Drug use in Indiana has become reached epidemic levels. According to Anabranch Recovery Center, overdoses and deaths related to drug use have trended upward for several years.
These crisis situations do not always arise from illicit drugs. In many cases, the substances are prescription drugs used without regard for a doctor’s instructions. Here are three of the most commonly abused prescription drugs.
Stimulants treat sleeping disorders and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, they also have an unfounded reputation for helping people excel at academic tests. According to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, this reputation plus the prevalence of stimulant prescriptions for young people makes it a frequent drug of abuse among high school and college students.
2. Central nervous system depressants
The central nervous system is a collective name for the brain and the spinal cord. CNS depressants work to slow neural activity in these areas. Doctors prescribe them to treat acute stress, anxiety and insomnia. Because these substances slow brain function, an overdose can be fatal.
Opioids are narcotic painkillers. In addition to numbing pain, they also produce profound relaxation but, as with CNS depressants, an overdose can interfere with vital body functions. Doctors prescribe opioids for severe pain, such as may occur after surgery. In a year, doctors in Indiana write approximately 11 million prescriptions for controlled substances, of which approximately half may be for opioids.
Even when following a doctor’s instructions, there is a risk of becoming addicted to prescription medication. The risk increases if a person takes a drug in a way that goes against the doctor’s orders.