Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Prescription Drug Overdose after Injury

Prescription Drug Overdose after InjuryAfter you have experienced a significant injury, your focus is on relieving your pain, healing your body, overcoming emotional trauma and attempting to get your life back on track. There is a great deal that you have to accomplish during your recovery and your attention is not on the details of your prescription medications. However, you must understand these prescriptions because they can put you at risk for abuse, addiction and even overdose. If you were treated by several doctors, there may not be a consolidated record of your prescriptions, which further increases your risk of overdose. One doctor may prescribe a medication that is contraindicated to another, which could increase your chance of overdose.

What Are Contraindications?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a contraindication is when a drug, procedure or surgery should NOT be used because it may harm the patient. An absolute contraindication could result in a life-threatening situation. To avoid contraindications, learn about the medications you have been prescribed. Understand how they work and what you should avoid when you are taking them.

Prescription Drug Overdose Statistics

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) partnered in a study of prescription drug overdose in 2007. The report, Prescription Drug Overdose, found the following statistics:

  • Between 1999 and 2005, the annual number of unintentional drug overdose deaths in the United States more than doubled—from 11,155 to 22,448
  • Drug overdose became the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the nation in 2002, just behind motor-vehicle injuries
  • The 35–44 age group had the largest increase in overdose deaths
  • The primary problem was a class of prescription drugs called opioid analgesics
  • By 2007, more teenagers used opioid analgesics recreationally than used marijuana

Avoiding a Prescription Drug Overdose

While you are recovering from an injury, you may not feel that you will have the mental clarity to avoid a prescription drug overdose. If that is the case, ask a family member, loved one or another advocate to help you understand the following information:

  • What these drugs are prescribed for, what is the correct dosage and the duration of time you should take the drug
  • What other conditions, besides the one you have, would this drug treat?
  • How frequently should you take the drug, with food or water and at what time of the day?
  • What other drugs should you avoid while taking this medication
  • You also want to learn the side effects of the medication to anticipate dangerous reactions

Help for Prescription Drug Addiction

To reduce the risk of abuse or addiction, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when you are taking a prescribed drug. Should you find that you are abusing the drug and may be heading towards addiction, you need to seek help immediately. Determine the most appropriate addiction treatment for you. While recovery is difficult, it is possible and we can help, so please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about prescription drug abuse and overdose. We are here to help.

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