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Medical Use for Drugs

Drugs are medications that help with pain and other medical conditions. People use prescription medications to alleviate mild to severe pain and to live a more comfortable life. When individuals use prescription drugs for purposes other than prescribed, it becomes addictive. Individuals may use prescription drugs for other reasons than prescribed. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that about 52 million Americans older than 12 have used prescription medications nonmedically at a certain point.  

What is a drug?

A drug contains compounds that interacts with proteins in the body to affect physiological function. Medical use for drugs includes pain, anxiety, stress and more. Once these chemicals enter your body, they bind with certain proteins. For example, anticancer drugs bind to proteins on the surface of cancer cells. This helps to stimulates the cells to die.

Types of Prescription drugs

The most prescription drugs include opioids, depressants, and stimulants.


Opioids fall under Percocet, Vicodin, Morphine, Codeine, OxyContin, and Percodan. Prescription opioids are primarily used for pain, inflammation, and mood. These medicines “trick” your body into ignoring the symptoms of pain, making things a bit easier to manage.

Opioids work by making chemical changes in the brain. They also prompt higher amounts of dopamine, the chemical that releases reward and pleasure. The boost of dopamine is highly addictive.


Morphine is the major psychoactive chemical located in the opium poppy plant. This plant helps in creating other commonly abused opiates. Morphine is an extremely addictive opiate


Codeine falls under narcotic analgesics that stimulate the central nervous system and is used in treating mild to severe pain.


Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It falls under Schedule II prescription drug and easily treats severe pain.


This is a combination prescription opioid that contain hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It helps in treating pain and is available in different forms. Doctors will prescribe this medication for severe pain. Keep in mind that this medication can lead to abuse.


OxyContin is a powerful prescription drug that helps in treating postsurgical pain or chronic pain. It is another form for the narcotic drug oxycodone medicine, which is also the primary ingredient in various other drugs.

Both oxycontin and Vicodin are prescription opioids that are commonly abused. The risks that these medications provide is extremely high. Therefore, you should be careful when taking these medications. Pay attention to the doses to avoid overdosing.


These are medicines that can help with anxiety or panic disorder. Depressants work by manipulating brain chemicals which slows down the body. They adjust the brain neurotransmitter gamma-amniobutyric acid (GABA). This chemical substance is important in the brain’s communication system.

Bottom line

The medical use for drugs is unlimited. Drugs are safe when you take it according to your doctors’ prescription. However, when you begin to overdose these drugs, it leads to addiction, dependence, and tolerance. Some of these drugs cause overdose and even death when consumed in high doses.