How to Prevent Abuse of Prescription Medication

The abuse of prescription medication can have serious consequences for your health. How can you prevent this situation?
How to Prevent Abuse of Prescription Medication

Last update: 29 April, 2020

Surely you know why some medication is prescription only. It’s a way to avoid abuse and uncontrolled use of medication that can damage your health. However, in spite of all the measures taken, it still happens.

Many diseases or conditions need analgesics to reduce pain. In other cases, there are medicines that depress your nervous system to treat problems like anxiety and insomnia.

Although these medications need a prescription, the problem comes from how each doctor recommends you take them and what, in the end, the patient does. Abuse of prescription medication can have terrible consequences, and it’s a serious public health problem around the world.

Why does abuse of prescription medication happen?

Abuse of prescription medication.
Improper use of medicines affects their effectiveness and can be unsafe.

There are a few reasons why people abuse prescription medication. For example, some medicines themselves can even cause addiction. We’ll list some reasons below.

  • False beliefs: sometimes people think that taking more than the dose indicated by the doctor will make the medicine more effective. What can happen, in the best case, is that your body becomes resistant and needs even higher doses for the medicine to take effect.
  • Emotional problems: if someone isn’t in a good psychological state, they can resort to prescribed medications to sleep more and not think, to help them feel a certain way, and to avoid their emotional pain.

When emotional problems are very serious, people who abuse prescription medication can try to harm themselves by abusing the drugs.

In the vast majority of cases, abuse is caused by taking the medication incorrectly, causing people to have to increase the dose to notice its effects. However, prolonged treatment, even taking the medicine correctly, can also have the same result.

Prevent abuse of prescription medication

Overdose from abuse of prescription medication.
Abuse of prescription medication can have serious consequences for your health, and in some cases, global health.

In spite of measures taken to prevent abuse of certain medications, even more need to be taken if possible, since this abuse keeps happening.

To do that, it’s important to put certain prevention methods into effect that can help avoid bad situations, like involuntary overdose, negative health effects, or undesired side effects due to uncontrolled medicine use.

Defining the duration of treatment

The doctor should adequately define how long the treatment they give the patient should last, for example, with benzodiazepines. This is a psychotropic drug that can be prescribed to solve problems like insomnia, anxiety, and different disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder, among others).

The risk of addiction from taking this substance is very high. For this reason, they don’t recommend that people take it for more than 8 to 12 weeks. After this time, the doctor should look for other solutions or change the medicine to help prevent addiction.

Psychological counseling

It’s very important to offer psychological counseling to patients who abuse prescription medication to help them form healthy habits and encourage them to understand when prescription drugs are necessary.

Likewise, they can work on different emotional aspects that could be promoting abusive behavior and, instead, provide the person with tools to resolve different problems they could be facing in their life.

Support of any type

Support is fundamental to stop abuse of prescription medication when it starts to affect the patient’s life.

If the patient is religious, they can look for support from people of their own faith. If they aren’t, then there are many support groups that can be very helpful. Likewise, the family, partner, and friends are a fundamental support system.

We hope this article has helped you to better understand the importance of following the instructions given by the doctor and to avoid abusing prescription medication. Some medicines can destroy your health and your life if you become addicted to them.

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