About 52 million Americans older than 12 have used prescription medications nonmedically at some point in their liv es. Many become addicted, and that process happens slowly. Some people don’t notice the moment at which they shift from recreational abuse to intense addiction, but when an addiction takes hold, it can be serious. Medical detox, followed by intensive therapy and support group work, can deliver relief.
Prescription medications are designed to treat diseases and/or the discomfort that diseases can bring.
For people with medical conditions like asthma or cancer, and for people with mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, prescription medications can mean the difference between a healthy and happy life or an upsetting and painful illness.
But some people use prescription medications for reasons that have very little to do with illnesses. These people take prescription medications recreationally, and there are a lot of people just like this in the world. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 52 million Americans older than 12 have used prescription medications nonmedically at some point in their lives.
While people who abuse prescription medications might think that their habits are harmless, those pills can deliver serious consequences. Sometimes, people who abuse these drugs need the help of professionals in order to recover.
Understanding Prescription Drug Categories
The main drugs of concern, when it comes to addiction, fall into three categories.
but all drugs lumped into a category tend to work in the same way and deliver the same kinds of benefits. These are the three types addiction experts keep close tabs on.