Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

How Education Can Prevent Prescription Drug Addiction

How Education Can Prevent Prescription Drug AddictionPrescription drug addiction is different from other kinds of addiction. Prescription drugs are typically tried for the first time by someone who is under the care of a physician. Even when seeking relief from pain is the reason for using the drug, use can get out of hand. Unfortunately it is not enough to simply decide not to be addicted. If you or a loved one has received prescription pain medication, taking the time to become educated about prescription drug addiction can help prevent an addiction from developing.

Prescription Drugs Are Unpredictable

Some people are genetically disposed toward developing an addiction to prescription pain medicine. The effects of individual drugs on individual users are unpredictable. For some people a drug’s euphoric effects immediately begin to create dependence and tolerance, while other people can easily stop using the drug as the pain for which it was prescribed begins to subside. There is no simple way to test for this disposition. When you take a prescription pain medicine for the first time, you must understand that you are venturing into unknown territory.

Recognize Risky Dosing Practices

Several factors are known to increase the chances that addiction will develop. These include the following:

  • Taking the drug with alcohol
  • Increasing the dose without doctor approval
  • Injecting, crushing or snorting the pill instead of simply swallowing

Understand the role these actions can play on the development of an addiction.

Controlled Substances Aren’t Always Controlled

Dispensation of prescription drugs is, in theory, tightly controlled. Only doctors can write prescriptions, and only pharmacists can fill them. The intent of this close regulation is to prevent misuse and abuse of medication. Unfortunately no system can stop all prescription drug abuse, and the following actions do occur:

  • Doctor shopping. All doctors can write prescriptions, but discretion in prescribing pain medicine varies. If an addiction is developing, patients will seek out a doctor with a liberal approach to pain medication dispensation.
  • Doctor doubling. Patients can support a developing addiction by accessing multiple doctors. Several prescriptions, while each may be medically appropriate by itself, can add up to an ample supply for a growing addiction.
  • Black market shopping. Whenever there is a demand for a product, someone will fill it. Medications can be found outside of legitimate channels.

By understanding how the control system can break down and recognizing the role these system failures play in addiction development, patients can see the importance of acquiring pain medicine only by legitimate means.

Learn How You Can End Prescription Drug Addiction

You can learn how to avoid or end prescription drug addiction, and we can help. Call our toll-free helpline to learn more about drug abuse and addiction recovery.

banner ad