10 Most Addictive Prescription Drugs and Signs of Addiction

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Prescription drugs that are used in the treatment of different medical issues are an innovation that can save people from plenty of problems. But just because some prescription drugs work wonders for most people doesn’t mean that they will be suitable for everyone. With the number of issued prescriptions rising, so does the number of people who abuse those same drugs rise. In fact, this problem has become so widespread that many people will end up in a Palm Beach addiction center after abusing prescription drugs. Bear in mind that not every pill that is prescribed will have the same effect on an individual. Thus, we’ll focus our attention on the ten most addictive prescription drugs that are currently on the market. Tread carefully around the following drugs.

Why do Healthcare Providers Prescribe Addictive Drugs?

Most people struggle to understand why a healthcare professional would prescribe a drug they know causes addiction. And the answer is quite a simple one – these drugs are very effective in treating different conditions. Take opioids as an example. They are highly addictive, but they provide the necessary relief from pain. Likewise, central nervous system depressants can cause addiction, but they work exceptionally well in helping people deal with their sleep disorders.

A doctor writing in a chart.
When taken in moderation and under supervision, prescription drugs aren’t a bad thing.

Thus, prescription drugs aren’t inherently bad. When taken per instructions, these prescription drugs can help people deal with various conditions. That’s why doctors need to assess their risks and benefits by taking a look at a patient’s medical records and tendencies. If a person has a history of drug addiction, doctors are going to be much more cautious when prescribing any medications.

And while a lot of responsibility falls on your doctor’s shoulders, you also have a say in whether you will form an addiction. People who take their medicine as per instructions are much less likely to end up in need of a rehab facility. Likewise, it helps to understand that there are many dangers when taking these drugs. Being alert and aware of what can happen will help you spot any problems early on and treat the problem at its inception.

A List of The Ten Most Addictive Prescription Drugs on The Market

If you get a prescription for any of the following drugs, we suggest you pay special attention. Seek professional assistance at the first sign of addiction – and be honest with yourself. You have better chances of treating the problem if you sign yourself up for a Boynton Beach prescription drugs addiction treatment in due time.


Opioids are a class of drugs that doctors prescribe for treating pain coming from various sources. Just like some other illegal drugs like heroin, opioids work by affecting the reward center in your brain. Some people who take opioids will develop a sense of euphoria that can signal to their brain that they need to take the drug again and again. This is how one can form an addiction. This is precisely why opioids are a high-risk prescription drug that entails extreme caution.

Not only should they be taken for the least amount of time necessary, but they should also be taken exactly as prescribed. Likewise, one should only take them for non-chronic pain, as they shouldn’t be a long-term solution. The most commonly prescribed opioid drugs are:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
A woman having lower back pain.
People suffering from short-term pain are likely to get a prescription for opioids.

1. Oxycodone (OxyContin)

To give you an idea of how widespread this drug is, we’ll start by saying that in 2013, there were 58.8 million prescriptions for oxycodone dispensed in the United States of America. Of course, not all of those people ended up with an addiction to this prescription drug. Due to the many side effects that accompany oxycodone (typically sold under the brand name OxyContin), many people couldn’t wait to get off the drug. However, other people had a completely different reaction to the drug. It’s those people that usually end up searching for an Oxycodone rehab facility in Palm Beach.

The rush of dopamine released from this opiate drug has urged other people to take more of the same drug in order to achieve that same effect. If you know anything about addiction, you know that this is precisely how it starts. That’s why many drug and alcohol rehabs in Palm Beach will work with patients with a strong addiction to opioid drugs.

2. Codeine

Codeine is one of the most addictive prescription drugs because it can even be found in prescription-strength cough syrup. This drug is in usage because it treats mild to moderate pain, as well as some symptoms of flu and cold. However, when taken in large enough quantities, codeine can have a sedative effect. Moreover, it can also alter one’s consciousness, which is why you shouldn’t drive when taking codeine.

Most addictive prescription drugs.
Never take drugs such as codeine lightly – they come with many adverse effects.

Like any other drug on this list, when properly used, codeine is beneficial for certain conditions. However, due to the effects that it can have on a person’s consciousness, it’s best to limit your use of this drug. Bear in mind that codeine is oftentimes combined with other drugs, such as acetaminophen. Many people might be taking codeine without realizing it, which is why it’s important to stay on top of your health.

3. Fentanyl

Fentanyl is one of the most detrimental prescription drugs one can get addicted to. This synthetic opioid is prescribed for chronic pain, so it is intended for long-term use. According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is given to cancer patients as it is 50 to 100 stronger than morphine. When a person takes fentanyl, they are likely to develop feelings of euphoria and relaxation which, if not careful, lead to addiction.

To give you an idea of how serious taking fentanyl is, you should know that this prescription drug is involved in half of the opioid-related overdose deaths. That’s because this drug is oftentimes mixed with heroin or cocaine, leading to catastrophic results. Thus, if you have a problem with addiction to this drug in combination with another substance, it would be wise to contact a heroin detox facility in Boynton Beach right away. Getting treated in due time is of crucial importance.

4. Meperidine (Demerol)

Usually sold under the brand name Demerol, meperidine is a synthetic opioid that causes addiction. Just like the other opioids from our list, meperidine also causes feelings of euphoria that get people addicted. Meperidine is prescribed for people who suffer from moderate to severe pain, and it should be taken exactly as instructed. Otherwise, you enhance your risk of developing an addiction to meperidine.

Central nervous system depressants

Some of the most addictive prescription drugs belong to this group of medications. Central nervous system depressants are prescribed for treating different sleep and mood disorders, and they have a tranquilizing effect. A person that is misusing these prescription drugs could be drowsy, lethargic, and irritable. The most commonly prescribed central nervous system depressants are:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Phenobarbital
A woman sleeping.
If you suffer from a sleep disorder, you are very likely to get a prescription for central nervous system depressants.

5. Alprazolam (Xanax)

The brand name Xanax is one medication that most people have heard of. Likewise, most people are aware that Xanax is an oftentimes misused prescription drug that can lead to addiction. Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are a group of medications that aim to slow down brain activity and produce the sensation of calmness. They are most commonly used for treating different disorders, such as anxiety and sleeping problems.

It is said that exposing yourself to this group of medications for more than one week will lead to a significant risk of developing an addiction. Sometimes, benzodiazepines are mixed with opioids, leading to catastrophic consequences for the one abusing these substances. If you or anyone you know is currently misusing Xanax, you shouldn’t hesitate to search for a drug rehab facility in Boynton Beach. Addiction is something that entails professional help.

6. Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Just like alprazolam, clonazepam is also a drug that belongs to a group of benzodiazepines. It is sold under the brand name Klonopin, and it is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States of America. Clonazepam produces highs that are similar to the ones that people get after consuming alcohol or another opioid substance. It isn’t unheard of for these prescription drugs to cause feelings of drunkness and relaxation, which is why they are oftentimes misused.

7. Diazepam (Valium)

Sold under the brand name Valium, diazepam is another drug from the benzodiazepines group. Just like its predecessors, it causes highs and relaxation that can get a person on the right way to addiction. Unfortunately, it’s very common for people to misuse benzodiazepines and combine them with opiates, leading to serious consequences and even an overdose. To prevent that from happening, it would be best to contact a Florida rehab facility at the first signs of addiction.

A woman holding a phone.
You should search for a suitable rehab facility at the first sign of addiction.

8. Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital is one of the most addictive prescription drugs and it belongs to a group of drugs called barbiturates. Nowadays, barbiturates aren’t as used as they once were, as they are highly addictive and have a greater potential for accidental overdose. However, some barbiturates are still on the market, as they can treat seizures and sleep disorders.

Phenobarbital and other barbiturates are no longer considered a top choice due to the side effects that can be formed. However, they are still used even in combination with some other drugs that are given for migraines. It’s very important to know whether a drug you are taking contains barbiturates, as that can raise your alertness to the drug. Thus, don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist for some answers and get all the necessary pieces of information for nipping the problem in the bud.


Stimulants are a class of drugs that increase brain activity. These are also called CNS stimulants, and they are known for the way they increase alertness, attention, and energy. Stimulants raise the level of certain brain chemicals, such as dopamine, resulting in that euphoric state. Doctors prescribe these drugs for different conditions, and they can treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, narcolepsy, etc.

Because of the feel-good hormones that these drugs release, they are highly habit-forming. Most people who find themselves in a crack cocaine Boynton Beach rehab know how easy it is for addiction to be formed. Thus, be very careful after getting a prescription for the following drugs:

  • Amphetamine (Adderall)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
Most addictive prescription drugs in a weekly package.
Monitor your use of stimulants and never go over the dosage from your prescription.

9. Amphetamine (Adderall)

You most likely already know that Adderall is one of the most addictive prescription drugs around. Sold under the brand name Adderall, amphetamine is a substance that is highly abused nowadays. Also known as speed, amphetamine is used for treating different disorders, such as ADHD and narcolepsy. And this drug would be highly beneficial if it were used for what it is intended.

Unfortunately, many people nowadays are abusing amphetamine due to its energizing effects. Adderall is mostly abused by people who don’t get enough sleep, such as truck drivers and shift workers. However, college students are a group of people who are particularly prone to abusing this substance. The University of Michigan has carried out a study that suggests that 9% of all college students are using Adderall for non-medical issues.

Since addiction can be difficult to treat, it’s essential to spot any signs of trouble early on. Thus, if you believe that you have problems controlling your addiction, it would be best to find a good Adderall rehab facility in Boynton Beach. Just because many people are addicted to this drug does not mean that it should be taken lightly.

10. Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

The tenth most addictive prescription drug is methylphenidate, sold under the brand name Ritalin. This drug is very similar to Adderall, and it affects your central nervous system. Moreover, just like most stimulant drugs including Adderall, Ritalin can treat disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy. This prescription drug is highly addictive, which is why one should use it exactly as per instructions.

A man who is yawning.
People suffering from narcolepsy are likely to get a prescription for stimulant drugs, putting them at a higher risk.

The problem with Ritalin and the reason why so many people have an addiction to it is its availability. There are millions of prescriptions filled for this drug every year – 13 million, to be precise. Chances are high that at least a small portion of those 13 million people will become addicted to the drug and misuse it.

How to Know You Have Become Dependent on The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs?

Just because a drug is a highly addictive one does not mean that it will have catastrophic effects on you. Quite the contrary – if you get a prescription for any of these medications, it’s because you really need them. They have their purpose, as they can treat certain conditions. However, while you are encouraged and advised to take these medications exactly as instructed, you are also encouraged to be on the lookout. There are certain signs that point to addiction and knowing what they are will help you stay alert and spot any problems in due time.

Signs of addiction

  • If you start using a drug at a higher dose or for a longer time than prescribed, chances are you have become addicted.
  • The initial dose of your medication no longer has the same effects on you. If you need to double up the dose to achieve the same effects, you have probably misused the drug.
  • You most likely have an addiction if you notice that you have a problem and try to cut down on medication but are unable to.
  • If you have noticed that the medication is causing you emotional and physical problems yet you have continued to use it, you have most likely developed an addiction.
  • Once you stop participating in activities due to the drugs, you are most likely dealing with addiction.
  • If you experience withdrawal symptoms after skipping a dose, you ought to search for a rehab facility.
A man jumping on mountains.
If you no longer participate in the activities that you love, you are in danger of developing an addiction.

The difference between physical dependence and addiction

Most often, people believe that these two terms have the same meaning. However, they describe two completely different conditions. Let’s start with physical dependence. When a person develops a physical dependence on a drug, their body learns to depend on the medication in question. Should a person suddenly decide to stop using it, they would develop the symptoms of withdrawal. However, individuals with physical dependence still use the drug according to the instructions. Likewise, having a physical dependence on the most addictive prescription drugs doesn’t make one an addict.

On the other hand, a person with an addiction has had certain chemical changes happen to their brain. Their misuse of prescription drugs is affecting their physical, as well as emotional well-being. However, even though they suffer from strained relationships, they still continue to misuse the drug. Individuals with addiction are capable of misusing the drug no matter how much havoc it wreaks on their personal lives.

What to Do If You Believe You Might Have an Addiction?

For starters, give yourself a pat on the back because, if you are reading this, it most likely means you admit that you have a problem. Unfortunately, that’s more than some people ever do. Recognizing the problem is the first step to recovery. The second step should be finding a suitable rehab facility in your area. Addiction is a vile disease that one can control with proper guidance and support.

Thus, start by finding reliable professionals in your area. The right addiction facility for you is the one that fits your budget, but also provides plenty of therapy approaches. When it comes to addiction recovery, group, individual, and trauma therapy sessions are going to be mandatory. The best treatment facilities have professionals with training and experience, and they put different therapists at your disposal.

A person during craniosacral therapy.
Different types of therapies bear different benefits.

Secondly, feel free to rely on the support of the people that you love. Battling addiction is always much easier once you have people who support you. If your addiction has put a strain on your relationships, you can always make amends. Many addicts worry that the people that they love will never treat them the same way again. However, you might get a pleasant surprise once you realize that’s not actually the case.

The Bottom Line

This was merely a list of the ten most addictive prescription drugs. You need to be aware that there are many more habit-forming drugs on the market. While these drugs have the potential to cause tremendous addiction problems down the line, they aren’t inherently bad. As long as you follow your healthcare provider’s instructions, you are likely to experience good results only. Of course, it helps to be aware of everything that can happen so that you monitor your own use of these drugs.

If at any point you start feeling like you are developing a prescription drug problem, we urge you to seek the necessary help right away. Likewise, always stay on top of all the medications that you are taking. Some people aren’t even aware that they are taking an opioid drug so they let their guard down and form an addiction. Talk to your local pharmacist or healthcare provider before taking any of the most addictive prescription drugs on the market. And if you notice that you have a problem, feel free to contact us for help and treatment.


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