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Prescription Drug Abuse

Are There any Warnings for Using Opioids, CNS Depressors, and Stimulants?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids should never be used with substances that cause CNS depression, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Antihistamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • General anesthetics

CNS depressors should never be used with other substances that depress the CNS, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Prescription opioid pain medicines
  • Some OTC cold and allergy medications

Stimulants should never be used with other substances that stimulate the nervous system, including:

  • Antidepressants, unless supervised by a doctor
  • OTC decongestant medications
  • Some asthma medications

How Can I Help a Loved One Who Is Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

If you believe that a family member or close friend is abusing prescription drugs, talk with your health care professional. Doctors can give you referrals to drug treatment programs for the family member or friend. Many of these programs use outpatient treatment with medications and behavioral therapy.

Most importantly, talk to the person about your concerns so he or she knows that you are aware of the problem. Be prepared for a considerable amount of resistance and denial. Many people with addiction must experience serious consequences before they acknowledge their illness. Then, stand beside the person as he or she works to move beyond the addiction.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on May 31, 2012

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