Peninsula Health Center

How to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

The abuse of prescription drugs is a current epidemic across the United States. Millions of individuals struggle with medication misuse. There are many reasons for this, namely the increase in prescriptions. 

As more individuals are given prescriptions for addictive substances like opioids and benzodiazepines, more individuals struggle with pharmaceutical drug abuse and eventually addiction to prescription drugs or their illegal counterparts like heroin.

Peninsula Health Center is a trusted Palos Verdes drug rehab that can help loved ones overcome addiction. Contact us today to learn more about how our Rolling Hills treatment center can help.

How to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

If you or someone close to you is worried about the abuse of prescription drugs, there are steps you can take to figure out how to prevent prescription drug abuse in the home or among those you love.

Know Your Interactions

One way to prevent pharmaceutical drug abuse is to know what interactions your prescription might have with others. It can be easy enough to focus on the interaction it might have with other prescriptions but don’t overlook the interaction with alcohol, either. 

If you are given prescription opiates like OxyContin, Percocet, or Vicodin, and you drink alcohol while on your medication, it can severely lower or stop your breathing and blood pressure leading to a high risk of unconsciousness or coma. 

Follow the Rules Specifically

It can be tempting to stop taking prescriptions as instructed, especially if you don’t feel your medications working or if, more commonly, you feel like you are in extreme pain and want to take more than your prescribed dosage to get the effect you desire. 

If you start with the prescribed dose and it works, but then it stops working, and you keep taking more than your prescribed dose, it could be a sign of tolerance which is a short step away from addiction. 

Before you change your dose or stop taking medication, talk to the prescribing doctor. 

Stick to Yours

One of the biggest signs of the abuse of prescription drugs is when someone uses prescriptions that were prescribed for someone else. If you feel the need to use pills from someone else in addition to your prescription, it might be a sign of medication misuse, and it might be time to get help. 

Have Accountability Partners

Whether or not you have a history of drug abuse, sometimes the best way to figure out how to prevent prescription drug abuse is to involve other people. Your doctor may or may not give you warnings about how addictive your medication is, but they are also unlikely to check with you every few days to see how you are holding up or verify how much of your prescription you have used and whether it’s the appropriate amount.

 A spouse, partner, or trusted friend can fulfill that role as your accountability partner. Accountability partners are a common tool used when setting goals of any kind. You find someone you trust, and you tell them about the goals you are trying to achieve, and they keep you accountable by checking in regularly to see how your goal achievement is going. 

For things like weight loss, this might be texting or emailing you for days per week asking if you have gone for a walk or worked out. 

When figuring out how to prevent prescription drug abuse, this can be:

  • Checking in on how your pain management is going
  • Helping you deal with underlying health concerns like anxiety disorders or chronic pain by attending meditation or yoga classes with you as a complementary therapy
  • Coming to your house or looking at your prescription pill bottle to regularly verify that you aren’t taking more than you should
  • In the case of a spouse, perhaps being in charge of holding on to your prescription and disseminating pills based on the prescribed schedule, especially if you have a history of drug abuse

Treating Medication Misuse

Peninsula Health Center offers multiple drug addiction treatment programs for those who recognize that they have a problem with pharmaceutical drug abuse. If you or your family is struggling with medication misuse, recognizing signs as early as possible can ensure you get treatment sooner rather than later.

Many people benefit from outpatient drug rehab programs and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for detox from prescription drugs, especially opioids. The abuse of prescription drugs comes with a high risk of medical complications and severe withdrawal symptoms. Working with a reputable treatment center can give you access to a full-time team who can make you feel more comfortable during the detox process and provide you with customized ongoing therapy.

We specialize in multiple levels of care, including PHP, IOP, traditional outpatient, and sober living. We also offer outpatient detox services, MAT, and dual diagnosis treatment. 

If you are ready for help with medication misuse, contact our team today.