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Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment

Prescription drug abuse has reached an all time high in America. Every year, the percentage of people abusing prescription drugs jumps significantly. It is quickly passing marijuana as the number one illicitly abused drug. While there are several types of prescription medications sought by addicts, the main category of abused narcotic medicine is pain pills. Sedatives and tranquilizers fall in at a close second, followed by amphetamines and dieting pills.

Here is a list of the top 10 most widely-abused prescription drugs in the United States:

Hydrocodone (Vicodin)

Hydrocodone is easy to obtain with a prescription and is used to treat moderate pain. The most popular and widely abused form of hydrocodone is the brand name: Vicodin. Often taken orally, but can be crushed and snorted or injected by addicts.

Oxycodone (Percocet)

A bit stronger than hydrocodone, this pain reliever is often used to treat moderate to severe pain. Commonly prescribed after surgeries and for cancer patients.


An incredibly powerful narcotic pain-reliever. Because it contains ONLY a opiate pain reliever, it is formulated in a time-release pill that is often crushed to be injected or snorted, providing a quick rush of euphoria to the addict, instead of long-term pain relief like it was manufactured for.


Morphine is very popular in the liquid form. It is not a synthetic opiate like the previous drugs and is used to treat the highest levels of pain and suffering. This drug is harder to come by than the others, but carries a very high risk of addiction because of its effects on the central nervous system.

Alprazolam (Xanax)

Alprazolam is known by the brand name of Xanax. It’s main purpose is to treat anxiety and restlessness. When abused, it can be similar to the effects of alcohol. The person becomes very tired and lethargic. Xanax is usually taken orally, but when abused can be crushed for snorting or injection.


Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate, similar to the effects of morphine. In the medical realm , it is often used post-surgery to help with excruciating pain. There are also Fentanyl patches available to deliver the drug through the skin over a period of several days.

Diazepam (Valium)

Diazepam is classified as a sedative/tranquilizer. It is most often prescribed to treat anxiety on a short term basis, much like Xanax. Because it does not take a few weeks to work, like other anti-anxiety prescriptions can, it can be easily abused by injecting or snorting a higher dose than what is usually prescribed.


This drug is commonly used to treat pain in place of opiate drugs or to help someone overcome opiate addiction to drugs like Oxycontin or Heroin. However, since Methadone provides a pain-relieving, euphoric feeling, it can be as easily abused as opiate drugs. Methadone is usually in pill form and is crushed to be snorted or injected or taken orally; the same techniques apply for abusing Methadone that apply to other pain pills.


Ritalin’s rate of abuse is climbing higher each year because of college students looking for a quick fix to late night study-sessions. This drug is meant to treat children and adults with moderate to severe cases of Attention Deficit or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It helps those with the disorder to focus and perform better in school and work settings. When abused, it is similar to the effects of speed. A person abusing the drug is able to stay awake long hours. It is addictive and can cause heart problems and paranoia if misused.

Tramadol (Ultram)

This pain medication is quickly becoming popular among pain pill addicts. It is not considered a narcotic pain reliever, but is a very close relative. It is used most commonly to treat moderate pain. When taken in a high enough dose, the effects are similar to hydrocodone or oxycodone narcotic medications.

These are just 10 of countless other sedatives, narcotic and amphetamines being abused by people in the United States every day. A person may find themselves addicted after a legitimate need for these medications. However, even though these drugs are legal, they can bring about just as much trouble as illegal substances. When you suffer from an addiction to prescription drugs, you risk your health, your job, your family and friends and your good legal standing.

Vista Taos Wants to Help

Prescription drug abuse is just about the same as illegal drug use: drug treatment and professional care is necessary to help achieve and maintain lifelong sobriety. However, since each person who enters the clinic has different requirements, Vista Taos Treatment Center will work with patients to develop a specialized treatment program to target the needs of the individual and family. Our programs utilize proven educational techniques, group processes and 12-step plans as the basis for treatment. Our family program provides guidance in addressing the needs of the family and patient. Our experienced staff provides extensive support for you to begin your recovery journey.

Please make the first step towards self-renewal and fill out the form you see to the left or give us a call any time of day at 1.877.772.2616. Your journey towards well-being awaits you.

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