When used correctly, prescription drugs can be a safe and effective way of treating and managing medical conditions. They can help to fight infection and alleviate pain. But when misused, they can lead to negative – and potentially fatal – consequences. Prescription drug misuse is nothing new. It is an issue that society has been fighting for decades. There are ways that you can be more proactive in reducing risk of misuse for yourself and those you love.
Talk to your doctor
Keep lines of communication open and be very honest and upfront with your doctor. Let them know about any prescriptions you are currently taking before they prescribe anything new. If you are receiving a new prescription, find out exactly what it is being used for and what the expected results are. You should know about the medications you are on and why. There are many people who are on multiple prescriptions and are not even sure exactly what each one is for. Make sure that you are educated about your health and what you are putting into your body.
Talk to your doctor about the risk of addiction and interactions with other medications. Once you have been taking the medication, if you feel that it is not working as it should, or you are not feeling any better, don’t try to fix the issue yourself by increasing your dosage or taking it more frequently. Let your doctor know so that they can safely adjust the prescription, select a different medication, or take other steps in treating your condition. Changing these things yourself can increase your risk of addiction.
Consider alternative treatment options
If you are concerned about addiction, or are already in recovery and worried about relapse, ask your doctor about alternatives to prescription medications. They may be able to recommend supplements or natural remedies. Holistic approaches can be very beneficial as well. Acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal supplements, physical therapy, meditation, and other resources can be ways to help alleviate pain, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and manage certain medical conditions. Prescription medication does not have to be your first or only treatment option. It is okay to seek a second opinion. Do some research on your own to see what options are available and discuss them with your doctor.
Keep all medications locked away
It is not only prescription medications that are misused. Over-the-counter medications can be as well. Any medication should be kept out of the reach of children and teenagers. You should be supervising their use to make sure they are taking the medication as directed and not taking too much or using it too often. Talk to your children about safety when it comes to any medicine and the risks of misuse. Set a positive example when it comes to your own use so that they don’t get the wrong impression or start unsafe habits.
Many communities have drug take-back days throughout the year. Here you can drop off any unused, unfinished, or expired medications to be properly disposed of. This ensures that they do not get into the wrong hands. Show your children the responsible way to discard medications. Some pharmacies are also beginning to take back prescriptions for disposal, so it doesn’t hurt to ask if your local pharmacy does.
Educate yourself and your family
Recognize the signs that could indicate you or someone you love has a problem with prescription drugs. This can include doctor shopping, taking medication more often or in higher quantities than prescribed, trying to hide use, experiencing unusual side effects, or changes in behavior. Emphasize the importance of only taking medications as prescribed and not using others’ prescriptions. Educate your children about the medicines that they are taking as well so they know exactly why they are being used and how to take them safely.
If you or a loved one does develop a problem with prescription drugs, seek help immediately. There are luxury drug rehab programs available that can provide you with personalized care to meet your needs. Medical personnel can help you to safely detox your body of these drugs and keep you as comfortable as possible during withdrawal. Through intense therapy and other treatment modalities you can overcome addiction and develop healthier habits. You will learn effective strategies for preventing relapse and dealing with common triggers and cravings.
It is not too early (or too late) to get the help you need. At Chapters Capistrano, we work with you to create a customized treatment plan to meet your individual needs. We offer private room options, flexible length of stay, and a variety of services to provide comprehensive care essential to your recovery. Take back control and start a new chapter in your life by contacting Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198.