The development of an addiction does not always mean that the individual using the drug took it for illegal reasons. In fact, certain legal drugs are addictive and can cause as many challenges as illegal substances. When you recognize the prescription medications that are potentially addictive, you can take measures to prevent an addiction from developing or identify when you may need to enter treatment.

Sleep Medications

Although a variety of sleep medications are available, many of the drugs are habit forming. That means that they are potentially addictive if you take them for an extended period of time.

Doctors are aware of the addictive qualities of different sleep medications, so many medical doctors will only provide a prescription for a limited period of time, such as one week. By limiting the amount of time, doctors help reduce the risk of developing an addiction.

Unfortunately, the individual using a sleep medication may discover that an addiction may develop within a short period of time. The risk of developing an addiction to sleep medications varies based on the primary ingredient, the individual using the medication and the amount of time that the medication was used.

Opioid Drugs

Opioid drugs are not illegal, but they do require a prescription from a medical doctor. Individuals using opioid medications often begin using the drug for legitimate medical reasons. For example, you may begin using the medication after a car accident, a broken bone or a similar injury.

The problem with opioid pain relievers is the potential for addiction. Even if you use the medication as directed, it is possible that you may develop a physical dependence on the drug. Over time, you may discover that the original dosage is no longer enough to manage the pain that you experience from your injury.

Since doctors are aware of the potential addictive qualities of opioid medications, they may gradually reduce your dosage as your injury heals so that you do not experience withdrawal symptoms. If you develop a physical dependence on the medication after an injury, then making the decision to recover with the help of professional may be an appropriate solution.


adderallBenzodiazepine drugs are commonly used to help treat panic disorders, anxiety and seizures. Although it may be used legally with a prescription, the medication is potentially addictive and is often abused.

The reason that benzodiazepines are commonly abused is the sedative impact on the body. The medication causes the mind and body to relax, which is why it helps with seizures and anxiety. Unfortunately, that impact also makes it easy to abuse the drug.


Barbiturate drugs were commonly used in medicine to relax the body and mind due to the mild hypnotic impact of the medication. Unfortunately, they are commonly abused and have a high potential for overdose due to the mild impact on the body.

Although medical professionals may write a prescription for these sedatives to help treat seizures and similar conditions, it is no longer the primary medication that professionals use to help with the conditions. Benzodiazepines have replaced the medication for many medical purposes, particularly when it relates to anxiety or panic disorders.

It is dangerous to abuse prescription medications or to assume that they are not addictive just because they are legal substances. Many prescription medications are potentially addictive and may cause as many problems as illegal drugs. The key to preventing an addiction from developing is working with your doctor to identify potential problems.

If you are worried about the potential addictive qualities of a medication that you are taking, then talk to your doctor about alternative solutions or methods to reduce your risk.