Tempting Tinctures: 7 Worst Prescription Drugs for Recovering Addicts

worst-prescription-drugs

When you’re a former drug addict, it’s crucial you don’t get back into your addiction. But there are times when you need medicine. Unfortunately, the medicine doctors prescribe isn’t always beneficial.

15 million people in the U.S. abuse prescription drugs. This number is higher than any drug abuse number, including extremely addictive drugs such as cocaine.

Some of these drugs include painkillers such as oxycodone, anti-depressants such as Xanax, and stimulants such as Adderall.

However, not all prescription drugs are bad. You just have to know the harmful drugs and know when to not get that prescription filled.

Here are the 10 worst prescription drugs that recovering and former drug addicts should never take.

The Worst Prescription Drugs for Former Addicts…And Anyone Else

Whether you’re a recovering addict or an average Joe, everyone runs the risk of addiction when using any of these prescription drugs. If your doctor writes you a prescription for any of these drugs, think twice about filling it.

1. Methadone

Methadone is an analgesic drug with similar effects to morphine. It’s given to former heroin addicts in rehab to wean them off of the drug. However, many heroin addicts start taking methadone as a heroin substitute.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take methadone during rehab. Detoxing from heroin is crucial during rehab. However, only take methadone with doctor’s orders.

For non-heroin addicts, sometimes methadone is prescribed as a pain medication. Even though it’s not as potent as other prescription painkillers, it still runs the risk of addiction.

Speaking of painkillers…

2. Painkillers

17,000 people die every year from prescription painkiller overdose. Even if you only take the pain medication by doctor’s orders, you run the risk of developing an addiction.

Prescription painkillers are opioids. Common painkiller examples include oxycodone and hydrocodone, known also by brand names such as OxyContin, Fentanyl, and Vicodin.

The effects of these drugs are similar to heroin because they open up your opioid receptors, welcoming feelings of euphoria.

3. Stimulants

Stimulant addiction is not only common in adults, but is becoming more a problem for children. 6.1% of children with ADHD are treated with this type of medication.

Stimulants, such as cocaine, cause a sensation of alertness. This is why this medication is prescribed to ADD/ADHD patients and any adults who have difficulty concentrating.

Even when used by doctor’s orders, prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin can be dangerous for former stimulant addicts.

4. Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, commonly called benzos, treat a wide variety of complications.

These range from insomnia to restless leg syndrome. However, they’re famously known as anti-anxiety medications. That’s because of its tranquilizing effect.

Benzos are dangerous because they cause users to develop a tolerance, meaning you’ll need to be weened off the pill to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Famous benzos include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Librium.

5. Anabolic Steroids

Steroids are famous for increasing muscle mass without the aid of physical activity and diet. They’re commonly used — and abused — by athletes.

While steroids aren’t habit-forming, the results and the body image effects can be addictive.

Steroids also come with dangerous side effects. These include hair loss, severe acne, kidney disease, liver disease, increased aggression, and heart disease.

Drug overdose is also common when overusing steroids.

6. Chemotherapy Drugs

Chemotherapy drugs are prescribed to cancer patients to kill the cancer cells in the body, but they can also be prescribed to treat other ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis.

However, these drugs are also highly toxic. This is because they also kill healthy cells in the body.

If you’re going through rehab and have cancer or another serious ailment, be sure to say something to your doctor. Your body won’t be able to handle any toxic elements in your body during recovery.

7. Prednisone

Prednisone is a steroid used to treat a myriad of disorders. When used short-term, it comes with very little consequences.

You may be prescribed Prednisone for inflammation or severe allergic reaction, such as to poison ivy.

However, taking Prednisone long-term can be dangerous. You run the risk of developing osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes, peptic ulcers, intestinal bleeding, and cataracts.

While Prednisone isn’t addictive, it does come with dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

8. Blood Thinners

Some drugs lead to increased risk of a heart attack and stroke.

If your doctor thinks you’re at risk for developing either ailment, you may be prescribed a blood thinner as a preventative measure. However, these medications bring an increased risk of severe bleeding.

For example, let’s say you inject heroin into your veins. If you’re on a blood thinner, you can easily lose a lot of blood and risk death.

9. Statins

Even though alcohol doesn’t contain cholesterol, it does raise triglycerides in your bloodstream, leading to high cholesterol problems.

What does this fact have to do with statins? Statins help reduce cholesterol in the liver and change the method in which LDL cholesterol enters your cells. If your alcoholism caused high cholesterol, you may have to take statins.

Statins run the risk of muscle inflammation, liver toxicity, and cataracts.

10. Anti-Depressants

Anti-depressants help regulate serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects your mood and even your sleep.

While it’s still debated if low serotonin levels contribute to depression, doctors will prescribe anti-depressants such as Prozac to depressed patients.

Anti-depressants cause a brief period of euphoria. This feel-good sensation can easily become addictive, even for those who didn’t previously have a drug problem.

Avoid These Medications to Prevent a New Addiction or a Relapse

Medications are supposed to treat us, right? Well, not all of them. The worst prescription drugs can cause drug addiction, can cause a relapse, or come with a slew of dangerous side effects.

If you’re a recovering or former addict, remember these medications and be wary about taking them. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and find an alternative, if you can.

Are you ready to start recovering from drug addiction? If you’re in Stuart, Florida, take a look at our drug detox services.

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Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.