Top 10 Most Abused Prescription Drugs

There is a nationwide epidemic of drug addiction taking place in the United States. More people are overdosing and dying from prescription narcotics. Younger and younger teens are abusing drugs that they find in their parent’s medicine cabinets or that they are getting from their friends on the street. More and more suburban parents and young adults are turning to the streets to buy heroin because of an initial addiction to medication. Uppers, downers and side-to-siders, pharmaceutical companies turn out more prescription drugs than the population can consume, and the population consumes a lot of prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise throughout every area of society. With the plethora of pharmaceuticals available, there are a select few that are considered the most abused prescription drugs.

Top 10 Most Abused Prescription Drugs

Top 10 Most Abused Prescription Drugs

  1. OxyContin. OxyContin is a narcotic pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain. Often abused, a crush-resistant formulation was created and marketed in 2010. Street value can be as high as $1 per milligram, or $80 for an 80mg tablet
  2. Xanax. Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication used in the treatment of anxiety, anxiety disorders and panic disorders. Often causing the user to black out and forget the events while high on the drug, Xanax most often is abused with alcohol. Detox and withdrawal from Xanax is dangerous and can be fatal if not medically treated.
  3. Vicodin. Vicodin in a narcotic pain killer indicated for relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. While often classified as less harmful or abuse than OxyContin or Percocet, new stronger, potent versions of the drug are now hitting the market.
  4. Suboxone. Suboxone is actually a prescription drug created as maintenance treatment of opioid dependence, initially indicated to be used as a bridge for a patient into abstinence from drugs. It is an effective drug used to aid in the opiate detox process for a patient addicted to heroin or other prescription drugs. It is now often sold in the streets and has become the number 1 illicit drug bought and sold in jails and prisons in the United States.
  5. Adderall. Adderall is a psychostimulant pharmaceutical drug used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as the treatment of narcolepsy. It is widely known as abused on college campuses to aid students in studying and focus as well as abused by those in high stress jobs. Adderall is often prescribed to adolescents.
  6. Valium. Valium (diazepam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms or muscle spasms. It is often overprescribed or incorrectly prescribed for addiction patients. Valium is typically abused along with alcohol or other depressants.
  7. Percocet. Percocet is another type of narcotic painkiller. It is a combination of opioid analgesic and anilide analgesic for relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. It is often crushed into a powder and snorted for a quicker high.
  8. Ambien. Ambien is a sedative used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. It aids a patient in falling asleep or maintaining sleep. It is often abused in conjunction with other drugs or to aid a person in coming down from a high off drugs such as crack, cocaine or Crystal Meth.
  9. Fentanyl. Fentanyl was created to aid in management of breakthrough pain in adults with cancer who already routinely take other opioid medicines on a regular schedule. Often Fentanyl is administered by a patch or a lollipop. Most recently, a rash of heroin overdose deaths throughout the country was found to be caused by heroin that was cut with Fentanyl.
  10. Klonopin. Klonopin was created for management of absence seizures and myoclonic seizures in children as well as generalized seizures in both adults and children. It is used for the treatment of panic disorder and is often abused in conjunction with Adderall or alcohol.

All of the above most abused prescription drugs are dangerous (when abused), are easily addictive and can cause emotionally difficult and physically painful withdrawal if not detoxed and treated medically. The opioid medications are physically addicting and after prolonged use will ultimately also call for a medically supervised detox to aid in painful withdrawal symptoms.

If You Know Someone Who…

… is suffering from prescription drug abuse or drug addiction and is in need of drug treatment, please call us for help. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive addiction treatment in the area. If you aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will work with you to find a treatment center that best fits your needs. Please feel free to call us at (888) 491-8447 or email our team at For more information on all of our drug and alcohol addiction treatment services and resources, please visit our web site at

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About the Author

Zachary Snitzer

Zach Snitzer is the Corporate Director of Marketing at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center and is responsible for the business development, marketing, branding, public relations and social media strategies of the organization.