Some people experiment with prescription drugs because they think they will help them have more fun, lose weight, fit in, and even study more effectively. Prescription drugs can be easier to get than street drugs: Family members or friends may have them. But prescription drugs are also sometimes sold on the street like other illegal drugs.
Certain prescription medications, such as analgesics, sleeping pills, amphetamines and tranquillizers are commonly known for causing drug dependence. Three classes of prescription drugs that are often misused include:
- Opioids used to treat pain
- Central nervous system (CNS) depressants used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders
- Stimulants used to treat sleep disorders
People think that prescription drugs are safer and less addictive than street drugs but prescription drugs are only safe for the individuals who actually have prescriptions for them. This is because a doctor has examined these people and prescribed the right dose of medication for a specific medical condition. The doctor has also told them exactly how they should take the medicine and things to avoid. They also are aware of potentially dangerous side effects and can monitor patients closely for these.
People who abuse medications can become addicted just as easily as if they were taking street drugs. The reason many drugs have to be prescribed by a doctor is because some of them are quite addictive. That’s one of the reasons most doctors won’t usually renew a prescription unless they see the patient — they want to examine the patient to make sure he or she isn’t getting addicted.