Prescription drug abuse is on the rise and should be cause for great concern. Narcotic (analgesic) drugs are the most commonly misused of prescription drugs. Below are the three categories of prescription drugs:
NARCOTICS (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet), also known as analgesics or opiods are drugs that are prescribed for moderate to severe physical pain. They are abused because of their euphoric, sedating, and numbing effects. Narcotic abuse causes tolerance and dependence and the withdrawal symptoms are severe.
DEPRESSANTS (Xanax, Valium, Librium) are drugs that are prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. They are abused because of their sedating properties. With abuse, depressants cause tolerance and dependence and the withdrawal symptoms can be severe.
STIMULANTS (Ritalin, Dexedrine, Meridia) are prescribed to treat ADD/ADHD and other conditions such as asthma. They are abused because of their energizing and euphoric effects. Stimulants do not generally cause tolerance or dependence but abuse is associated with hostility and paranoia. There is also great risk for cardiovascular failure and seizures.