Prescription medications are generally safe, but only when they are taken as prescribed and for the intended purpose. When they are being taken in a manner other than in which they are prescribed, they can cause an array of adverse health effects, including overdose. The risk of injury or death is even greater when prescription medications are being abused and are combined with other drugs or alcohol.
According to the most recent national data, prescription medicines are the most commonly abused substance after marijuana. In 2014, more than seven million Americans over age 12 reported abusing prescription drugs during the previous month.
How is the United States going to win the Battle With Prescription Drug abuse?
Many adhere to the belief that it is up to our primary care physicians to set the precedence in preventing and reducing prescription drug abuse. That is one key step in the right direction. Ensuring appropriate prescribing practices as one part of a multi-pronged public health strategy seems the appropriate first step.
But, in order to take this first critical step, several components are required: enhancing education for physicians and patients about appropriate prescribing practices; increasing access to treatment programs for prescription drug abusers; ensuring patients in pain receive the appropriate care they need to reduce symptoms of pain; increasing coverage for and access to medication-assisted treatment; expanding Good Samaritan laws; and increasing funding and staffing for up-to-date prescription monitoring programs.
These are unfortunately baby-steps, but a good starting point.
Start taking your baby steps today with New England Drug Testing.
Do you think you are at risk of having a co-dependency type of relationship with your prescription drugs? Do you know of a loved one that you are concerned is not using their prescription drugs as prescribed? Did you know that even ONE pill can KILL if combined with the another drug or alcohol, thus placing you or a loved one at an eve greater risk of death?
If you can answer YES to any of these questions, you should contact any of our staff members to set up a drug screening today. We can also refer you to a network of organizations and like-minded agencies throughout New England to provide you with a cohesive prescription drug awareness and abuse prevention program.