Whether to deal with mental health issues, manage pain, or another reason, a large number of adults in America take prescription medications. While this can be fine for adults who take medications as per their doctor’s instructions, the problem comes in when they begin taking more than the prescribed dosage at one time.

Certain medications are more likely to cause addictive tendencies and be abused by adults — so it’s essential to be aware of what they are in order to protect yourself or a loved one from a struggle with substance abuse.

Prescription Medications That are Often Abused


These drugs are typically prescribed for adults with pain issues. Many of them include ingredients like oxycodone or hydrocodone — very addictive ingredients — leading adults to abuse the drugs.

Symptoms of Opioid Abuse

Common signs of prescription opioid abuse include:

  • Drowsiness

  • Poor coordination

  • Worsened or increased sensitivity to pain

  • Increased dosage of medication to relieve pain


Medications used to sedate the mind or body, such as those prescribed for anxiety or depression, have a tendency to be abused if they contain ingredients like diazepam, zolpidem, and alprazolam. These can include medications such as Xanax, Ambien, and Valium.

Symptoms of Sedative Abuse

Common signs of prescription sedative abuse include:

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Poor concentration

  • Problems with memory


Prescriptions used to address some sleep disorders or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders contain ingredients, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, that can form addictive habits. Common medications in this category include Adderall XR, Ritalin, and Concerta.

Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse

Common signs of prescription stimulant abuse include:

  • Increased alertness

  • Reduced appetite

  • Anxiety

  • Paranoia

What to Do If You’re Struggling with Prescription Drug Use

If you find that you are taking your medication more often or in large doses than prescribed, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor. They can recommend a different medication or drug-free alternatives to address the problems you’re experiencing.

Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment for Adults

It is not a sign of “weakness” or “bad character” to become addicted to prescription medications. It can happen to anyone. The only thing that matters when it comes to addiction is receiving treatment and maintaining sobriety.

Located in a quiet spot near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Silver Ridge is a rehabilitation center designed to meet the needs of midlife adults. Call us at (855) 945-7788 or online to learn more about our prescription drug addiction rehab program in Asheville.