Primary Causes of Prescription Drug Abuse


A lot of people who visit doctors are normally instructed to follow the instructions as recommended by the doctor. The drugs prescribed are supposed to be used for the duration recommended by the doctor. However, as some people continue to use the drugs, they realize that the drugs prescribed causes them to experience pleasurable feelings which makes them to continue using the drugs, that is, they refuse to give up the drugs. According to research, some common drug prescriptions that are habitually abused include anti-anxiety agents, opioid painkillers, stimulants, plus tranquillizers (MRC 1).

Opioid painkillers are mostly used to manage chronic pain however, they are abused since they produce a high feeling (NIH 1-7). On the other hand, anti-anxiety agents also known as sedatives for instance, benzodiazepines are used in the management of anxiety and to promote sleep. However, this drugs induce feelings of pleasure for the user, thereby leading to abuse and addiction (NIH 1-7).


Stimulants are normally used in the treatment of conditions such as, ADHD that also provide the user with enhanced energy as well as alertness. The extensive abuse of stimulants is particularly prime among the teenagers as it is known to assist them thrive academically (NIH 1-7). In many circles around the world, it is believed that since this drugs are recommended by doctors they are much safer than street drugs. However, this is far from the truth since as acceptance develops a person must take more of the drug to achieve the same high (NIH 1-7).

As such, teenagers and grownups mainly abuse prescription medicines for many reasons, for instance:

  1. To lessen appetite or increase concentration.
  2. To feel good or get high.
  3. To relax or relieve tension.
  4. To test with the psychological effects of the substance.
  5. To continue an addiction and avoid withdrawal.
  6. To be known by peers or to be social.
  7. To try to increase concentration and academic or work performance.

Some primary causes include:

  1. Environmental

For children who are bred in rowdy families and harsh surroundings where addiction runs rife are at a greater risk of developing an addiction. In addition, at a higher risk of developing addiction, are those who begin to abuse drugs at an early stage in life (IOM 3). Another crucial factor to note is the desire by teenagers to fit in a certain group of peers or the desire to be famous may also lead them to abuse such drugs.

  1. Biological

Majorly, when people get addicted to prescription medications most probably they are prescribed drugs for a particular biological condition for instance, pain conditions. However, due to the pleasant side effects of this drugs, people end up been addicted. For instance, in the United States prescription medications are largely used for nonmedical purposes which has now translated to a serious and mounting problem.


To this end, different scholars have not been able to forward an exact reason for the advancement of addiction. However, addiction is distinguished to be a multifactorial illness with numerous factors interconnected to form addiction.

Works cited:

Institute of Medicine (IOM). Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011.

Mount Regis Center. Prescription Drug Abuse & Addiction Effects, Signs & Symptoms. Accessed from on 23rd February 2016.

National Institute of Health, 2014. Prescription Drug Abuse.Accessed from on 23rd February 2016.


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