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What Do You Know About Prescription Medicine Abuse?

Prescription medicines can successfully and safely treat mental and physical illnesses. But some medicines can be addictive and many can be abused. Being aware of these potential harms can help you prevent them. Learn more about prescription medicine abuse by taking this quiz, based on information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

1. People of any age, income, education level, and gender can abuse prescription medicines.
2. You could be addicted if you continue to refill a prescription for a painkiller after the health condition it was prescribed for has been cured.
3. Most people who take prescription pain medicines become addicted or physically dependent on them.
4. Medicines that most commonly lead to overuse and addiction are those that affect mood or behavior by changing the brain’s chemistry.
5. Addiction to prescription medicines usually builds slowly.
6. The following behavior may mean that you are abusing a medicine: hiding the fact you're still taking a medicine after an illness has been cured.
7. In addition to taking medicine, people dealing with long-term (chronic) pain should work with their healthcare providers to develop other ways to ease their discomfort.
8. Many people who abuse prescription medicines also abuse alcohol and illegal drugs.
9. Most people addicted to prescription medicines can kick the habit on their own.

Medical Reviewers:

  • Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
  • Perez, Eric, MD
  • Watson, L Renee, MSN, RN