Side Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is an American epidemic. All throughout the country, people are getting hooked on drugs and medications that have been prescribed to them by a medical professional, and this addiction slowly tears apart their lives. There are a number of side effects to abusing prescription drugs, with the drugs affecting both your physical and mental health. If you are struggling with prescription drug abuse, Alvarado Parkway Institute in San Diego can help, offering drug addiction treatment. To learn more, give us a call at (619) 485-1432.

The Types of Addictive Prescription Drugs

Sugar and coffee can be addictive, but you don't see people destroying their lives to get into a Starbucks. There are certain drugs that tend to be more addictive than others, with three different types of drugs proving to be the most dangerous.

1. Opiates

Opiates are mostly prescribed to treat pain following an injury, medical procedure, or for nagging pain. Examples of popular opiates include Percocet, Oxycontin, and Morphine.

2. Depressants

If you struggle with an anxiety disorder or have trouble sleeping, you may be prescribed a depressant to help treat these ailments. Examples of popular depressants include Xanax, Clonazepam, and Valium.

3. Stimulants

Stimulants are usually used to help those with ADD or ADHD to focus on their everyday tasks, school, and career. Popular stimulants include Ritalin, Phentermine, and Dextroamphetamine.

The Side Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

While every individual will react differently to abusing prescription drugs and medication, there are a few common side effects that occur in a majority of the cases. Below are the most common side effects of prescription drug abuse.

Acting Erratically

You will start to act out of character, prone to spontaneous decisions on seemingly important matters and erratic behavior at work and home.

Sleep Pattern Changes

Depending on the drug, you will either sleep too much or too little. Some may sleep throughout the day, unable to leave bed, while others will toss and turn all night, unable to fall asleep.

Foggy Thinking

Your mind will feel slow, with you unable to answer simple questions without stopping to think, and you may easily lose your train of thought.


One of the more prominent side effects of a prescription drug addiction is intense moodiness. Your mood can quickly go from happy to angry to mad with no warning or reason.


You will feel anxiety more often than before when addicted to prescription drugs. If you were already prone to anxiety, you will feel the uneasy and anxious nearly all of the time.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction

If you suspect someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, there are a few signs and symptoms to look for. These symptoms include:

  • Forging prescriptions
  • Stashing drugs throughout their home and workplace
  • Taking higher doses of drugs than prescribed
  • Partaking in drug-seeking behavior
  • Borrowing and stealing from others
  • Frequent doctor visits
  • Acting irresponsibly
  • Lying about drug use
  • Bad decision making
  • Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment in San Diego

If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, Alvarado Parkway Institute can help. We have a number of treatments and programs to help you break free from the chains of addiction to get back to living a happy and healthy life. If you are interested in learning more or would like to begin treatment, give us a call at (619) 485-1432.