Prescription drug addiction is one of the fastest growing diseases currently facing the United States. Each year, deaths and hospitalizations related to prescription drug abuse continue to be on the rise.
Addiction to prescription drugs is a problem that impacts people of all ages and from all walks of life. Many people who become addicted to prescription pills do not have a use of recreationally using drugs, which is a fact that makes this disease even more terrifying for many people.
Here are a few ways that you can help avoid spiraling into prescription drug addiction.
Use Pills Only As Necessary
Unlike prescription drugs like antibiotics, which are generally to be taken on a very regular schedule and until the prescription has been used completely, drugs like pain killers are intended only to be used when absolutely necessary. If you are prescribed an opiate like vicodin for pain, use it only when your pain cannot be managed in any other way.
Before you take an opiate, try managing your pain with a drug like ibuprofen, which is non-addictive and does not have narcotic qualities; or by using tactics like an ice pack or a hot compress.
Dispose of Left Over Pills After You No Longer Have a Medical Need For Them
If you find that you no longer have a need for a prescription drug, find a safe way of disposing of them. Do not hang onto extra pills because you "may need them" in the future.
Most prescription painkillers are highly addictive, and having them in your possession when you no longer have a medical need for them puts you at a risk for developing an addiction. Many communities offer safe disposal programs, which can help you rid yourself of left over drugs without causing potential damage to plumbing by throwing them down the toilet or sink.
Be Aware of Addictive Behavior
There are several behaviors that are indicative of having a problem with prescription pills. If you find yourself fixated on pills, or having thoughts that often revolve around using, you should stop taking pills immediately and consult your doctor for an option for pain management that does not include narcotics.
You should always be honest with your doctor about the number of pills you are taking and the frequency with which you are taking them. If you go to multiple doctors in an attempt to have a prescription refilled, or if you are being dishonest about the amount of any drug you are taking, you should stop using immediately.
If You Find That You Have a Difficult Time Ceasing Use, Seek Help
Opiates are a very difficult drug to stop using. They come from the same family of drugs as heroin, and if, in fact, you are addicted to them, you may very well find that you are unable to stop using in your own.
If this is the case, seek help right away. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be for you to stop using. Even if you have not been dependent on pills for a very long time, it is very important that you seek medical help when you are ready to quit.
A professional team will help you with things like detoxifying from the pills that you are taking. They will also help you to develop important skills that you will be able to avoid using in the future.
Getting the help you need early on will help ensure that you are safe from the disease of prescription drug addiction, and that you have a means of avoiding what can be strong desires to use.