One of the most common reasons people get addicted to prescription drugs is not just because they are addictive but because of the psychological ramifications of doctors prescribing these medicines to us. One of my favorite addiction psychiatrists says over and over to me that he is one of the very few doctors he knows who has patients hire him to take them off other drugs that other docs are prescribing to them and which got them hooked. All drugs are poison. I make that statement very deliberately. All drugs have side effects. Drugs can be therapeutic and medicinal in small and appropriate doses and when monitored by a trusted physician. However, it’s very easy to become dependent and moreover, addicted to drugs which are prescribed by doctors. If you are unsure whether you have developed a dependency or addiction it is so important to consult with someone who is knowledgeable about drugs, dependency, addiction and recovery.

Intro to Prescription drugs

The following material is a description of prescription drug abuse and dependence,  information about Opioids/Pain Relievers (Narcotics), some Common Narcotic Withdrawal Symptoms, a list of Commonly Abused Prescription Narcotics, what common Prescription Drugs Contain, information about depressants, narcotics and stimulants.


Dr. Frank discusses the dangers of prescription drug abuse on

It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle on the Comcast Network


Prescription Drugs

Drug addiction– Defined as the compulsive use of a substance, despite its negative or dangerous effects. (PubMed Health)

Tolerance–  The need of a higher dose to attain the same effect. (PubMed Health)

Withdrawala.The act or process of  ceasing the use of a narcotic drug to which one has become addicted, typically accompanied by distressing physiological and mental effects. b. The physiological and mental readjustment that accompanies such discontinuation. (American Heritage Medical Dictionary @2007)

DependenceWhen one needs a drug to function normally. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur when the drug is abruptly stopped (PubMed Health).

Chemical Dependence– A physical and psychological habituation to a mood- or mind-altering drug, such as alcohol or cocaine (The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary @2007)

Physical (Physiological) Dependence-  in which the drug is used to prevent withdrawal symptoms or in which it is associated with tolerance, or both (American Heritage Medical Dictionary @2007). Physical addiction and dependency on a substance is defined by the appearance of characteristic withdrawal symptoms when the drug is suddenly discontinued. While physical dependency can be a major factor in the psychology of addiction, the primary attribute of an addictive drug is its ability to induce euphoria while causing harm (PubMed Health).

Psychological Dependence-   A person’s need to use a drug or engage in a behavior to gain relief from tension or emotional discomfort (American Heritage Medical Dictionary @2007).  Developing out of habits that relieve symptoms of loneliness, anxiety, depression, and feelings of worthlessness.  As the drug and/or behavior is indulged, it becomes associated with the release of pleasure and avoidance of pain, and a cycle is started that is similar to physiological addiction (PubMed Health).


References for prescription drugs:;;;

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA);;;




Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction (PDF File – Feel free to reprint)

As part of the National Institute of Drug Abuse Research Report Series, this file, discusses prescription abuse, types of prescription drugs commonly abused, and the short  and long-term effects of prescription drug abuse, treatment and more.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Overview of prescription drug abuse research and information from the National Institutes of Health.

National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse

The National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA) is an organization established to help reduce the number of deaths and addictions caused by prescription drug abuse, through the implementation of a nationwide awareness campaign, the initiation and support of pertinent legislative action and through partnerships with educational, medical, law enforcement and other appropriate entities.


Prescription Nation (Kelley, Raina, Newsweek, 08/06/10)

Why we should worry about the quiet epidemic of painkiller abuse.

Non-Medical Prescription Drug Use More Common Among Rural Teens Than City Dwellers (ScienceDaily, 11/02/10)

A new trend identifies rural teens seemingly more likely than their urban peers to use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, according to a report posted online that will appear in the March 2011 print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Dramatic Rise In Painkiller Drug Abuse (Ashburn, Emma, Reuters, 07/15/10)

Over the past 10 years, U.S. officials reported a 400 percent increase in the proportion of Americans treated for prescription painkiller abuse and said the problem cut across age groups, geography and income.


Eye To Eye With Katie Couric: Rx Drug Abuse (CBS News)

Abuse of prescription medication among teens is up. Steve Pasierb of Partnership for a Drug-Free America has information on what parents can do to prevent drug use.

Teen Prescription Drug Addiction

Calif. Rep. Mary Bono Mack talks to Maggie Rodriguez regarding her son’s plea for help with prescription drug addiction.