Drug and alcohol addiction is characterized by a physical and psychological dependence on a set of chemicals. The human body and brain begin to believe that certain drugs are needed for everyday functioning.
The Most Addictive Class of Drugs: Opiates and Opioids
Painkillers are one class of drugs that are highly addictive and nearly impossible to stop taking once physical dependence has been reached, meaning the body feels as though it needs a painkiller, an opiate or opioid, to function.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), estimate that 1 out of every 20 people in the United States has used a prescription painkiller, or an opioid, for non-medical reasons within the last calendar year. With close to 314 million people in the U.S., that’s over 15 million individuals.
This class of drugs offer the quickest road to addiction and the most severely difficult withdrawal process as a result. Opioids were created to mimic the effects of opiates, which include heroin, codeine, morphine, and methadone. The first 5 drugs on the following list are each prescription opioids. The list comes from the Coalition Against Drug Abuse.
The 7 Prescription Drugs that are Tied to Dependency and Addiction:
The drug created to manage pain is the most abused prescription drug in the United States. Withdrawal from Vicodin is incredibly painful and uncomfortable, so stopping use of the drug presents a huge challenge for those who have reached the point of physical dependence on and addiction to Vicodin.
Also an opioid painkiller, the drug is highly addictive and can be abused like Vicodin. Crushing and snorting an OxyContin pills creates a euphoric high and complete release from all pain. Withdrawal is nearly impossible to endure, so once dependence as developed, OxyContin is also extremely hard to discontinue.
The third opioid painkiller on the list can also easily be abused and quickly generates physical and psychological dependence. Tapering off Demerol is an effective way to stop taking the drug, because like the other two, withdrawal is painful.
Are you starting to see just how dangerous opioid painkillers are for human consumption? Percocet is similar in chemical structure to Vicodin, OxyContin, and Demerol, so the consequences are the same. Dependency and addiction happen fast and are hard to combat. Percocet has also been linked to heart failure in many of its users.
Like Vicodin, Darvocet contains a high amount of acetaminophen, more commonly known as Tylenol. When taken regularly, acetaminophen causes great damage to the user’s liver. As a result, the FDA is working on limiting the use of acetaminophen in any drugs, and especially Vicodin and Darvocet.
The first non-opioid on the list is actually a stimulant drug used to treat ADD and ADHD. When snorted or injected, Ritalin creates effects similar to cocaine. Physical dependence happens quickly and internal damage is high.
This stimulant is equivalent to Ritalin. It is also used to treat ADD and ADHD, but when abused, the likelihood of dependence and addiction is very high.
Kate Green is an addiction recovery expert who helps people on their road to recovery, learn more about the treatment center she works for Balboa Horizons at http://www.balboahorizons.com/.