Most people are unaware that they are misusing or abusing prescription drugs. The graphic on the right shows the spectrum of prescription drug misuse to abuse.
Prescription drug abuse begins at an early age, with most teenagers reporting receiving prescription drugs for free by a friend or relative.
Prescription Drugs, if taken properly, can be used to safely treat specific mental or physical symptoms. But when misuse or abuse occur, the prescriptions may affect the brain in ways very similar to illicit drugs.
Research has shown a link between prescription opioid pain medication leading to heroin abuse. Opioid prescriptions, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, have similar effects to heroin, which can be easier to aquire then prescription pills.