Overdoses involving prescription drugs claim the lives of fifty Americans per day, and more than six million have a prescription drug addiction. The truth is we are facing a pandemic. Unfortunately, this pandemic is extremely real and demands a prompt public health response. Everyone, starting from each individual to clinical care, law enforcement, the business sector, communities, and other organizations, must work together to curb this epidemic. To do this, we must look at other health and injury prevention success stories we faced before. Therefore, to ensure that prevention starts with you, we would like to share some strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse that proved efficient in other circumstances. Learn to protect yourself and your loved ones from prescription drugs, alcohol abuse, and other substances and their suffocating and often deadly grip.
Even though opioids are the most common and well-known painkillers, they are only one prescription drug that can be abused or misused. Many other prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals fall under the category of addictive substances. In truth, all these substances have been divided by the National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) into thirteen categories. Therefore, several other prescription and over-the-counter drugs may be abused and misused when discussing the pandemic of prescription drug abuse. For instance, stimulants can also cause addiction. This category includes amphetamines and methylphenidate, two substances frequently used to treat ADHD. Also, depressants used to treat sleep disorders, anxiety-related issues, or other mental health disorders add to the problem of prescription drug misuse in the US.
Furthermore, apparent harmless substances such as promethazine and codeine, which can have euphoric or sleepy effects, are sometimes used in prescription cold remedies. Moreover, typical over-the-counter medicines with components like dextromethorphan and pseudoephedrine may be abused and misused. Hence, it is crucial to stop the pandemic of prescription drug addiction and target all classes of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that have the potential to be abused.
Although there isn't one sure or particular strategy to stop someone from misusing drugs or alcohol, there are things that each of us can do to help. Here are some strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse:
Any drug or substance used solely for recreational reasons is the first sign of substance misuse. That implies you can quickly develop a prescription drug addiction if you are not following your treatment and taking your medication as prescribed. Also, when you exclusively use drugs or alcohol for intoxication, that is a sign of substance misuse. Therefore, any abuse of a prescribed medication raises concerns about addiction. Furthermore, you don’t need to abuse your drug too often to become addicted. A couple of times is enough for your brain to get hooked. Therefore, start treatment as soon as possible if you believe you have already crossed the line between treating your problem and intoxication. A prescription drug abuse rehab could save your life.
If you are not taking prescription drugs but might need them, you should conduct a self-analysis to identify potential substance usage triggers and find solutions. You should be careful about your decision to take or not take a prescribed drug if, for example, there is a lengthy history of substance misuse in your family. Also, if you have a close friend or family member struggling with drug misuse, figure out how to put your mental health first while watching out for them.
Follow the guidelines of your doctor or the ones written on your prescription medicine to reduce the risk of drug abuse. Furthermore, never change the dose without first contacting your doctor. Ensure you fully understand your medication as well. You must know what symptoms and results are typical and expected and which should be alarming. In addition, never use another person's medication, even if you have comparable medical issues. Also, you should consult your doctor whenever recommended a new drug. To ensure you are given the right prescription, doctors must be aware of your symptoms and other medicines you are taking.
It is advised to have a list of all the prescription drugs you are taking kept at home, especially for people with a history of misuse. Write down the name of the medicine, the doctor who recommended it, the recommended dosage, and any possible adverse effects. Furthermore, if you have a caregiver or are a caregiver, periodically count the medication in the container to ensure the medicine is being taken following the recommended dosage. Another helpful tool for monitoring usage, as addiction recovery experts at Little Creek Recovery recommend, is using pill organizers with compartments for daily medications.
Once a prescription has expired, do not store the drugs if you still have them. Instead, dispose of them properly by following the required disposal methods that your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about. Never flush down the toilet, dump in the drain, or throw in the trash prescription or OTC drugs. Also, remove the exterior label when disposing of the prescription bottle to avoid unauthorized refills. Remembering these easy precautions can go a long way toward preventing prescription drug abuse in our families, especially now that we spend more and more time at home.
Avoiding friends or family members that encourage you to take drugs will help you cultivate healthy interactions and friendships. We often become like those we surround ourselves with. Thus if you are surrounded by drug and alcohol abusers, you will likely follow their lead. Adults and teenagers both experience peer pressure regularly. If you want to avoid using drugs, refocus your mind, learn to say no, stand by your reason for saying no, and develop a strategy to resist giving in to social pressure.
By using these strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse, you can keep yourself and those you love safe. Therefore, read them carefully and share the knowledge with your friends and family. We are all responsible for stopping the prescription drug abuse epidemic from spreading.
Meta: Are you concerned about prescription drugs and their effects? Here are some strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse that you should know about.