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The Facts: Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs come in various forms including tablets, capsules, and liquid.

Overdose deaths due to opioids have increased 500% among 15-24 year olds since 1999.

500 %

One single dose of an opioid can cause respiratory failure and death.

1 dose

In a national survey, 17.8% of high school students took a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription at least once in the last year.

18 %

High school students who legitimately use prescription opioids are 33% more likely to misuse opioids after high school

33 %

Dangers of Prescription Drugs

Some of the most common and dangerous prescription drugs include opioids, benzodiazepines, and amphetamines.

Abuse of prescription drugs can cause:

  • Death.
  • Sedation.
  • Heart attack.
  • Memory loss.
  • Cognitive damage.
  • Psychosis, paranoia, and mania.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Seizures.
  • Tremors.
  • Dangerous body temperature fluctuations.

Prescription drugs are often used with other drugs with serious consequences.

They can lead to the use of other hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.

What it looks like

Prescription drugs come in various forms including tablets, capsules, and liquid.

Tablets and capsules can be different colors and shapes, depending on the specific medication and its dosage. Some opioids have markings or imprints to identify the type and strength.

Using these pills outside of the guidance of a doctor can lead to addiction, and sometimes overdose and death.

What You Need to Know

Florida is experiencing a major increase in fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl, one of the most dangerous drugs we’ve ever seen, causing overdoses and death.

In 2022, two college students overdosed and died from fake prescription pills that were laced with a lethal dose of fentanyl.

Common Types of Prescription Pills


Opioids include painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxycontin, codeine, and morphine. Opioids are highly addictive and can often lead to using other more dangerous drugs.

  • In 2021, 72% of drug overdose deaths among Florida youth involved opioids.
  • One single dose of an opioid can cause respiratory failure and death. Mixing these drugs with alcohol increases these risks.


“Benzos” are also known in their prescriptive form as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. Many illicit drug users combine these drugs with other drugs, making them even more harmful.

  • These drugs have a similar sedative effect on the brain as alcohol and are highly addictive.
  • Mixing these drugs with alcohol or opioids can result in overdose, heart attack, or death.


There are many kinds of stimulants, and some of the ones most abused by teens are medications to treat attention deficit disorders, including Adderall, Vyvanse, Focalin, and Ritalin.

  • These medications are highly addictive and dangerous when abused.
  • In addition to causing damage to the brain, these drugs can also cause serious damage to the body.

Common Names:

Opioids: Hillbilly Heroin, Perc, and Oxy (oxycodone).

Benzodiazepines: Xannies, Tranks, and Benzos.

Stimulants: Speed, Addies, and Amps.