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Prescription Drugs: Misuse and Abuse

According to several national surveys, prescription medications such as those used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders and anxiety are being abused at a rate second only to marijuana among illicit drug users. The consequences of this abuse have been steadily worsening, as reflected in increased treatment admissions, emergency room visits, and overdose deaths.


As prescription drug abuse reaches epidemic proportions nationwide, Connecticut has developed an online reference guide for practitionersmedical professionals and law enforcement to assist in better understanding and combating the problem.


Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication:
  • In a way other than as prescribed
  • For the experience or feelings elicited
  • Without a prescription
Commonly Abused Drugs
Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include:
  • Opioids (for pain)
  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders), and
  • Stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy)
  • Steroids

Opioid abuse includes:

  • Codeine (Tylenol/Codeine®)
  • Morphine (MS-Contin®)
  • Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®)
  • Fentanyl ( Duragesic® )
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana®)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon®)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
  • Meperidine (Demerol®)

Central nervous system depressant/sedative-hypnotic abuse  (Benzodiazepines) includes:

  • Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin®)
  • Carisoprodol (Soma®) 

Stimulant abuse includes:

  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin® and Concerta®)
  • Amphetamines (Adderall®)
  • Benzphetamine (Didrex®)
  • Dexmethylphenidate(Focalin®)
  • Amphetamine Salts (Adderall®)
  • Diethlproprion(Tenuate®)
  • Methylphenidate (Concerta® Metadate® and Ritalin®)
  • Phenditrazine (Bontril® and Prelu-2®)
  • Phentermine (Adipex®, Fastin® and Ionamin®)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
Abuse of Anabolic Steroids:
Abuse of Designer Drugs (Bath Salts, K-2, NBOMe, Piperazines, Spice and Trytamines):
Medical Marijuana Information for Law Enforcement
Prescription Monitoring Program - Home