The risks for addiction to prescription drugs increase when the drugs are used in ways other than for those prescribed. Healthcare providers, primary care physicians, and pharmacists, as well as patients themselves, all can play a role in identifying and preventing prescription drug abuse.
Role of patients
There are several ways that patients can prevent prescription drug misuse. When visiting the doctor, provide a complete medical history and a description of the reason for the visit to ensure that the doctor understands the complaint and can prescribe appropriate medication. If a doctor prescribes a pain medication, discuss any concerns you may have about the medication. Follow the directions for use carefully and learn about the effects that the drug could have, especially during the first few days during which the body is adapting to the medication. If there is a history of addiction in your family, you may want to discuss with your doctor whether there are alternatives to prescription drugs for pain.
Also be aware of potential interactions with other drugs by reading all information provided by the pharmacist. Do not increase or decrease doses or abruptly stop taking a prescription without consulting a health care provider first. For example, if you are taking a pain reliever for chronic pain and the medication no longer seems to be effectively controlling the pain, speak with your physician; do not increase the dose on your own. Finally, never use another person's prescription.
This article is for your information only. It is not meant to give medical advice. It should not be used to replace a visit with a provider. Magellan does not endorse other resources that may be mentioned here.