You can avoid prescription drug addiction by communicating with your doctors and loved ones
Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in American culture. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that the US makes up only five percent of the world population, but its citizens consume 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Sometimes, even recovering addicts may need to take prescription drugs, but they may fear taking any substance due to the risk of relapse. However, you can take the following steps to avoid becoming addicted to prescription drugs:
- Give your medication to a trusted loved one – If you know that you will be tempted to misuse prescription drugs, then take them out of your hands and place them in someone else’s. That person can monitor both your dosage and the frequency with which you take a medication. If you must work during the day while taking a drug, then take only the prescribed amount with you, and leave the rest with your loved one. This act may seem humbling, but it is a much better option than addiction or relapse.
- Talk with your doctor about alternative medications – Be honest with your doctor about your past drug history and your concerns about future addictions. Ask her if there is a different medication you could take that has weaker addictive properties. New medicines are being released all the time, so your doctor may know of one that will better meet your needs.
- Try alternative therapies – Sometimes physicians are quick to prescribe medication even though alternative, non-pharmaceutical courses of treatment provide the same results. For example, both massage and acupuncture have therapeutic success in managing pain, and meditation and other spiritual practices address anxiety and depression. Talk with your doctor about these alternatives that might work for you.
If you must keep taking a drug, then make sure that you take it only as prescribed. Do not take it more often or in higher doses than recommended, as these two steps alone will deter possibilities of prescription drug misuse. To prevent family members or loved ones from abusing your prescription drugs, always store medications in a safe place, behind lock and key if possible.