Abuse of prescription drugs is one of the biggest medical concerns today. Prescription medications like opioids, stimulants, and sedatives can be extremely useful in coping with pain after surgery, managing a chronic condition, or treating other health issues. However, many of these substances can be highly addictive, especially if taken in large quantities or longer than intended. Thankfully, whether you are the patient, a friend, or a family member, you can learn how to prevent prescription drug abuse.
How to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse as the Patient
If you receive a prescription, it is up to you, as the patient, to ask your doctor about the potential for pharmaceutical drug abuse or medication misuse if mixed with other substances (including over-the-counter medications or holistic treatments).
Additionally, you need to exercise care to follow the directions for:
- When you take the prescription
- How often you take it
- Whether it should be taken with food or drink
- What substances to avoid when you take it, like alcohol
It can sometimes feel impossible to stick with the prescription instructions, especially when pain levels are high. However, even a minor change, such as taking two of a prescription instead of one or taking a pill twice in one day, can lead to pharmaceutical drug abuse.
If you have a history of addiction, and your doctor tries to give you a prescription for something highly addictive like opioid pain pills, it is well within your rights to explain that you are uncomfortable with something that is addictive and review alternatives that are less addictive.
How to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse as Family or Friends
If you have a family member or close friend you know who received a prescription for potentially addictive medications, you can take some time to educate yourself about the signs of addiction to that substance and what to look for to flag abuse of prescription drugs.
- If your spouse was given a prescription, you could encourage open communication about the medication, how they feel, and how much is being used. You can also keep tabs on how many refills are being used, whether your spouse is mixing prescription drugs and alcohol or has multiple prescriptions.
- If a prescription was given to your child, you have a bit more legal ground to stay up to date on how much is being used.
- As for friends, it’s important to tread lightly and not be overly controlling or nosy but still know the signs of serious medication misuse.
Avoid giving someone your prescription, even one or two pills from it. If a friend or family member asks to use some of your medication, it might indicate medication misuse.
If you have a prescription, you are responsible for preventing medication misuse within your family. Teenagers might face peer pressure to abuse prescription medications in order to perform better at school, concentrate, or relax. If you have addictive prescriptions in your home, it’s important that you know where they are at all times, that you keep them inaccessible to other family members, and that you can track whether any pills or tablets go missing.
What to Do For Medication Misuse
Prescription drug abuse can be treated with a combination of therapy and medication. Treatment starts with detox and incorporates therapy to address mental health or environmental issues that may have contributed to addiction. If you are struggling with a co-occurring mental health disorder, medication might be used to treat symptoms of your condition while also giving you coping skills and life lessons you can apply to avoid a relapse. At our facility, we offer psychoeducation about prescription drug addiction and how you can prevent a recurrence.
If you or someone close to you is already struggling with pharmaceutical drug abuse, you can get help. Centric Group offers multiple levels of care designed to treat prescription drug abuse. When you reach out to our team, we can connect you with facilities specializing in detox services like medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction or alcoholism.
We can work with you to determine the most appropriate level of care. This can include inpatient services or partial hospitalization programs as a shorter alternative. An intensive outpatient program might be a better fit for mild pharmaceutical drug abuse. We can work with you to find a facility in your area that offers levels of care and treatment modalities that can prove most successful. When you reach out to Centric Group, we can help you find top-rated addiction treatment centers near you. Contact us today to learn more about addiction treatment services in Florida and other areas near you and how to find the best level of care for your needs.