Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in this country, one which has led to thousands of overdoses and has cost thousands of lives. Fortunately, there are things which all of us can do to cut down on this scourge and ultimately save lives. Because as the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV), “ …when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Here’s a look at three specific actions you can take to help reduce prescription drug abuse.
Don’t Share Medications
When you look into your medicine cabinet, do you ever see an old prescription and think, “Gee, I can give my old Valium to my sister, she really needs it?” Don’t. Sharing medication is an all too common way by which people become addicted to prescription drugs. There’s a reason prescription drugs are only available via a prescription. Government authorities and scientists have deemed them not safe for over the counter purchasing. Trust the experts. If someone you know or love needs a prescription, it’s in their own interest that they get the drug the right way. Remember, testing has shown that roughly 54 million people over 12 have abused prescription drugs at least once. You may unwittingly be enabling someone’s addiction.
Be Aware of Behavior
Individuals who are addicted to prescription drugs will sometimes show signs of their addiction by their behavior. Examples of these symptoms include regularly taking medication which they haven’t been prescribed, increased hostility, changes in normal behavior, unexpected weight gain or loss and regularly appearing overly tired, energetic or intoxicated. If you detect any of these behaviors in a loved one and have reason to believe they are abusing prescription drugs, seek help immediately.
Throw Out Old Medications
If you have leftover medications, it is always best to dispose of them immediately. Don’t flush them down the toilet, as this can pollute the water system. You can throw them in the garbage, but if you suspect someone with access to your things is abusing drugs, this may not be safe. There are often drug disposal boxes in drug stores and government centers; as such, you can investigate those options to see if that is possible.
Prescription drug abuse is a tragically real and painful issue which Americans across the country are facing. Fortunately, there are very real things which all of us can do in order to help get this epidemic under control. By following these three steps, you can help do your part to control the abuse of prescription drugs.
If you’re struggling with prescription drug abuse, contact us to get help!