Prescription drug abuse has become a national problem in the United States, taking the shape of an epidemic. Prescription drugs are being misused and abused in comparison to other illegal drugs, killing more people than cocaine and heroin combined. Some people take prescription drugs like painkillers, sedatives or stimulants on a regular basis to cure certain medical conditions, but, in the process, develop an addiction to such medications.
There are some individuals who use prescription drugs deliberately without a prescription in order to get “high,” despite knowing that every medicine has some risk of side effects. Surprisingly, a majority of people hooked on to prescription pain relievers illegally obtain them from their friends or family. In fact, most teenagers even steal these drugs from their home medicine cabinets.
Increased emergency department visits due to prescription drug abuse
An addiction to prescription drugs is the result of taking certain prescription medicines at a higher dose than prescribed, or using someone’ else’s medications to get a “high.” The most commonly abused prescription drugs are:
- Opioids such as codeine, fentanyl and analogs, methadone and morphine.
- Stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate.
- Depressants such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines and sleep medications.
According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 15 million Americans aged 12 years or older used prescription drugs without any medical condition in a year prior to the survey. Various misconceptions surrounding prescription drugs, regarding their safety and easy availability, have fueled the rising trend.
Preventing prescription drug abuse and addiction
One can easily prevent this type of drug abuse and can also decrease the risk for addiction by adopting some simple tips. Some of them are:
- Getting the right medication: Patients need to clearly tell their doctors about the signs and symptoms of their condition, and also let them know about any other over-the-counter, herbal or prescription medications they are taking or if they have any other drug or alcohol abuse problems. This can help the doctors to diagnose the condition appropriately and prescribe the right medication.
- Keeping the doctor informed: Patients must keep their doctors updated about the effects of the medication, and must check in intermittently with the doctor to confirm that they are taking the correct dosage.
- Following medication instructions: Patients must ensure that they follow their doctor’s advice and consume the medications just as they have been prescribed and must not stop or change the dose of medicines by themselves.
- Understanding the side effects: Patients should have knowledge about the side effects, complications and possible drug interactions of the medicine. They can ask their doctor or pharmacist for the information and should abstain from using illegal drugs and alcohol during the period that they are under medication.
- Ordering medications from a trusted pharmacy: Patients should take care that they order the medicines from trusted pharmacies as there are certain websites and shops which sell imitation drugs or medicines, which are dangerous to one’s health.
- Preventing use of prescription of another person: Patients must avoid using another person’s prescriptions even if their medical conditions are similar as different individuals respond to different medicines in a different way.
Road to recovery
Fighting addiction can be a challenging task, given that people tend to show drug-seeking behavior despite knowing about its harmful effects. Thus, it is imperative for health care providers to come up with alternative methods for pain treatment while curbing the need for opioids as a treatment option.
If you know someone who has a problem with prescription drug addiction, it is necessary to seek instant help from one of the renowned prescription drug abuse treatment centers in America to get back to the path of sobriety. The Prescription Drug Addiction Help can guide you to one of the best drug abuse treatment centers that can help you get free of addiction. Chat online or call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-623-3847 for the treatment options in your area.