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The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

prescription pills on a table

There are a variety of prescription pills on the market, and they can be great when taken correctly.

Unfortunately, not everyone will use these pills for their intended use. As providers of prescription drug addiction treatment in Philadelphia, we see people purposely taking these drugs for the wrong reasons as well as those who started taking pain pills and become addicted before they know it.

List of the Most Abused Prescription Drugs

It is important to stay informed and be wary of what you or your loved one are putting into your bodies. Because of this, our rehab center in Philadelphia is giving you a list of the most commonly abused prescription drugs.

Abused Prescription Opiates

Prescription pain pills are on the rise when it comes to the most abused prescription drugs. The most commonly abused prescription pain pills include:

  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Morphine
  • Codeine

All of these medications work to relieve pain in the body, but also are at high risk for addiction. Fentanyl especially is a synthetic opioid that is highly addictive due to its high potency, 50 to 100 times greater than morphine.1 If you or a loved one become addicted to one of these pills, you should seek out opiate addiction treatment to safely overcome your body’s dependence on the drug.

Abused Depressants

Depressants are a class of drugs that reduce arousal. They are often used to treat anxiety or sleep problems. The most commonly abused prescription drugs in this class include:

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)
  • Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal)
  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)

Continual abuse of these drugs can lead to serious health consequences. Our prescription pill and benzo addiction treatment in Philadelphia will work with you to help you beat these types of prescription pill addictions.

Abused Prescription Stimulants

Stimulants are used to increase energy and alertness. They have been used to treat people with ADHD as well as those who struggle with narcolepsy. Some people will take advantage of this drug class’s increase arousal by misusing them. Some of the commonly abused stimulants include:

  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin & Concerta)
  • Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)

In college especially, people may take Adderall or similar drugs to help them focus. This bad habit may later turn into a dangerous addiction that requires professional help.

Some people will misuse these drugs for euphoric effects while others may unknowingly become addicted. If you suspect that your loved one is abusing these drugs, you should get them into our addiction treatment in Philadelphia immediately.

Learn more about how we may be able to help by calling 888-280-4763.


  1. NIH – What is fentanyl?
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
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