The popularity and over-prescribing of narcotic medications has led prescription pill abuse to be at the highest rate it has ever been. Many heavy drug users attribute prescription pill abuse as their introduction to heavy narcotics. For example, prescription painkillers are in the same class as heroin, prescription amphetamines mimic the effects of cocaine/speed, and benzodiazepines can act as heavy tranquilizers.
Despite this, these prescriptions are commonly found in average people’s medicine cabinets. Due to the danger of these medications, it is crucial to take precautions to make sure they do not end up in the wrong hands. Here is a list of precautions anyone prescribed narcotic medications should take.
Lock up any narcotic medications
It is crucial to keep any and all narcotic medications locked up and out of reach. One of the most common sources of prescription narcotics for abuse amongst high school children is through their own family’s medicine cabinets.
Another important precaution is to keep count of the amount of each medication. This ensures that if any tampering of the medications does occur, it will be spotted immediately and can be dealt with swiftly. This is particularly important for “as-needed” medications that may not be taken every day.
Disposing of outdated and/or unneeded medications
As mentioned, a very common source of prescription meds for young people comes from their family’s medicine cabinets. Thus, it is crucial to dispose of outdated and any unused narcotic medications, rather than keeping them around. This can easily be done at any local pharmacy by simply dropping the medications off to be properly disposed of.
Only refill medications when you run out
Narcotic medications should only be refilled once you run out of the medications, rather than on a strict cycle. This will prevent accumulating unneeded extra supply of narcotic medications.
It is always important to understand the risks and abuse potential of narcotic medications when prescribed to them. Be sure to know the signs that a loved one may be abusing them, and what to do in cases of misuse and/or overdose.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.