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    Prescription Drugs

    Prescription Drug Addiction

    Prescription drugs are approved medications used to treat illnesses, diseases, and an array of medical conditions, including addiction and anxiety disorders. Even when prescribed, they can cause physical changes that lead to addiction. When they’re used outside the specific directions of the doctor, for example, the likelihood of becoming chemically dependent on these prescription drugs drastically increases. Some prescription drugs that are particularly hazardous in terms of addiction include:

    • Opioids, used to treat pain, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco),
    • Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives ,used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), and hypnotics, such as zolpidem (Ambien),
    • Stimulants, used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain sleep disorder, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others), dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall XR) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)

    When to see a professional at ARC:

    If you identify with any of these symptoms below regarding the use of your prescriptions – it’s important to react before the problem becomes more serious.

    • Increase or decrease in sleep
    • Poor decision-making
    • Appearing to be high, unusually energetic or revved up, or sedated
    • Continually “losing” prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written
    • Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
    • Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor
    • Taking higher doses than prescribed
    • Excessive mood swings or hostility


    Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse
    Opioid painkillersSedatives and anti-anxiety medicationsStimulants
    ConstipationDrowsinessReduced appetite
    Feeling high (euphoria)Unsteady walkingHigh body temperature
    Slowed breathing rateSlurred speechInsomnia
    DrowsinessPoor concentrationHigh blood pressure
    ConfusionDizzinessIrregular heartbeat
    Poor coordinationProblems with memoryAnxiety
    Increased pain with higher dosesSlowed breathingParanoia