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The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs in the U.S.

The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs in the U.S.

Some of the most addictive drugs in the United States come with their own prescriptions.

While many may be quick to assume that illicit drugs like meth, heroin, and cocaine are the most lethal substances around, prescription drugs definitely present a threat. The rate of prescription drug abuse in the United States has grown so much within the past decade that the nation currently finds itself in the middle of an opioid epidemic. After taking a closer look, our drug and alcohol treatment center in Stuart is sharing a list of the most addictive prescription drugs in the U.S.

What Are the Most Addictive Prescription Drugs in the Nation?

Many people make the mistake of believing prescription drugs are safe because they’re monitored and assigned by doctors; however, the opioid epidemic and spike in prescribed medications tell a very different story. Millions of Americans have fallen into prescription drug addiction. In 2017 alone, an estimated 18 million people reported that they misused prescription drugs at least once within the past year.1 Misuse, in this case, refers to taking the medication more frequently or at higher doses than prescribed. When these individuals become fully dependent on these substances, a prescription pill detox may be necessary to help kickstart their recovery.

To be more specific, we’ve added a list of the most addictive prescription drugs in the U.S.


Opioids currently sit at the top of the list of the most addictive prescription drugs in the nation. Opioids are usually prescribed to treat severe or chronic pain and may produce feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Some commonly abused opioids include:2

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Demerol (Meperidine)
  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Propoxyphene


Depressants are also referred to as tranquilizers and are often prescribed to treat insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety, pain, and seizures. Some common depressants include:2

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Amytal
  • Librium
  • Lunesta
  • Sonata
  • Prosom
  • Halcion


Stimulants are normally prescribed to patients who suffer from conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Some commonly used stimulants include:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Biphetamine
  • Dexedrine
  • Concerta

Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse

During the opioid epidemic, millions have overdosed and even lost their lives to prescription drug abuse. Just because these substances are prescribed does not mean they’re safe. Prescription medications are addictive and long-term misuse of these substances can result in horrible side effects like:

  • Cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and heart attacks
  • Kidney damage and failure
  • Liver damage and failure
  • Gastrointestinal damage
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Psychosis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Dysesthesia

The longer the person continues to use, the worse the aftereffects of substance abuse will be. Fortunately, recovery from addiction is possible with the right kind of help.

Our rehabilitation center in Stuart provides patients with medical supervision, care, and substance-specific treatment to help them achieve their recovery goals. Make the decision to get addiction help today. Call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information about our facility and the levels of care we offer at Banyan Detox Stuart.


    1. NIH –

What is the scope of prescription drug misuse?

NIDA – Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs</p?

Related Reading:

What Happens If You’re Caught with Drugs?

Amphetamine Psychosis and How to Recognize It

Fentanyl Addiction Signs and Warnings

The Pervasive Dangers of Opiates

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.