According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 5.1% of people aged 12 or older report abusing prescription drugs in the last 12 months. Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse rates are on the rise, with more and more people misusing and becoming addicted to prescription drugs. From a lack of education surrounding prescription drug misuse to the ease and accessibility of getting prescription drugs, in this article, you’ll learn about several ways to prevent prescription drug abuse.
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5 Ways On How To Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse can significantly harm a person’s physical and mental health and well-being for the worse. Keep reading to learn about all the different ways to help prevent prescription drug abuse.
Increase Education Surrounding Prescription Drug Use
One of the leading ways how to prevent pharmaceutical drug abuse is by increasing education about safe prescription drug use. Educating people about the risks and dangers surrounding misusing prescription drugs. Because prescription drugs are prescribed by a medical professional, many people wrongfully believe the abuse of prescription drugs is “not as bad” as abusing illegal drugs like cocaine or meth. However, it’s essential that healthcare professionals educate patients and people at large about the dangers of medication misuse and about potential warning signs that you may be abusing your prescription.
Reduce Overprescribing Patients
With more and more people being prescribed prescription drugs, this inevitably leads to increased accessibility to abuse prescription drugs. Therefore, another way to reduce prescription drug abuse is by stopping the number of patients being overprescribed to medications. For example, this can look like medical professionals trying non-prescription treatments first rather than immediately jumping straight into prescribing patients drugs as the first option.
Increase Monitoring / Oversight of Prescription Drugs
Another way how to prevent prescription drug abuse is to increase monitoring and oversight of prescription drug usage. For example, medical professionals carefully track a patient’s prescription drug use and history. Before prescribing addictive medications, ask patients about their prior prescription history and whether they have a history of addiction.
Promote Conversation and Drug Abuse Resources
It’s also important to provide resources for people who may be struggling with prescription drug abuse. This is because prescription drug abuse is extremely easy to hide and conceal. Offering more accessible prescription drug abuse resources will allow people who may be struggling with prescription drug addiction to safely and effectively get the help they need without suffering in silence with their addiction.
Proper Disposal/Reduce Sharing of Medications
Another common way prescription drugs are abused is through friends or family members abusing prescriptions that are not prescribed to them. Therefore, proper disposal of unused medications through a drug take-back program or flushing or throwing away medications at home are good ways to dispose of them and reduce their risk of getting into the wrong hands. Additionally, people need to know that they should never share medications that are not prescribed to them as this not only will lead to drug dependency, but prescription drug abuse has the potential to be life-threatening.
Start Your Recovery Journey Today
With prescription drug abuse rates on the rise, it’s now more critical to implement the above ways to prevent prescription drug abuse. Unfortunately, many people hold a misconception today that prescription drugs are not as addictive as other drugs, which is untrue. Through greater education and oversight of prescription drug use, this can significantly help lower the rates of prescription drug abuse.
If you are struggling with a prescription drug addiction or another form of addiction, it’s critical that you seek professional addiction treatment to safely and effectively overcome addiction and maintain sobriety. Using a holistic treatment approach, we don’t just help you overcome addiction; we help improve the whole person to lead a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.