Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction

While the dangers of illegal drugs often grab the top news headlines due to their sensational nature, the legal side to the drug addiction epidemic in America remains just as dangerous. Prescription drug addiction has become far too common a problem, even if it is often overlooked.

Because pain medications are prescribed by doctors to patients in need, the dangers of prescription drug abuse can be easy to ignore. But the risks of prescription drug abuse are just as significant, if not more so, than those posed by illegal drugs bought on the street.

The fact that a drug is legal does not make it any less hazardous or any less addictive. If you are worried about yourself or a family member developing a prescription drug addiction, learning about the most addictive prescription drugs is an important place to start.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.


Opioid pain medications were developed for all the right reasons, but overprescribing these medications snowballed out of control. While pharmaceutical companies were painting a bright picture of effective pain relief without the risk of addiction, the realities on the street were telling a much different story.

Far from being non-addictive, the new class of opioid pain medication with names like Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, and Percocet have proven to be extremely addictive. People who used these drugs for pain relief following surgery or turned to them for comfort from chronic back pain soon found themselves dependent on these opioids, creating a spiral of addiction and a difficult road to recovery. However, the good news is that pain management doctors now know how addictive these drugs can be and are now looking at alternatives to opioid medications, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy.


Benzodiazepines are another class of powerful medications, also prescribed for good intentions. In benzodiazepines, the goal is often to target anxiety, a medical condition that can be crippling in its severity and life-changing in its impact.

Those suffering from anxiety are often prescribed benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax to help them relax and live a less problematic life. These drugs are prescribed legally, but can lead to a troubling dependency and even a full-fledged addiction. Fortunately, many doctors now recognize the risk factors involved, and as a result, are now looking at alternatives for treating anxiety, including meditation, relaxation techniques, and even yoga.


The use of prescription stimulants can start for various reasons, including the need to lose weight. People struggling with obesity may ask their doctors to prescribe stimulants, knowing their appetite suppressing qualities could help them shed additional pounds.

Stimulants may also be used for other reasons, including treating bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, prescription stimulants can create a cycle of addiction and difficult recovery. These drugs include names like dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate.

Getting Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction

In a perfect world, prescription medications would only help people, and never harm them. But in the real world, these powerful medications can have unintended side effects, including addiction and dependency. Taking more pills than prescribed or refilling your prescriptions too often can lead to long-term addiction that will be difficult to break.

If you or someone you care about has been prescribed any of these medications, whether they be opioid painkillers, benzodiazepines for anxiety, or stimulants for weight loss, it is vital to monitor their use carefully. Getting help at the first sign of a drug dependency could mean the difference between a short-term problem and a long-term struggle with prescription drug addiction.

Just because a doctor prescribes a drug does not make it safe. While the physician has good intentions for the prescription, it is up to you to protect yourself from the addictive power these medications can often bring. If you suspect you have a problem, don’t hesitate to seek help before the grips of addiction become any more difficult to overcome.

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.