Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor. Prescription drug abuse or problematic use includes everything from taking a friend's prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high. Drug abuse may become ongoing and compulsive, despite the negative consequences.

An increasing problem, prescription drug abuse can affect all age groups, but it's more common in young people. The prescription drugs most often abused include opioid painkillers, sedatives, anti-anxiety medications and stimulants.

Early identification of prescription drug abuse and early intervention may prevent the problem from turning into an addiction.

Sept. 19, 2015