In Articles, Benzo Abuse, Clearbrook Treatment Centers Pennsylvania, Opioid Addiction, Pain Killer Addiction, Prescription Drug Abuse

Drug addicts don’t just engage in risky behavior with illegal drugs. There are also a growing number of people who are overdosing on prescription drugs. Not only are these drugs readily available in many household medicine cabinets, but they can also be purchased on the street. The addiction experts at our Clearbrook Pennsylvania rehab share what drug diversion is and the most commonly abused and diverted drugs on the market.

Drug Diversion Definition

Drug diversion refers to the illegal and unauthorized distribution, transfer, or redirection of prescription drugs from legal sources to the illicit drug market. This typically involves the theft or misappropriation of prescription medications for personal use, resale, or distribution. Drug diversion can occur at various points in the pharmaceutical supply chain, including manufacturing, distribution, prescribing, dispensing, and administration.

Common drug diversion examples include healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or pharmacists, diverting prescription medications for personal use or selling them on the black market. Additionally, individuals may engage in prescription fraud, forging prescriptions or obtaining multiple prescriptions from different healthcare providers to acquire controlled substances for non-medical purposes.

Diverted drugs pose significant risks to public health and safety, as diversion can contribute to the abuse of prescription medications, addiction, and the spread of counterfeit drugs. To address this issue, regulatory agencies, law enforcement, and healthcare organizations implement measures to prevent, detect, and prosecute instances of drug diversion. These measures may include monitoring prescription patterns, implementing secure storage and dispensing practices, and enforcing strict regulatory controls on the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

10 Prescription Drugs That Are Commonly Abused & Diverted

Unfortunately, with the rise in the prescription of pharmaceutical drugs like opioids, we can expect to see a rise in narcotic-related deaths in the future. Below is a list of the most common prescription drugs that are being sold on the street.


As an opioid pain medication, OxyContin is often abused for its euphoric effects. Some individuals crush the tablets to snort or inject the drug, intensifying its effects. With the abundance of people getting hooked on the medication each year, they often turn to alternative means to keep a supply when the doctor no longer offers the prescription.

OxyContin is frequently diverted to the illicit market through various means, including prescription fraud, doctor shopping, and theft from healthcare facilities. The street prices of OxyContin are astounding. On the street, you can find the following prices per pill:

  • 10mg of Oxy: $5 to $10
  • 20mg of Oxy: $10 to $20
  • 40mg of Oxy: $25 to $40
  • 80mg of Oxy: $65 to $80

Once people can no longer afford these high prices, many of them will turn to heroin usage instead. This is the main reason we are seeing such an epidemic in heroin-related deaths.


Xanax is a benzodiazepine used for anxiety and panic disorders. It is abused for its sedative effects, and individuals may take higher doses than prescribed or combine it with other substances. Generally, users can experience a blackout, which causes them to forget events that happened while they were high.

Many people will mix Xanax with alcohol, but even normal doses of Xanax are dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Diversion of Xanax involves illegal distribution by healthcare professionals, prescription fraud, and online sales without a legitimate prescription. It is not uncommon to pay $5 to $6 per 2mg pill of Xanax on the street.


Suboxone is prescribed to treat opioid detox and withdrawal and is intended to be part of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan under medical supervision, but some individuals misuse it to self-treat opioid withdrawal or to achieve a mild opioid effect. It is intended to help a person abstain from drugs but is commonly sold on the streets as a way to get high. Suboxone is diverted through illegal sales, doctor shopping, and prescription fraud. In fact, it is now the number one drug that is brought into jails for sale and trade.


This narcotic painkiller treats moderate to severe pain. It is less harmful than abusing prescription drugs like OxyContin or Percocet, but more potent versions are now hitting the market. Vicodin abuse involves taking higher doses than prescribed for pain relief or to achieve a euphoric effect.

Vicodin comes in various forms and sizes, but the typical price of just one pill on the street is between $4 and $10. Diversion of Vicodin occurs through various means, including illegal sales, doctor shopping, and theft from pharmacies or healthcare settings.


Adderall is a stimulant prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is abused for its ability to increase focus and energy, particularly among individuals without ADHD. Commonly abused on college campuses, many students will find that Adderall helps them to focus when studying.

In addition, adults will abuse it if they work in high-stress jobs and need to “perform” to a certain level. When Adderall is abused, it becomes a very dangerous drug. Users will stay awake for days and then crash for days at a time. They can also experience high levels of anxiety and paranoia.

Adderall is often diverted for non-medical use through prescription fraud, sharing or selling among individuals, and obtaining the drug without a legitimate prescription.


For cancer patients, fentanyl has become a lifesaver in helping to deal with breakthrough pain. It is generally applied through a patch or used as a lollipop. But outside of medical practice, fentanyl is abused for its intense and immediate euphoric effects.

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been a significant contributor to opioid overdose deaths. It is now turning up on the streets and is often to be cut with heroin. Diversion of fentanyl can occur through the illegal manufacturing and distribution of the drug. It may also be diverted from medical settings through theft or fraud.

This has been causing an alarming amount of overdose deaths, and it’s no wonder. The DEA has stated that fentanyl is 40 to 50 times more powerful than your typical street heroin.

With street names such as China Girl, Apache, Dance Fever, Murder 8, and China White, fentanyl is extremely dangerous, especially to law enforcement. There have been many instances where police officers have unknowingly come in contact with the drug during busts and suffered effects from the exposure.


Also called diazepam, Valium is a benzodiazepine used for anxiety, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal. It is abused for its sedative and calming effects. As with many drugs available today, it is being overprescribed and given haphazardly to addicts.

While taking Valium, the addict can feel as if there are no cares in the world. That’s because it triggers euphoric effects in the mind. Many people will take Valium to self-medicate with life instead of learning how to cope.

Diversion of Valium involves illegal sales, prescription fraud, and unauthorized distribution by healthcare professionals. It is highly addictive, and most people will become dependent on the drug just to live day to day.


Created for the management of seizures, Klonopin can also be used to treat panic disorders. This benzodiazepine drug is addictive and abused for its sedative effects and potential for inducing relaxation. Due to its potential for abuse, it’s often only used for short-term care.

Recently, this has become a favorite of addicts, and there have been some dangerous outcomes. The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that over 7% of high school seniors admit to using this or other prescription drugs before graduating.

In addition, mixing the drug with other opioids or alcohol can have serious consequences, including death. Klonopin can be diverted through various means, including illegal sales, prescription fraud, and unauthorized distribution.


This sedative is used to treat patients who suffer from short-term insomnia. It allows them to fall asleep quickly and helps them get back on track to a normal lifestyle. Some individuals may abuse Ambien for its potential to induce a quick onset of sleep or hallucinations when taken in higher doses.

Additionally, users of stimulant drugs like crack, crystal meth, or cocaine have found that Ambien helps them come down from their high. They can take Ambien when they are finished, and it will help them to relax.

A person can easily become dependent on this drug and go to any lengths to continue getting it. The dangerous side of Ambien is that it suppresses the body’s ability to breathe normally. When mixed with other prescription drugs, like opiates, or mixed with alcohol, the combination can end in death as a result of asphyxiation.

Memory loss also appears to be quite common with the drug. People have claimed to have gone out and done things without ever knowing it happened. For this reason, Ambien is an effective date-rape drug. Diversion of Ambien can involve illegal sales, prescription fraud, and obtaining the drug without a legitimate prescription.


Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen used for pain relief. It is abused for its opioid effects, and individuals may misuse it by taking higher doses than prescribed.

People with Percocet addiction have found that they can crush the pills and snort them for a quicker and more intense high. It tends to act much like heroin in that it creates a sense of calm, relaxation, euphoria, and enhanced pleasure. Diversion of Percocet occurs through various channels, including illegal sales, doctor shopping, and theft from healthcare facilities or pharmacies.

Get Prescription Drug Treatment Today

In the midst of the widespread issues of diverted drugs, seeking comprehensive addiction treatment becomes crucial for individuals dealing with substance use disorders. Clearbrook Pennsylvania offers prescription drug addiction treatment that stands out as a source of support and recovery.

With personalized rehabilitation services, our residential rehab in PA offers the necessary assistance for individuals to break free from the challenges of prescription drug addiction. Using evidence-based therapies, counseling, and a compassionate approach, we empower individuals to start their journey toward recovery.

In a time where the misuse of prescription medications poses significant risks, rehabs in Pennsylvania, like Clearbrook, play a crucial role in promoting healing and helping individuals reclaim their lives from the impact of addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drug addiction, call Clearbrook Treatment Centers today at 570-536-9621 or reach out to us online to get started.

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