Why Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Starts at Home

Most people, when they hear the word “addiction,” picture a homeless person snorting cocaine or shooting up heroin on the street, but there is another type of addiction that has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and that hits much closer to home. Prescription drug addiction has become a serious issue in this country, and few people realize how easy it is for someone to get their hands on powerful medications without a prescription, possibly leading to prescription drug abuse, overdose, and even death. If you know someone who is abusing prescription drugs, contact Freedom Drug Rehab today to find out ways you can help.

Prescription Drug Abuse in the U.S.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than six million Americans abuse prescription medications, mostly opioid pain relievers, and for many individuals addicted to prescription drugs, their abuse started at home. In fact, 70% of those surveyed who use prescription pain relievers illegally obtained the drugs through friends or family members, either by filling someone else’s prescription at the pharmacy or by taking them right out of the family medicine cabinet. Unfortunately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that opioid pain relievers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and Vicodin are responsible for roughly half of all drug overdose deaths in the United States.

How to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

Keeping someone from illegally using prescription drugs may be an impossible task – if they want to get high, they will find a way – but there are ways you can limit a loved one’s access to prescription medications, and that begins at home. Properly storing and disposing of prescription painkillers and other drugs can help reduce the risk of abuse, overdose, and death, by not letting the medications fall into the wrong hands. The following are some other ways you can help prevent prescription drug abuse at home:

  • Keep prescription medications in a locked area, out of reach of children
  • Don’t store narcotics and other powerful prescription drugs in a medicine cabinet, and if you do, keep it locked
  • Keep track of the medications in your home, especially those that pose a risk of abuse
  • Once your prescription regimen is complete, dispose of the drugs, don’t keep extra medication for potential use in the future
  • Properly disposing of medications involves removing them from their original containers, mixing them with something undesirable, like sawdust, kitty litter or used coffee grounds, and placing them in a sealable bag in the trash
  • Never share your medications with another person

Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

The scary thing about prescription drug abuse is that it could be happening right under your nose without you even realizing it, and the consequences of prescription drug abuse can be devastating or possibly even fatal. If you suspect a loved one of abusing prescription medications, the following are some telltale behavioral signs and other common symptoms of prescription drug abuse that you can watch out for:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Poor decision-making
  • Appearing to be unusually energetic or sedated
  • Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
  • Excessive mood swings, aggression or hostility
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Taking more than one prescription drug at a time
  • Losing interest in once-enjoyed activities

Contact the Experts at Freedom Drug Rehab Today

An addiction to prescription drugs is scary and difficult to overcome, and it’s also something that can adversely affect the rest of the addict’s life. Fortunately, prescription drug abuse prevention can be as simple as keeping track of the medications you have in your home and acting responsibly in storing and disposing of prescription drugs, especially if the drugs are accessible to other members of your family. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to a prescription drug like Vicodin or hydrocodone, and you think rehab might help, contact Freedom Drug Rehab today to learn about the various treatment options available for prescription drug addiction.

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