In the U.S., several classes of mind-altering prescription medication
s are abused by a small but significant portion of the total population. Examples of the most commonly abused medications include opioid painkillers, stimulants and sedative-hypnotics (also known as tranquilizers). In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence
, researchers from Skidmore College used survey information gathered in a small-scale project to estimate which classes of prescription medication are most commonly abused by young adults enrolled in college. The researchers also sought to identify the specific medications within each class that most often function as targets of abuse.