Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription Drug Abuse
Some very common misconceptions about prescription drug abuse include:
“If it’s prescribed by a doctor, it must be safe.”
“Prescription drug addiction can’t happen if I get my drugs from a doctor.”
This is one of the common myths associated with prescription medication. Many medications can potentially be hazardous if used incorrectly, even over-the-counter medications. People believe that a prescription medication can’t be addictive. This is also not true.
Many people watched their parents take a lot of pills so they fall into the habit before they’re even a ware of it.
Follow the doctor’s orders to avoid prescription drug abuse
Any drug that is mood-altering can potentially be addictive, even if the doctor prescribed it. If the doctor clearly prescribes a medication that calls for one tablet every four hours and the patient pops them like candy, the abuse, depending on the medication, can lead to addiction.
Prescription medication instructions need to be followed and respected to avoid Prescription Drug Abuse.
Prescription medications are designed to improve our quality of life. They can regulate chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, or help us through allergy season.
Prescription meds help to control pain after a surgical procedure, or an athletic injury. Because they can relieve symptoms and ease our suffering, we can easily take too much, too often.
Our bodies build up a tolerance to the drug’s effect and larger doses are needed to achieve the same results. Wanting relief, we take the meds more frequently and soon, we are in trouble; we are on the path to prescription drug abuse.
While illegal drug use gets the most attention when people talk about drug addiction, it is easy to overlook the legal drugs that are used for recreation, which leads to Prescription Drug Abuse.
Below are two commentaries on prescription drug abuse that may help you more fully understand Prescription Drug Abuse!
Do the Right Dose to avoid Prescription Drug Abuse!
There they were; all the bottles of pills in “Wanda’s” kitchen. There was medication for any number of medical conditions and each had a different dosage and a different frequency of use.
She had one of those daily pill dispensers, but keeping everything straight was a chore, mainly because she was taking medication at various times of the day, so the possibility of mixing up pills and the times to take them was beyond possible and teetering on probable. Still she does the best she can.
Among senior citizens, alcohol remains as the most abused drug, but for many the trouble lies in the large number of medications that they may need and getting confused on the dosage and frequency. This leads to Prescription Drug Abuse that they didn’t choose.
People live longer, and so the population ages. Wanda is not a drinker and never has been, but little did she realize that prescription medications would be come an issue. She had hip replacement surgery and started to develop a dependence on the pain medication prescribed by her doctor. She was lucky. She knew something was going on and sought her physician’s advice.
Times have changed. There are on-line pharmacies and the easy-access to drugs, even opiates, is a problem because seniors who want immediate satisfaction can, in effect, cut their physician out of the loop.
Seniors become their own doctor. The doctor may prescribe a specific drug, in specific amounts, to be taken for a specific period of time to treat pain, or another condition.
If a third party severs her doctor/patient relationship, the possibilities for serious abuse are staggering. On top of that, seniors who may have trouble remembering what they took and when, and innocently go beyond a prescribed amount, are in jeopardy at best of developing a dependence, or at worst taking a potentially fatal amount of the drug.
Wanda is aware of her limitations, but many aren’t. Just as an alcoholic may be in denial about his/her drinking, seniors may push off any growing dependency on a drug out of denial, or the mere shame of the idea of being “hooked.”
I remember a scene from the comedy “What’s Up Doc” when Barbara Streisand’s character is in court. Her father is the judge. He lays out all these pills on his bench and laments to the bailiff, “I take the red pill to remind me to take the blue pill. Do you see this pill? I don’t know what it’s for and that scares me.”
Keeping track of medications and having control measures in place is important for seniors, who will become greater in number and in needs as the years roll on. Just because somebody is older and wiser does not mean they are exempt.
Antidepressant Medication Not the Only Solution
In America we medicate everything. If you have aches and pains, take a pill. If you have a cold, take a pill. If you’re too heavy, take a pill. It’s the answer to everything, and why not? It’s easy. Drug companies want to move product and we want to take pills, because it requires no effort. Never mind the underlying issues contributing to a disease or chronic condition, take a pill.
Edith had certainly bought into the idea that she would feel better if she had medication. She had benefited from the use of an anti-depressant, prescribed by her physician. She said it took the “edge off” and she could function at work. She said the medication was effective because it did just enough to help her get by. However, no other therapy was prescribed. The medication was the first and last treatment.
The upside of the medication was that it enabled her to function. Prior to receiving the antidepressants, Edith felt like she was “standing in a hole” and could not seem to get that first step forward going in the morning, and as a result, her joyful activities in life began to fall away, as she was unable to enjoy the company of others and receive the natural lift that personal relationships bring.
She knew something was wrong and sought help. Her physician prescribed a couple of medications, which had negative side effects, before finding one that worked well for her.
She was now able to get along with her routine daily activities, and at a certain level, experience the benefit of interaction with others.
While the drug helped her to function, it also dulled her ability to experience life. She looked for the drug to eliminate the downside of her life, but it also robbed her of the upside. The stresses and strains of life were still there, unresolved, but they didn’t hurt as badly. She would go back to her physician, complain that she struggled with life and got another med.
There was no therapeutic side to her treatment, no opportunity to lay the issues on the table and process her experience. She tried counseling from her pastor, but he believed that all depression was a result of a spiritual failure and if she was depressed it was because of a lack of faith.
He didn’t understand how to help her, nor did he consider a referral to a professional therapist. Many clergy do recognize the signs and do make referrals. She felt guilty and stopped going.
She wanted more. Edith was fortunate to have insurance coverage and found a psychotherapist recommended by a friend at work. It was an interesting, if not eye-opening experience for her because through the therapy, she was able to work through many of the issues that were negatively affecting her life.
As she put it, the medication helped her with that process, enabling her to access things she hadn’t thought of or felt for years. But it was part of an over all therapy plan. Her meds were adjusted, and soon see was functioning on a much lower dose. She did not go off the meds, because they served to help her maintain balance, but the main thrust of her therapy was social interaction.
“Depression” is a clinical term, and any diagnosis of “depression” is the domain of a trained professional. Call it unhappiness, sadness or the overwhelming sense of hopelessness or powerlessness, but the highs and lows of the human experience can be extreme.
Even great people in the Bible suffered from what we would call “depression” and needed someone to come along side to help. To say that people who are depressed suffer because of a lack of faith completely dismisses the experience of many Biblical leaders. To eliminate the value of medications, used in conjunction with other therapies, is to dismiss any medical component of human behavior.
For Edith, the right med, in the right amount, gave her the ability to function and work through her issues. Soon she was victim to Prescription Drug Abuse. Meds alone did not help her overcome her problems. But her meds, her therapy, social interaction and a recommended change of diet helped to restore her life.
Her physician, her pastor and others tried to help, but it was the right combination and collaboration of people that made the difference. Just taking a pill didn’t cut it.
Most of the time a pill alone doesn’t solve mental health issues and it can lead to Prescription Drug Abuse if one isn’t very careful!
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