4 Tips for Avoiding Addiction to Prescription Drugs
When it comes to addiction, the individual who uses the drugs have chosen to try them to begin with. However, with prescription drugs sometimes it is unavoidable and the person who is taking them did not know that they could become addictive. There are four helpful tips for avoiding addiction to prescription drugs.
1. Listen to your Doctor
When a patient is given prescription drugs, most doctors will give him or her a run down of what it is, what it does, and how to use it. It is important to follow the instructions that the doctors give their patient to avoid any potential risks and possible addiction that can follow with the abuse of prescription drugs.
A physician will also tell the individual how much to use and it is highly recommended that he or she not exceed the suggested amount. Some may hear this and decide to wait until their pain peaks, but this can lead them to take more than they should at one time, which can increase their chances of building an addiction.
2. Learn to Recognize the Signs
Prescription drugs, if used improperly, can cause a lot of damage to an individual and there are many signs to let him or her know that an addiction has begun. For example, the individual may run out of their medication early, lying to the doctors about his or her need of the drug, or going through multiple doctors in order to get more. These may all be a strong indication that the drug is beginning to become addictive.
When a prescription drug is used properly, it can safely help the person who is taking them, but if he or she does not need them and uses them, they may have adverse affects on the brain. According to the NIDA, this type of drug can create a pleasurable increase for dopamine in the brain.
This is a reward pathway, which means that the individual may continue to use them more and more in order to experience the initial feeling, which can lead to an addiction.
3. Ask Yourself, “Do I Still Need This Medication?”
It is important to stop and think about whether or not the individual actually needs their prescription drug. However, it can be hard for anyone to distinguish between whether or not the prescription drug is needed for his or her condition or if an addiction has begun.
According to the SAMHSA, in 2014 it was reported that 15 million people aged 12 and up used a prescription drug without a medical reason, 6.5 million of which had used in the previous month. In some cases, a doctor may be able to note when a patient is not asking for more of their prescription for their condition but out of an addiction but it is important for the patient to be cautious all the same.
4. Research Drug Alternatives
For those who have had trouble in the past with a substance addiction, it may be a good idea to avoid prescription drugs if possible. Doctors should be able to offer alternatives for the individual to use that could help or keep a close eye on the patients’ use of the drug.
If that does not work, it may also be a good idea to research solutions online but it is important to talk to a doctor to make sure that the alternative does not have adverse effects that can cause more harm than good.
When a doctor prescribes medication, it can be nerve wracking to wonder if an addiction can occur. Luckily, there are steps that an individual can take to ensure that the prescription drug works as it is intended to. If you or a loved one is suffering from a prescription drug addiction and needs help, call 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.