My brother Ruben died on Sept. 21 in his sleep at the age of 31. I have been struggling the last few weeks on how to process and deal with his death. Like me he too had an issue with prescription medications, his choices where pain killers (downers) while mine where speed (uppers).
The majority of the pharmaceuticals that the FDA has approved for marketing in the United States are not on the CSA schedules, including most prescription drugs and all over-the-counter drugs. The NSDUH questionnaire includes some prescription psychotherapeutic drugs that are not on the CSA schedule, such as tramadol (Ultram®) and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril®).
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, accompanied by functional and molecular changes in the brain. In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine, chronic abusers exhibit symptoms that can include anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. They also can display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects creeping under the skin). Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after methamphetamine abuse has ceased, and stress has been shown to precipitate spontaneous recurrence of methamphetamine psychosis in formerly psychotic methamphetamine abusers.
A chart that highlights commonly abused prescription drugs in the US