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What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Many people feel that prescription drugs are relatively harmless because they’re provided by a doctor. While it’s true that prescription medications do have legitimate medical purposes, they can still be abused like other substances.

That’s why it’s so important to understand what prescription drug abuse looks. With the following knowledge, you can seek the assistance necessary to cease taking medications regularly and take back control of your life.

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Signs of dependence and abuse typically depend on the type of drug being taken:

  • Opioids – Overuse of opioids like Oxycontin can lead to confusion, tiredness, decreased rate of breathing, constipation, nausea, and a feeling of euphoria.
  • Stimulants – Stimulants, such as Adderall, cause sleeplessness, agitation, increased blood pressure and body temperature, diminished appetite, and paranoia when taken incorrectly. 
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications – Medications like Xanax are used to quell intense bouts of panic and anxiety, but can cause sleepiness, problems with concentration, decreased breathing, slurred speech, and unsteadiness when taken against a doctor’s orders.

Risk Factors

While virtually anyone can fall into prescription drug abuse, some people have a greater risk than others. This includes people with a past history of drug abuse and misuse, those with existing mental health issues, and those with family members who also have or had addiction issues.


The best way to prevent prescription drug abuse is to always take medication according to your doctor’s orders. If you experience any side effects or complications, talk to you doctor right away. It might be possible to switch medications or adjust your dosage.

If you’re struggling with an existing prescription drug issue, Duke City Recovery Toolbox is here to lend a hand. Our skilled therapeutic team is equipped to handle many types of drug abuse and misuse, including those involving prescription medication. We provide a combination of effective approaches, including counseling and medication-assisted treatment. Please call today to schedule an appointment with our intake team in Albuquerque.