Preventative Measures for Prescription Drug Addiction

Prevention and Prescription Drugs

The abuse of pain medications and prescription drugs has been on an alarming rise in recent years. With this rise comes the tragedy of overdoses and deaths related to these drugs. Treatment and drug rehab is available to address the cases of prescription drug addiction. However, preventative measure can be taken to prevent this substance abuse in the home. The F.D.A. provides us with a guide on safe use and handling of pain medications.

There are a number of medications that have been abused, but the medications that are raising most concern as of late are those classed as prescription opioids used as pain relievers. Opioids are a semi-synthetic version of opiates like morphine. The chief ingredient of such medications is usually broken down into that of hydrocodone or oxycodone. Below we take a look at precautions you should take when using and handling such medications to reduce the risk of dependency with you or a loved one.

  1. Take Prescriptions Exactly as Prescribed

    Typically pain medications are intended to be a short term solution. Extended use can increase the risk of developing abuse behaviors and addiction. Always take medications as prescribed and always consult your healthcare provider on the use of these medicines. Discuss with your doctor the risks of addiction with medications that are prescribed to you.
  2. Always Keep Medications in a Safe and Controlled Location

    This means away from where your children can get them. The recent Monitoring the Youth survey by the National Institute of Drug Abuse has shown a growing trend in adolescents using pain medications in a recreational manner. The common place for obtaining such drugs is their own medicine cabinets. This can be prevented by keeping such medications in a safe and controlled location. This type of drug abuse at a young age greatly increases the risks of developing an addiction.
  3. Never Share Pain Medications

    Do not share your medications with others under any circumstances. This can be contributing to their dependency. Never sell your pain meds to others. Not only is this illegal, it can contribute to misuse and overdosing deaths.
  4. Safely Dispose of Medications no Longer in Use

    Most communities have developed programs for the safe disposal of medications. Dispose of them as soon as you and your doctor have decided you no longer need them. This decreases the risk of misuse, abuse and theft.

Anti-Abuse Medications

Pharmaceutical companies are striving to address the issue of prescription drug addiction by inventing formulations that discourage abuse. Anti-abuse pills pose a challenge to those who do not take the pill as orally recommended. Addicts of prescription drugs will often crush the pills. They then snort them or mix them with a liquid and inject them. The anti-abuse pill congeals when crushed, and does not at all mix with water. This makes it difficult to inject and virtually impossible to snort. It is nice to see the pharmacy labs making strides to address the growing prescription drug problem. But until this becomes a common practice with medications of abuse, addiction will be an increasing problem.

When it comes to prescription drug addiction, the best way to address the issue is with proper treatment and care. Consult your healthcare provider on options for drug treatment programs that are available. The 2010 TEDS Report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported a significant rise in admissions into programs for prescription drugs, particularly pain medications. It is an effective measure for treating this difficult disease developed through the abuse of drugs that were intended as a help.