The 7 most addictive prescription drugs

The 7 most addictive prescription drugs:

Prescription drugs are most commonly given to people suffering from or with injuries or
illnesses. They are legal when prescribed the medication by a legitimate medical provider or
GP. However, these drugs can still be addictive when taken as prescribed. People may
enjoy the feeling these drugs provide. Taking more of a drug than is necessary, can also
lead to addiction.

The following is a list of the seven most addictive drugs you’re likely to come across. You
probably have some of them in your medicine cabinet or purse!

Vicodin is an opiate-based painkiller that can cause euphoric effects when it’s abused. It
also causes serious withdrawal symptoms, so patients may have trouble stopping the drug
once they’ve started it. Abuse by crushing, snorting, or injecting is most common and will
make withdrawal more serious in most cases. The chance of addiction to this drug is great.
The main character of the television show “House M.D.” faced issues of Vicodin addiction
and withdrawal throughout the series.

OxyContin – “OXY” is a time-released painkiller often prescribed to those in need of major
pain relief after surgery or serious injury. However, it can provide a high when injected,
snorted, or crushed. Taking “Oxy” in this way can lead to overdose; abusing the drug in
these ways has caused many deaths and continues to do so.

Demerol is an opioid some patients struggle to discontinue even when it has been taken as
directed. The drug is addictive, and it inhibits the section of the brain that controls pain.
Serious withdrawal symptoms such as fever, chills, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and
depression can make this medication a difficult drug to discontinue. However, carefully
tapering off the drug can eliminate most of the side effects and make the withdrawal process
smoother. This however seldom happens without the guidance of a GP or other medical

Percocet is a notoriously addictive drug. Abusers use it to produce euphoric effects instead
of treating it properly as a short-term painkiller. Percocet can cause heart failure in those
who have taken excessive amounts to produce euphoria. Those who take large amounts
over a long period of time are most at risk for heart problems.

Darvocet is an opioid used to ease the pain from serious injuries or major surgeries. This
painkiller also includes acetaminophen, which can damage the liver in excess, so it’s
dangerous to take it in large doses over an extended period of time. Acetaminophen can
even cause death if taken in too large a dose at one time.

Ritalin is commonly prescribed to children, young adults, and adults to treat Attention Deficit
Disorder (ADD). However, it also can be used as a substitute for cocaine when snorted or
injected. This drug can cause increases or decreases in blood pressure and can even cause
psychotic episodes when abused. There has been a major rise in Ritalin abuse by children’s
parents who use the drug as a coping mechanism in our constantly more challenging work

Amphetamines are often used by those who would like to stay awake longer, so you might
see someone with narcolepsy taking them. These drugs cause euphoric effects similar to
cocaine when taken incorrectly. An amphetamine can cause a rush for a short period, but
that often is followed by a period of exhaustion. The person taking it might also suffer from
anxiety and depression after taking the drug, so the side effects can be pretty serious.

South Africa and Drug Abuse

The current socio- economic state of South Africa has given way to a rapid increase in Drug
and Alcohol abuse. With the rising unemployment and cost of living, drug abuse has become
rife in all communities.

Some recent statistics show that 15% of south Africans will have an addiction problem within
their life. This is far above the norm for the rest of the world. With South Africa’s crime rate,
60% is drug related. Whether these crimes are committed by perpetrators on drugs, or fuel
by drug dependence remains a question to be answered.

“Tik” remains one of the most widely and most addictive drugs used today. It is because
“Tik” is so highly addictive that it has spread rapidly throughout our country and destroyed so
many lives in the process.

A new drug called “Krokodil” has also entered the market in the past year and has created
havoc. The reason why it’s called “Krokodil” is because of its flesh eating result where it is
injected. The flesh around the injection point literally rots away as the cells die and infect the
area around them.

Drug dealers and makers have come up with more and more ways to combine drugs. HIV
medication, household products and a variety of medication is cooked up to create cheap
and addictive drugs that can be manufactured literally anywhere. With the low cost and
availability of these drugs, the user seldom realises the high price they pay.

Cocaine and the Brain

Research on cocaine illustrates that many dimensions may be involved in a single drug’s interaction with the activity of a single neurotransmitter. Studies show that cocaine alters dopamine neurotransmission with effects on:


Cocaine causes the pleasurable feelings that motivate drug abuse by raising dopamine
concentrations in the synapses of the reward system.

Besides keeping dopamine in the synapses by blocking the transporters, cocaine can
indirectly promote release of additional dopamine into the synapses by mobilizing a supply
that the sending cells normally hold in reserve. Cocaine's yield of pleasurable feelings arises
largely through the activity of one particular set of dopamine receptors, called D3 receptors.

Individuals believe they are functioning more efficiently when on Cocaine and report a
feeling of clarity when performing tasks or interacting with other people.


Some studies indicate that the transition from casual cocaine abuse to addiction begins with
the abuser's very first doses. For example, a single exposure to cocaine causes some cells
in the brain's reward system to increase their responsiveness to subsequent stimulations.

In living animals with minimal exposure to cocaine, the drug alters the dopamine
responsiveness for at least a week. After chronic cocaine abuse dopamine ticks up in the
reward system when the abuser encounters a cue associated with the drug.

Brains normally sprout new neurotransmitter receiving structures in the process of turning
new experience into learning. Cocaine accelerates this process, which may help account for
the drug's unusual hold on an addicted individual's attention.

Vulnerability to Abuse

A young person's marked taste for novelty may be an indication that dopamine activity in his
or her brain's reward system is especially sensitive to cocaine. An individual's attraction to
cocaine's dopamine-stimulating effects also may relate to his or her social circumstances.


The effects of Cocaine in “Re-Wiring” the brain and an individual’s reward system greatly
increase the chances of becoming addicted. The effect on neurotransmitters is so rapid, the
reward system becomes accustomed to Cocaine very quickly and this makes the substance
so addictive.

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