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Americans are taking more prescription medications than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half the adult population in the US has taken at least one prescription medication in the past month; over 23 percent have taken three or more prescriptions in the past month; and almost 12 percent have taken five or more prescriptions in the past month.
While many of these prescriptions are vital treatments for serious conditions, including chronic pain, heart disease, or diabetes, many more are intended to be temporary. Some of these medications can cause unintentional euphoria or make the individual taking them “high.” For millions of Americans, this high has led to substance abuse.
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Below are the five most abused types of drugs in the US, which are still prescribed widely to millions of people every year.