Most Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription pill abuse goes far beyond just pain medicine. Many types of pills are abused daily by multitudes of people in the United States. This article will briefly explain what prescription drug abuse is and list what the most abused prescription drugs are in todays society.

What is Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription pill abuse occurs when a person either uses prescription drugs in a manner or quantanty in which the drug wasn’t designed to be used. Below is a list of examples on ways people abuse prescription pills.

  • One example of prescription pill abuse is when someone crushes and snorts a pain pill or xanax.
  • Another example could be someone injecting an oxycodone pill with a needle.
  • A person has a prescription to take three valium’s per day, however, they began taking four a day then five a day, etc.
  • Assume you are prescribed ninety loratabs for a thirty day period. You run out on day twenty and began buying more pain pills from others until you get another refill.

The above list is a just few examples of prescription pill abuse. I’m sure you could think of many more examples but the point here is to understand that anytime you use prescription drugs in a greater quantanty than is prescribed you are abusing the pills. Another important fact is when you take pills in a manner other than the recommend why to take the medicine it is most often considered abuse of the prescription drugs.

Most Abused Prescription Drug

Although pain pills are the most abused prescription drugs, there certainly not the only medicines Americans use in an abusive manner. Other pills such as xanax, Valium, amphetamines and codeine are commonly abused. Below we will list some of the most abused prescription drugs by drug categories.

Opiates or Opioids

  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone (synthetic opioid)
  • Vicodin

Opiates or opioids are prescribed for pain and can produce an intense high when abused. Many overdose deaths are reported each year due to opiate abuse. Despite this fact, opiates and opioids continue to be one of the most abused prescription drugs.


  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Restoril

Benzodiazepines are usually prescribed for stress and anxiety disorders and produce a relaxing or calming effect. Like pain pills, these drugs also produce many overdose deaths each year. Drugs like xanax and valium do not mix well with other drug classes. Therefore when someone takes opiates for instance and then mixes in a few xanax the body may shut down resulting in comma or death. This class of drugs has always been considered one of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States and elsewhere.


  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Dexedrine
  • Phentermine

Amphetamines are commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit disorders. Some doctors also prescribe amphetamines for weight loss purposes. Most of these drugs produce a short increase in energy and concentration. Although overdose deaths are not as common with Amphetamines as with some other prescription drugs they are still highly addictive when abused, therefore, this drug class makes our list of abused prescription drugs.

Our list of the most abused prescription drugs is in no way a complete list. We are just touching on some of the most common types of drugs people use and abuse. Some people will always try to find different drugs and methods to abuse and we constantly hear of different drug class which are being abused. With that being said, we still consistently find that opiates, benzos, and amphetamines are the most abused prescription drugs year after year.

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