Substance abuse and drug addiction is an ongoing problem in the United States as well as other countries. And despite efforts to eliminate addiction with the famous war on drugs, abuse of alcohol and illegal street drugs remains strong and in fact there has been a new type of drug abuse to enter the scene. This, unsurprisingly, is pharmaceutical medications. And while pain killers have been abused for decades, recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of abuse that occurs and also in the variety of pharmaceutical drugs that are abused. Today’s abuse market includes various psychotropic medications, whose actual purpose is to counter emotional and mental health care issues.

With all of the potential for drug abuse it is no wonder that adolescents continually to experiment with these substances, frequently creating a dependency. And adolescents are not the only ones at risks for addiction. Adults are the primary market for many of these prescription drugs, which is why we have seen such an increase in new addiction among older adults. Now more than ever it can be confusing as to what drugs produce what biological effect and what drugs are most likely to be abused as well as create a dependency.

For this reason, drug reference charts have continued to change and adapt to the continually changing face of addiction. These charts generally categorize the drugs into particular classifications according to their make up substance, such as narcotics and stimulants, and also according to their effects and potential for abuse and addiction. It is possible to get one of these charts through your local mental health care facility, and if they don’t happen to have any they can refer to a different source. Sometimes educational and outreach organizations also have them.