Resources to Address Prescription Drug Misuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines the misuse of prescription drugs as the use of a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; the use of another person’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain; or the use of a medication to feel euphoria. 

Almost half (46%) of Americans ages 18 to 50 reported misusing prescription drugs, according to a study published in 2022 by JAMA Network Open. And while many different types of drugs can be misused, the three classes of prescription medication that are most commonly misused include:


which are usually prescribed to treat pain.

Central nervous system (CNS) depressants

such as tranquilizers, sedatives and hypnotics, which can be used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.


which can be prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

This complex public health problem has many experts worried because misuse can lead to addiction, hospitalizations, overdoses and deaths. In the 12-month period ending November 2021, more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Vital Statistics System’s Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. 

When it comes to addressing this issue, knowledge and awareness can be vital for communities and individuals. The resources below provide important information for people seeking help for their own struggles with prescription drug misuse and for those working to create healthier communities. 

Types of Resources for Addressing Drug Misuse 

Crisis and Help Lines 

Prescription Drug Misuse Support Organizations

  • The Jed Foundation: nonprofit with a mission to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for U.S. teens and young adults, including those affected by substance misuse.
  • Narcotics Anonymous: support organization with regular local meetings and a 12-step program to recovery.
  • Never Alone Club: online Narcotics Anonymous group with daily meetings and 24/7 support.
  • Never Use Alone: organization with a mission to provide a life-saving point of contact for people who use drugs, to help increase their odds of surviving an overdose/fentanyl poisoning. Free, 24-hour support at 800-484-3731.
  • Partnership to End Addiction: national organization that provides leads for individual support and is dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery.
  • Project Lazarus: nonprofit organization that provides training and technical assistance to communities and clinicians addressing prescription medication issues and support for individuals who need help. 
  • SMART Recovery: Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) provides support meetings for anyone seeking science-based, self-empowered addiction recovery.

Guides, Handbooks and Toolkits

Articles and Blog Posts

Podcasts and Videos

Resources for Family and Friends


This article is for informational purposes. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or struggling with mental health issues related to an addiction, reach out to a health or mental health care provider for assistance.