Many people become addicted to medications that have been prescribed by their physician for post-surgical pain, pain following an injury, or other valid medical reasons. Problems can develop when these pain relievers are not used as intended by the doctor or when they are used for long periods of time. At times it is most important to have preventative measures in place to address this. Dependence to a prescribed medication is just as destructive as dependence to any illicit substance. Statistics show that individuals who are addicted to these medications are also more likely to use illegal drugs.
Central Nervous System Depressants
Often called sedatives or tranquilizers, central nervous system depressants slow down the functioning of the brain and can affect people by producing a calm or drowsy feeling. They are used by doctors to treat anxiety and panic attacks. They include barbiturates and benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Librium, and Xanax. Long-term use of this class of medications can lead to a dependency, or addictions to the other medications of this class. Seizures can occur as a result of benzodiazepine withdrawal if people use less of the medication or stop altogether. This can in some cases lead to death.
Stimulants are medications that effect people by making them more alert and have more energy. These drugs are successfully used to treat ADHD, tiredness, fatigue and depression. They include Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, and Concerta. Drugs in this category can give people a sense of euphoria, which leads to risk of increased dosing. When taken, stimulants raise blood pressure and heart rate. Taking large amounts can result in irregular heartbeat and even heart failure. Prescriptions also have many negative effects of stimulant withdrawal when abused, like fatigue, depression and inability / irregular sleep patterns.