PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION
What is Prescription Drug Abuse?
Misuse of prescription drugs means taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain; or taking a medication to feel euphoria (i.e., to get high).* The term nonmedical use of prescription drugs also refers to these categories of misuse. The three classes of medication most commonly misused are1:
- opioids—usually prescribed to treat pain
- central nervous system [CNS] depressants (this category includes tranquilizers, sedatives, and hypnotics)—used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders
- stimulants—most often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
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Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids (for pain), central nervous system (CNS) depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy).