What drugs are most commonly abused?

Drugs that are most commonly abused include opioid pain medications, central nervous system depressants like sleeping pills and sedatives, or anxiety medications like Valium or Xanax. Other drugs that are prone to abuse are some stimulant medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Marijuana was the drug of choice for nearly two-thirds of the 7.1 million people ages 12 or older who were dependent on, or abused, illicit drugs during 2010. Prescription pain relievers were the second most commonly abused drug. Two other classes of prescription medications, tranquilizers and stimulants, ranked fourth and seventh.

Continue Learning about Substance Abuse and Addiction

Side Effects of Opioid Medication
Side Effects of Opioid Medication
Opioids—a class of drug that includes oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine, as well as heroin, morphine and fentanyl—may knock out the pain, but they ca...
Read More
What are some behavioral signs of substance abuse?
George JosephGeorge Joseph
Behavioral signs of substance abuse:• Lack of motivation and performance in school or at work• Sudde...
More Answers
What are the health consequences of heroin use?
The health consequences of heroin use include: Dry, itchy skin, skin infections and abscesses Co...
More Answers
Do Young Adults Understand Risk?
Do Young Adults Understand Risk?

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.