Prescription drug addiction and abuse

Updated For 2021

In Arizona, a person may be arrested for and charged with a drug crime related to a substance that is not actually illegal. That is because prescription drug use is regulated and any use of these substances that goes against the regulations may lead to a criminal offense.

As WebMD explains, the growth in the number of prescriptions written for opioids, for example, in the last 20 or so years could well be one reason contributing to the number of people who find themselves facing prescription drug criminal charges. This is because there are more of these drugs available and that opens up more opportunity for people to use them incorrectly.

For many people, the road to becoming addicted to prescription drugs starts innocently enough, often with valid medical reasons necessitating a prescription. Over time, however, the brain’s chemistry may actually change due to the use of these drugs. These changes may promote the development of cravings or additictive feelings, propelling people into actions that may lead to the drug being taken when not medically needed or in ways not prescribed.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that as many as one in five Americans may experience a prescription drug addiction at some point in their lives. Opioids are just one of three types of drugs frequently associated with addiction. The other two are stimulants such as those used to treat ADHD and depressants of the central nervous system. These drugs may be used to help people with sleep disorders or anxiety.



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