What Are Addictive Medications?

Article 3: What are Addictive Medications?

You might be surprised as we continue this series on addiction to find that many addictive drugs are right there in your medicine cabinet. It is very important for you to protect yourself and your family from possible addiction by talking with your doctor about your family history with addiction, knowing what medications can be habit forming and taking the medication as needed and prescribed.

We all know that things like heroin and cocaine are addictive, but so is caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, some sleeping medication and some pain medications too. Some examples of pain medications are codeine, Percocet, oxycodone and there are many, many more. For a full list of common addictive medications click MEDS

In the first article in this series I shared the information about addiction as a disease of the brain. As the brain is exposed to the medication or drug in large amounts it adapts to collect more and more of it. Here are some helpful tips to help you and your family to prevent addiction:

  • Be honest with your doctor about alcohol, caffeine and tobacco use.
  • Tell your doctor about all drug and medication use.
  • Ask your doctor about what he/she is prescribing and if addiction or abuse is possible.
  • If it is addictive, ask if there is an alternative medication choice or treatment available.
  • Make sure to store your medications safety away from children, teens and people who may struggle with addiction.
  • Do not ever share your medication with other people. Your doctor has picked the correct medication and dose based on your family history and medical needs. Sharing medications can be very dangerous. And of course taking someone else’s medication is not recommended for the same reason.

As a treatment community we are still learning about the disease of addiction and how it damages the brain. We do know that it can happen to almost anyone. We do know that it deeply impacts our friends, loved-ones and community. And we do know for sure that prevention is the best way for us as a community to battle this disease and protect future generations from getting this terrible disease.

There is always hope.

There is help in every Vermont County.

Reach out today if you’re in need: 


The Warning Signs of Addiction

Overdose Life Saver

Treatment and Recovery

Long Term Recovery

Jessi de Boer- LADC, LCMHC, Coordinator of Adult Recovery Services at Counseling Service of Addison County


The Addison County Committee on Substance Use and Prevention