Other Prescription Drugs
While less common, other prescription drugs are also misused. They tend to fall into three categories: stimulants, tranquilizers, and sedatives.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Prescription stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy. They are typically used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Types of stimulants include:
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin®, Concerta®)
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
- Dextroamphetamine/amphetamine combination (Adderall®)
About 28% of users of stimulants in the U.S. have misused these drugs in the past year, a misuse rate much higher than for users of other prescription drugs. However, addiction to these drugs is uncommon.
Tranquilizers and Sedatives
Prescription tranquilizers and sedatives are central nervous system (CNS) depressants and help to slow down brain activity. They are typically used to treat anxiety, panic, and sleep disorders. Types of tranquilizers and sedatives include:
- Barbituates (Nembutal®, Luminal®)
- Benzodiazepines (Xanax®, Valium®)
- Sleep medications (Lunesta®, Ambien®)
About 14% of users of tranquilizers and sedatives have misused these drugs in the past year. Addiction to these drugs in the general population is uncommon.
Some prevention strategies listed in this toolkit are specific to prescription opioid misuse, but others can apply to all forms of prescription drugs. For example, the PDMP and sites for proper drug disposal can both help to limit access to these drugs for unintended users.
When selecting a prevention strategy, consider the target audience. For example, it may be effective to target current users or misusers of these drugs to reach individuals most at risk of addiction.