Locking Your Medicine Cabinet May Help Prevent Drug Abuse
“If it is prescribed by the doctor, it is good for me,” is a common perception among most of the Americans. Prescription medicines can be found in every household, with most people leaving them out in open so that they can be easily procured. But what people do not realize is that such commonly available medicines could destroy the life of a near and dear one.
According to a recent report by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), in 2014, of the total 21.5 million Americans, 1.9 million suffered from a substance use disorder involving prescription drugs.
Lately, prescription drug abuse has become one of the prevalent drug problems in America, fueled by a spike in the use of a class of medicines called opioid analgesics, which are used as pain relievers and central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Medicines, such as fentanyl, OxyContin, valium and Xanax, which are generally found in cabinets at homes, are a part of this category of drugs.
Prescription drugs are as dangerous as street drugs
As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure,” locking up addictive prescription drugs in a box or personal medicine cabinet goes a long way in curbing abuse. Teens usually begin their journey of addiction by experimenting with someone else’s medication or exceeding their own prescribed doses. Locked medicine cabinets prevent an unauthorized access and abuse of prescribed medications.
Medicine cabinets can also be useful in storing certain non-prescription medications, such as cough syrups or several other medications, which can also lead to substance abuse. Also, vitamins and other supplements pose a risk of overdose, particularly, in the case of small children, who may be overdosed on iron which is a common ingredient in multivitamins.
However, it is important to ensure that everyone in the family is aware of the dangers of prescription drugs and the need to strictly adhere to the dosage prescribed by the doctor in order to prevent prescription drug dependence. Prescription drugs should not be taken lightly as they are as dangerous as the “street drugs” and when combined with other drugs, they may result in life-threatening consequences.
Since doctors prescribe medicines on the basis of a person’s age, weight, vital statistics and other health conditions, nonmedical use or abuse of prescription medicines can cause conditions such as restricted breathing, irregular heart beat and seizures.
However, creating awareness among young children and teens goes a long way in curbing addiction, as 50 percent of the teens are less likely to use prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons if they have been warned by a parent or an elder. Just as in the case of any disease, taking preventive measures to curb addiction to prescription drugs is an essential part of safeguarding the health and well-being of the family and community, at large.
Leading a drug-free life
Addiction can alter a person’s brain and behavior, making it impossible to control cravings for drugs or prescription medicines. An addiction to doctor-prescribed medications can harm the human body and lead to several health complications. They can even affect the brain which results in long-term problems, such as memory impairment or reduction in the ability to think creatively.
If you are seeking treatment options for a loved one suffering from prescription drug abuse or you would like to know about the best drug rehab centers in California, call the California Drug Addiction Helpline. The experts at our 24/7 drug abuse helpline number 855–980–1946 can answer your queries and give you relevant information about different drug treatment centers in California.