The most common reason for Americans to visit their doctor is to get help with the pain. The pain can cause significant distress or discomfort. The physician often prescribes opioid pain medication to help the patients. Though these medicines are beneficial in treating the symptoms of pain, they can be very addictive, and these drugs also have a potential for abuse.
Various drugs can help people with short-term and chronic pain. Most of these medications fall into the category of opioids, which is also known as narcotic pain medications. These addictive medicines include codeine, morphine, and other synthetic drugs. It is very crucial to stay cautious while using these pain medications, as improper use might result in dangerous side effects. Taking medication as per the doctor’s prescription makes it less likely for a person to become addicted to them. The abuse of pain medicines has become a prevalent form of drug abuse in the United States. The reason behind this is that doctors often over-prescribe them. In some cases, they give these drugs to the people who don’t require such intense treatment, and in other cases, they prescribe these medicines for far longer than necessary.
Read all about the 10 Most Addictive Painkillers
According to the NIDA (national institute on drug abuse), medications listed below are the most addictive prescription drugs that one can buy. Most of these are helpful in the treatment of long-term chronic pain, but doctors also prescribe some for short-term use.
This medicine is commonly available under its brand name of OxyContin. It works by affecting the neurons and how they reach the brain and changes how the central nervous system responds to the feeling of pain. Physicians generally prescribe this medicine for treating patients with severe to moderate pain.
The primary use of this drug is for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, but it often proved to be helpful when used in combination with other medications to treat the symptoms of flu and cold. The codeine-based cough syrup can have a sedative effect on the user if taken in large quantities. It can also mess with a person’s consciousness.
It is a synthetic opioid. Healthcare professionals recommend this medicine for the treatment of acute and chronic pain, usually in people with cancer. As per the CDC (centers for disease control and prevention), this drug is 50 to 100 times potent than morphine and creates a feeling of relaxation and euphoria in the user.
Available under the name of Demerol, Meperidine is a synthetic opioid. The primary use of this drug is to treat the symptoms of moderate to severe pain. This medicine also works similar to other opioids. It alters the chemicals in the brain to change how the body will react to the feeling of pain.
Alprazolam is the most prescribed medication for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It works by suppressing the central nervous system activity to produce a calming effect. This medicine mimics the properties of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a natural tranquilizer and binds with the GABA receptors in the brain. People abuse it because of its fast-acting sedating effects.
Clonazepam (Klonopin) and Diazepam (Valium)
These drugs are benzodiazepines and help treat anxiety and panic disorders. There is also less frequent use of these medicines for the treatment of seizures. These drugs produce a “high” similar to the effects of alcohol on the body, and that is one of the main reasons why people misuse them.
Also known by the name “speed,” Adderall is an effective medicine for the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy. It is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. People often misuse this drug for its energizing effects.
Ritalin is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It helps a person to focus on a given task by increasing the level of dopamine in their brain. Due to its effects, this medicine helps treat conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy.
Doctors prescribe this drug for treating moderate to severe pain that might be a result of a chronic condition, surgical procedure, or injury. It is available under different brand names, including Norco, Vicodin, and Zohydro, in liquid and tablet form.
This medicine contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone. It is useful in treating the symptoms of moderate to severe short-term pain. This medicine can be habit-forming over extended use. People abuse it to get a feeling of wellbeing, pleasure, and euphoria.
These are the top addictive painkillers available in the market. Anyone with a proper prescription can get their hand on these and start using them. So, it is essential to understand that these addictive pills can be dangerous if not handled carefully. People using these should follow their doctor’s guidelines and try to maintain the dosage as per the prescription.