Prescription drug use is commonplace throughout the United States with 131 million Americans currently using prescription medications. Prescription drugs are an effective component of a comprehensive pain management program and help people manage the discomfort as a result of major surgeries and diseases. While effective, these medications are extremely potent and have a high potential for addiction. For those addicted to prescription drugs, it is often difficult to kick the habit, and they can face life-threatening conditions if they continue use.
This article presents important information on learning how to prevent prescription drug abuse. If you or a loved one are engaging in medication misuse and need help, call Thrive Treatment toll-free today. Our dedicated addiction professionals will work with you to create an evidence-based treatment plan to help you address and overcome your dependence on these dangerous medications.
Important and Life-Saving Tips on How to Stop Prescription Drug Abuse
Many people are of the opinion that prescription drugs are “safe” because medical professionals prescribe them to treat serious medical conditions. The reality is that prescription drugs are very powerful and can easily be misused. Many medications, such as fentanyl, are more potent than illicit drugs, and people can be addicted to prescription drugs even if used properly under medical supervision.
Learning how to prevent prescription drug abuse starts with recognizing and minimizing medication misuse. The following simple yet effective tips to help you prevent pharmaceutical drug abuse:
Understand Your Medications
Perhaps the best way to prevent prescription drug abuse is to understand the medications you are taking. Before taking any medication, you need to be fully knowledgeable of the medication’s effect and possible complications while taking medications. Be sure to take the prescribed dosage and follow all directions. Do not modify or discontinue using your medications without consulting your doctor. If you experience any unpleasant side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
Keep in Constant Contact With Your Doctor
It is extremely important to keep your doctor in the loop regarding the medications you are taking. As stated previously, you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing adverse effects while taking prescribed medications. Your doctor may have alternative medications, such as time-release medications or medications that have a lower risk of dependence.
Avoid Sharing Your Medications
A common tip to prevent medication misuse is to not share your medications with others—even if they have similar medical issues. The sharing of medications is illegal and can cause harm to others. Likewise, avoid taking other people’s prescribed medication.
Another effective way to learn how to prevent prescription drug abuse is to make a comprehensive list of the prescription medications you currently take and have in the household. Keeping this master list is necessary if there are people in the household or others who are at high risk for addiction. This master list of medications should include the medication name, the doctor’s name, who prescribed it, the dosage you are currently taking, and the potential side effects of that medication. To ensure that you are taking the proper dosage, put your daily medications in a pill box.
Properly Dispose of Unused Medications
To minimize the misuse of prescribed medications, you need to learn proper disposal procedures. First, check your local pharmacy and see if they offer a “give back” program. You may also want to check with local law enforcement to see if they have a prescription disposal program. If these options are not available in your area, you can throw your prescription drugs away if you mix them with unsanitary waste such as cat litter, dirt, and wet trash. Before throwing away containers, be sure you are removing your personal information from each bottle.
Prescription Drug Abuse Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Life
If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, you may feel that recovery is out of reach. Fortunately, Thrive Treatment offers programs and services to help you kick the habit for good. Our treatment programs are evidence-based and extensively tested, and our treatment staff will work with you in designing a treatment program that will help you succeed in finding lasting recovery. With multiple levels of care and excellent aftercare services, Thrive Treatment is your first choice in addressing your prescription drug addiction.