Prescription Medication

Abuse of prescription medication can relate to any form of drug taking from using more medication than you have been prescribed, to getting unnecessary prescriptions for fake pains or stealing pills from a loved one to crush, snort or inject. The types of medications that can be abused are varied and include opioids, blood pressure medication and benzodiazepines.

Recognising the Signs

Signs and symptoms of prescription drug misuse


  • constipation
  • nausea
  • euphoria
  • slowed breathing
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • hyperalgesia.


  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • unsteady walking
  • poor concentration
  • dizziness
  • memory problems
  • slowed breathing.         


  • increased alertness
  • feeling high
  • irregular heartbeat
  • high body temp
  • reduced appetite
  • insomnia
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • paranoia.

In Victoria since 2009, there have been over 260 deaths every year due to prescription medication overdose.

Recovery from prescription drug abuse can be successfully managed with specialist support.

Seahaven Private is ready to help you take the next step towards changing your life.

Call: (03) 8738-4252 or Email:

The Side-Effects

Each type of prescription drug has a different effect on the brain, but all affect the brain’s neurotransmitters and receptors.

Opioid pain medication

Include morphine and oxycodone. These drugs bind to molecules on cells known as opioid receptors, which are the same receptors that respond to heroin. They release large amounts of dopamine in the brain and can strongly reinforce the act of taking the drug. These drugs can make you feel sleepy, nauseous, and constipated.


Stimulants such as Ritalin have similar effects to cocaine and cause a buildup of dopamine. The body begins to expect such large amounts of dopamine that when it does not receive it, depression may result. These drugs can make you feel paranoid and sometimes cause your temperature to rise to dangerous levels.


Include Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro. These drugs make the user feel calm and relaxed.  Side effects can present as slurred speech, sleepiness, and disorientation. It is important to seek medical assistance if you are trying to stop using depressants after using them regularly as this can cause seizures.

The Interactive Drug Wheel

Australian Drug Foundation Drug Wheel

The Drug Wheel classifies drugs as part of seven general categories:

  • stimulants
  • depressants
  • cannabinoids
  • psychedelics
  • opioids
  • dissociatives
  • empathogens.

More information about specific drugs and their effects is available here: Alcohol and Drug Foundation