Prescription Drug

Prescription drug abuse is defined as using a medication in a manner other than the way in which it was prescribed, without a prescription, or for the experience the medication provides.

  • How does prescription abuse begin?
  • What should you look for in treatment?
  • Where do you go from here?

How Prescription Drug Abuse Begins

For many people, the abuse of prescription drugs begins by using their medications outside of the doctor-recommended guidelines. This may include taking more than the prescribed dose in hopes of stronger effects or even taking the medication simply to get “high”.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs include opioid pain relievers, stimulant medications used to treat ADHD (such as Ritalin or Adderall), and anti-anxiety medications. When it comes to recognizing the signs of prescription drug abuse in yourself or someone you know, it is important to understand that each individual and each drug is different. As a result, there is no exact timeline regarding how long it may take for dependence to develop.

When an individual develops a prescription drug addiction, he or she may become compulsive in their efforts to seek out the substance. If you suspect that someone close to you is abusing prescription drugs, you may notice the following signs:

  • Frequently moving from one healthcare provider to another
  • Mood swings or mood disorder
  • Rapid dosage increases
  • Forged or false prescriptions
  • Using multiple pharmacies