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Updated: October 21, 2021

Which Prescription Drugs Are Most Addictive?

Are you or somebody you love taking an addictive drug? Are you abusing them? Many people are prescribed drugs by their doctor for medical purposes. Pain and illness are a fact of life. While many people are prescribed medications for ongoing conditions, some people only take them short-term. When the drugs are addictive, however, somebody may continue seeking them out when they don't medically need them.

It’s confusing that doctors prescribe drugs that are easy to abuse.

For many doctors, the goal is to make you feel better. As a result, they may prescribe medications that are addictive, believing it’s worth the risk to help you get better.

Sadly, many people start their journey towards addiction through legally prescribed drugs.

Addictive Prescription Drugs

Many types of prescription drugs have side effects that people find enjoyable. From the dawn of time, people have used substances to alter their thoughts and feelings. So it’s no surprise that some patients who take drugs may try to enhance the pleasurable side effects by abusing them.

There are a lot of different drugs that can be addictive when used in another way than prescribed. Here’s a look at the most common ones:

  • Opioids and opiates. Drugs like Fentanyl, Tramadol, Oxycontin, and Codeine are all drugs that can be highly addictive when used differently than prescribed. Fentanyl is particularly potent and only used with end-of-life care or during surgery. Some people who become addicted to these drugs end up seeking them out online or on the street.
  • Diet pills. These drugs feel similar to amphetamines and often give the takers an “adrenaline boost” or mood boost. Sometimes people will take more of the medication because they want to lose weight.
  • Anti-anxiety pills, also known as benzodiazepines. Xanax and Klonopin can help fend off an anxiety attack, but the truth is that they are also highly addictive when a person takes more than prescribed. In addition, detoxing from benzos can be dangerous and should not be done on your own.
  • ADHD drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin, and other stimulants. Some people buy these drugs and use them in college without realizing how addictive they can be. People typically take them in pill form or snort them.
  • Barbiturates, which are typically used for surgery, are also highly addictive. They are usually only prescribed for intense migraine pain or for surgery. Phenobarbital is one example of a drug in this class.
  • Any other drug that changes the way a person thinks or feels has the potential for abuse and addiction.

Getting Help for Addiction

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a treatable and manageable disease. We’re here to help you reclaim your life in a compassionate, professional, healthy environment. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help at 619-363-4767.


If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.

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