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).


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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.