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How to avoid addiction to prescription medication

In the medical world, as we talk about the importance of diligently adhering to prescription as prescribed to a patient by their doctor, there is the challenge of addiction to this medication which is an important topic to talk about.

There is a real concern that goes beyond paediatric health because it affects adults too. The number of patients getting addicted to their prescriptionmedication is on the up and up, therefore it’s becoming more and more necessary to make this a subject of discussion.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can avoid addiction to prescription medication.

Ensure the prescription is followed as per doctor’s orders

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We have covered the importance of this in our previous posts and it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. Your doctor will always have your best interests at heart and that is why they prescribe drugs to you in the specific dosage that they do. This is meant to completely eradicate the infection from your body at the same time minimizing the side effects to your body. This is why it’s important to follow doctor’s orders precisely. Lack of doing so may lead to addiction especially in the case of opioids.

Avoid the temptation to hoard medication

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If you do a spot check in many homes, it doesn’t come as a surprise when you find them having medicine cabinets with different kinds of drugs from pain killers to antibiotics. In many cases, these are drugs that they don’t even need at the moment but they are being kept for a ‘rainy day’. This is usually a risk factor to addiction. Having access to medication will always tempt you to try to self-medicate which is not advisable. It could be medicine that was prescribed to a family member for a different illness which you feel is similar to yours therefore taking this medication is tantamount to drug abuse.

Try to find an alternative drug where necessary

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Different patients react to medication differently. This is precisely why any drug that is prescribed to a patient will come with a piece of paper in the box detailing the components used in the drug and how it may affect you. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with this information so that you can identify any component in the drug that may be an addiction risk factor to you and request your doctor for an alternative. This is especially common for opioids.

Just for emphasis, addiction to prescription medication especially when it comes to the paediatric population will ultimately end up resulting in more visits to the paediatric radiology wing therefore increasing the risk of exposure to cancer.