, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 363-380
Date: 16 Aug 2007

Neuropsychiatric Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

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Abstract

Prescription drugs have become a major category of abused substances, and there is evidence that the prevalence of prescription drug abuse may soon overtake that of illicit drugs. Study of prescription drugs has been hampered by vague terminology, since prescription drugs are only separated from other drugs of abuse by social and legal constructs. Reviewed herein is published literature on the abuse of four major categories of abused prescription drugs: sedative-hypnotics, stimulants, anabolic steroids, and anticholinergics. The review emphasizes evidence regarding the effects of these drugs on neural systems. Other abused prescription drugs that fall outside of the major categories are also briefly addressed.