Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription Drug Abuse

 Prescription drug abuse is the taking of drugs in a way not prescribed by a physician. Prescription pills are also misused by taking someone else’s prescription drugs, taking prescription medicines to get high or mixing prescriptions with other drugs.

Three types of prescription drugs are most often abused:

  • Opioids used to treat pain (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet)
  • Central nervous system depressants (Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Ativan) used for anxiety and sleep disorders
  • Stimulants such as amphetamine or dextroamphetamine (Adderall) or mythlphenidate (Ritalin) used for attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy.

Side effects of prescription drug abuse:

  • Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions.
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed.
  • Excessive mood swings or hostility.
  • Increase or decrease in sleep.
  • Poor decision-making
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia

Street Names for Prescription Drugs:

  • Opioids:
    • Hillbilly Heroin
    • Oxy
    • OC
    • Percs
    • Happy Pills
  • Depressants:
    • Barbs
    • Reds
    • Yellow Jackets
    • Candy
    • Downers
    • Zombie Pills
  • Stimulants:
    • Skippy
    • Vitamin R
    • Bennies
    • Black Beauties
    • Speed
    • Uppers 


  • Prescription drug abuse is considered by the government to be an epidemic in the U.S.
  • An estimated 48 million people age 12 and older have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs — both illicit and prescribed.
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