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The most common medications which can lead to addiction include benzodiazepines (i.e Xanax, Serax, Ativan, Klonopin, Librium, Restoril, Halcion, Tranxene, Valium, etc.) sleep medication such as Zolpidem (i.e. Stilnox, Ambien) and pain killers such as opiates (morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, pethidine, codeine, methadone, etc.).
Addiction to medication often start with a prescription from the doctor, be it to calm anxiety or for sleep problems, or after injuries or operations (pain killers). Often the prescription gets repeated and over time the person might find themselves becoming dependent on the substance. Some people with medication dependence might engage in doctor shopping or buying medications illegally on the internet or from pharmacies or via a dealer.
A pattern of use might ensue where the person needs to use more to achieve the same effect, using more than the prescription, continuing use regardless of negative effects on functioning, home life, relationships, work or other life areas, using it secretly or hiding usage, going to great lengths to obtain more substances, craving the medication, finding oneself struggling to function without the medication (i.e. start of withdrawal symptoms), changes in personality when under the influence of the medication, continuing use regardless of physical health or psychological consequences, poor functioning.
Addiction to medication which in some cases started for medical reasons, but eventually became repetitive and habitual use, tend to follow the same patterns and consequences as addiction to alcohol or other drugs.