Addiction to prescription drugs is a serious problem that usually requires professional treatment to overcome. At Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers, we work with all types of prescription drug addiction, helping users move past their addiction to a new life of sobriety. If you are currently battling a prescription drug addiction, help is available. Contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers in Los Angeles and Malibu today at 866-889-3665.

Learn About Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances among teenagers after marijuana and alcohol. The perception is that these drugs are safer than street drugs because they are prescribed by a physician. However, recreational use of prescription drugs can be just addictive and dangerous as using drugs purchased illegally. In these cases, drugs are often taken in ways that are not prescribed, such as use by someone other than the patient or using higher doses of the drug than recommended.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 13.9 percent of 12th graders reported using a prescription drug for non-medical purposes at some point during their lives. Most of the teens that use these drugs are given them by a friend or relative. Instead of taking the pill orally, some users will crush the pill to create a powder they can snort or inject to get a faster, more intense “high.”

Types of Prescription Drugs

There are three basic types of prescription drugs that are commonly abused:

  • Opioid Pain Relievers – Vicodin, oxycodone, morphine and codeine
  • Stimulants (such as those used for treating ADHD) – Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta
  • Central Nervous System Depressants – Xanax and Valium

The Effect of Prescription Drugs on the Body

All three categories of drugs offer an initial “high” or feeling of euphoria. However, other effects will depend on the type of drug that is taken. Opioids and sedatives cause drowsiness, while stimulants typically lead to increased energy and mental alertness. All three of the drugs are addictive, which means higher doses will eventually be needed to achieve the same effect and if users try to stop taking the drugs, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms may develop.

Symptoms & Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction

People that become addicted to prescription drugs are likely to spend more time and money getting and using the drugs. For some, that means turning to the street for their supply, which leaves them in the dark about precisely what is in the substances they are taking. Some people that become addicted to opioids may eventually turn to street opiates like heroin to get the same “high” for less money. If people addicted to prescription drugs try to stop using, withdrawal symptoms may be painful and even dangerous.