The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs that are Commonly Abused

Prescription drugs are abundant in the United States and are typically written out to people suffering from painful injuries or after invasive surgical procedures. There is a common misconception that because the medication is prescribed by a medical authority, prescription drugs are safe. This belief is false and prescription medication, even if administered correctly, is highly addictive and can be easily abused.

Prescription drug abuse can happen unintentionally; a person may be taking a painkiller for an injury and could find himself or herself taking more medication than necessary because tolerance builds up over time, and they require a bigger dose to get the effect they desire. Once the person has built up a tolerance to the medication, addiction can occur.

Addiction is the physical and mental dependence on a substance, even if the addict is well aware of the negative consequences of repeatedly using that substance. The following list is some of the most addictive prescription drugs that are commonly abused.


Vicodin is a well-known opiated-based prescription painkiller. When abused, it produces a feeling of euphoria and sedation, and can cause depressed breathing – making it particularly dangerous for older adults. When Vicodin is abused over a period of time, the individual builds up a tolerance to the drug and symptoms of withdrawal can occur. Withdrawal symptoms from painkiller addiction are severe and include symptoms such as leg and stomach pain, fever, vomiting and other highly uncomfortable ailments.


Percocet is a potent prescription painkiller typically given for short-term pain relief, like after an injury. It produces feelings of elation and bliss and is known to cause cardiac problems, especially when it’s abused over a period time. Percocet addiction also causes increased pressure in your skull and could put you at risk for liver disease.


OxyContin can used abused in a variety of ways: it can be crushed and snorted, and even injected directly into the blood stream. Because of the ways that OxyContin is abused, it has been responsible for countless overdose deaths in the United States. In fact, more than 100 people die from drug overdose each day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Demerol is a potent opioid that is prescribed for pain management. It is abused because it generates feelings of pleasure, and many people take Demerol to cope with emotional pain or high levels of stress. When abused over a period of time, the person will develop a physical and mental dependence. Withdrawal symptoms from Demerol are intense and these symptoms alone can cause an individual to relapse.


Roxicodone is a narcotic opioid pain reliever and is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It be can taken orally or crushed and snorted; withdrawal symptoms may occur if the individual abruptly stops taking Roxicodone. Like with all narcotic painkillers, symptoms of withdrawal are intense and highly unpleasant.

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a serious physical and mental health problem. It is greatly advised by medical authorities to undergo supervised medical detox in a professional setting to safely and slowly wean off the drugs.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.