Prescription drug addiction is defined as a pattern of compulsive drug use that is characterized by a continued craving for drugs and the need to use these drugs for psychological effects or mood alterations. Abusers of prescription drugs generally find that they need these drugs to feel “normal.” Users will exhibit drug seeking behaviors and are often preoccupied with obtaining and using drugs of their choice. The methods in which users obtain their drugs may be through legal or illegal channels and sources.
Prescription drug addiction is a disease
The American Society of Addiction Medicine considers addiction:
“a disease process characterized by the continued use of a specific psychoactive substance despite physical, psychological or social harm.”
If these types of drugs are stopped abruptly, the dependent person will usually go through ‘withdrawal’ (much like people who quit smoking) because the body is no longer receiving the outside source of the ‘chemical’ it has grown to expect.
Who’s at risk?
The risk for addiction is greatest amongst women, adolescents and the elderly. The list that follows is also considered ‘high risk factors’ when looking at drug addictions: fatigue or overwork, poverty, depression, medical condition that requires pain medication, excessive alcohol consumption and family history of addiction.
Statistically speaking, women are two to three times more likely to be prescribed drugs such as a sedative and they are about two times more likely to become addicted to the substance. Next, seniors take more drugs than the rest of the population, increasing their odds of becoming addicted. Finally, recent studies have shown that the sharpest increase of users of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes occur in the 12 to 17 and 18-25 age groups.
As you can see from the statistics people of all ages all across the world are affected by prescription drugs. If you’re looking for un-biased opinions and free informational articles on prescription drugs feel free to browse through our site, or find out more about the most common prescription drug adictions below.
Common types of prescription drug addictions
The following are the most common type of prescription drug addictions. Click each link for more information about the specific prescription drug addiction: