased aggression, depression, delusions, and sudden emotion changes.

Our staff at Valiant Recovery want you to understand that you do not have to be alone in this ordeal and we are here to help you or a loved one you care for get the treatment that is needed. Our wish is to help our clients recover from their addictions and damaging behaviors with the understanding that recovery was a crucial step to living a much happier and healthier life.

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