What are some commonly abused medications?

Commonly abused medications include:

  • Opiods. Opioids are derived from the opium poppy (or synthetic versions of it) and used for pain relief. Some examples of commonly abused opioids include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin or Percocet), fentanyl (Duragesic or Fentora), methadone and codeine. Although many types of prescription drugs are abused, there is currently a growing, deadly epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.
  • Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants used as sedatives, to induce sleep, prevent seizures and relieve anxiety. Some examples of commonly abused benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan). 
  • Amphetamine-like drugs. Amphetamine-like drugs are central nervous system stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some examples of commonly abused amphetamine-like drugs include dextroamphetamine/amphetamine (Adderall or Adderall XR) and methylphenidate (Ritalin or Concerta).


Continue Learning about Substance Abuse and Addiction

Dope and Dopamine
Dope and Dopamine
What do Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington D.C., and Washington state have in common? They’ve legalized recreational marijuana use for adults. And a...
Read More
Is there any harm in women drinking to combat stress or nervousness?
For women, drinking to combat stress or nervousness can lead to harm. Women often begin to abuse alc...
More Answers
Can my primary care doctor diagnose a substance abuse problem?
Howard J. Shaffer, PhDHoward J. Shaffer, PhD
A survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found th...
More Answers
The Second Stage of Heroin Withdrawal
The Second Stage of Heroin Withdrawal

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.