For thousands of years, humans have been seeking relief for various conditions and ailments. This search has resulted in the many medications we have today, many of which are beneficial to quality of life by reducing pain, increasing endorphins, and rebalancing hormones. Sometimes, however, depending on the person and the medication, misuse or abuse of
prescription drugs can occur. What can we learn about this, and how can we help prevent it?

Why Does It Happen?

The cause for misusing or abusing medication varies from person to person. Some reasons may include:

  • To relieve physical pain
  • To relax or relieve tension
  • To get better sleep
  • To stay awake, increase alertness, concentration, or study
  • To lose weight
  • To escape reality

Interestingly, the condition these drugs are prescribed to treat is commonly the driving factor behind their misuse. For example, About 1.4 million adults in America misused prescription sedatives at least once in the past year. The most common reason for their abuse was to help with sleep. 

How to Prevent Medication Abuse as a Patient

Recognizing the above triggers is crucial to preventing medication misuse. In today’s modern healthcare system, patients often have multiple doctors involved in their care, with little or no communication between them. In this way, a patient can easily become confused and overwhelmed, leading to accidental overdose, addictions, and medical episodes as a result.

Educating yourself about the risks of the medication your doctor is prescribing, and ask for alternative treatment options that don’t require any prescribed drugs when possible. Particularly if you know you have a history of prescription medication misuse, you’ll need to be your own best advocate. Keep your medical appointments and maintain open, honest communication with your doctor. Peer pressure, stressors, and mental illness are potential obstacles we face in life, but striving to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle can help you keep medication in its proper place.

How to Prevent Medication Abuse as Medical Professionals

Educating patients is our responsibility as medical professionals. In addition,today’s complex medical environment means more patients have multiple physicians and are prescribed multiple medications. Knowing our patient’s medical history, the other drugs they’re taking, and how they interact with the newly prescribed medication, will help to prevent prescription drug abuse. 

While we can’t stop every patient from abusing drugs, we can look for signs indicating the possibility of drug abuse or addiction. Discuss non-drug treatment options alongside medication if your patient mentions their issue is still bothering them. 

At Sana Behavioral Hospital, we’re committed to doing our part to prevent medication misuse and abuse. If you’re struggling with prescription drug misuse, please give our team of medical professionals a call in Prescott, AZ at 928-227-3424 or visit us online today.