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3 types of prescription drugs that people often abuse

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Drug Crimes

Prescription drugs are controlled substances. The law limits who has access to these substances by requiring a physician’s recommendation. Only licensed professionals can prescribe and distribute controlled substances. The reason for gatekeeping practices around certain medications is the risk inherent in taking those medications. Some drugs are habit-forming, which means that people may develop substance abuse issues when taking those medications. Other drugs are dangerous because they can easily lead to an overdose or have the potential to dangerously interact with other medications.

There are three types of medications, in particular, that have a strong association with inappropriate patient conduct. Anyone using medications in one of the three categories below might face heightened scrutiny from law enforcement over their possession and use of those substances.

Chemical depressants

Drugs that slow or calm the central nervous system are depressants. Depressants are among the most abused medications. Alcohol is a depressant, and many people abuse alcohol. Plenty of prescribed medications also fall into this category. Sleep medications and certain types of psychiatric medications including benzodiazepines and barbiturates are depressants that people could potentially misuse.

Chemical stimulants

Drugs that energize the central nervous system are also easy for people to abuse or become addicted to without medical oversight. The stimulants prescribed for those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are some of the most in-demand drugs on the unregulated market. People might inject or intentionally inhale powdered pills as a means of securing a profound rush of energy and focus.

Narcotic pain relievers

The availability of synthetic opioid drugs has made pain relief more affordable and accessible in recent years. Unfortunately, opioid drugs join naturally-derived opiates as some of the most dangerous prescribed drugs legally available in the United States. People may have a hard time ceasing the use of these medications because they could experience powerful withdrawal symptoms. They may also develop a tolerance that forces them to consume more of the medication until they are at risk of a fatal overdose.

Those caught in possession of commonly-abused prescription medications without a recommendation from a physician may face criminal charges. The state also prosecutes those who transfer their medication to others. Realizing that a particular medication comes with an increased risk of drug charges may help people better manage their approach to prescription drugs.