What is Prescription Drug Abuse:
Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, are sometimes abused—that is, taken for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older. Learn more
Commonly Abused Drugs:
Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids (for pain), central nervous system (CNS) depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy).
- Fentanyl (Duragesic®)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
- Oxymorphone (Opana®)
- Propoxyphene (Darvon®)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
- Meperidine (Demerol®)
- Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®)
Central nervous system depressants include:
- Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal®)
- Diazepam (Valium®)
- Alprazolam (Xanax®)
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin® and Concerta®)
- Amphetamines (Adderall®)
Statistics and Trends
|Any Prescription Drug||Past Year||-||-||14.80|
|Narcotics other than Heroin||Past Year||-||-||7.90|
|Drug||Time Period||Ages 12 or Older||Ages 12 to 17||Ages 18 to 25||Ages 26 or Older|
|Psychotherapeutics (Nonmedical Use)||Lifetime||[20.90]||10.00||28.10||[21.00]|
- Prescription Drugs poster
- Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body- Year 10-11 Compilation for Students
- Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body- Year 10-11 Compilation for Teachers
- Prescription Drugs of Abuse Chart
- Efforts of the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Prevent and Treat Prescription Drug Abuse (Testimony to Congress)
- NIDA for Teens: Prescription Drug Use
- NIDA for Teens: PEERx
Get more information on Emerging Trends, we will update this page with the latest research findings as they develop.
Examines the non-medical use of prescription drugs-opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants-describing adverse health effects of their use and the prevention and treatment of addiction.
Safe Disposal of Medicines
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Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator or 1-800-662-HELP.
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.
Prescription Drug Abuse
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