Despite the fact that a large number of patients actually do take their medication as instructed, problems with drug abuse and addiction continue to run rampant through our streets. Perhaps one of the biggest (and most notorious) examples of this misuse of prescription medications is the dreadful Opioid Crisis, which has partially spawned from the abuse of drugs that are 100% legal and prescribed for chronic or short-term pain treatment. However, as you may have guessed, following drug instructions is the key to saving your life. In fact, studies have confirmed that people who take medications as ordered by their doctors will rarely suffer from addiction to these prescriptions. Let’s take a closer look and find out the facts.
Mixed Blessing of Opiophobia
How do you properly treat pain without subjecting a person to the risk of addiction? This question has been tossed around from doctor to doctor as the Opioid Crisis rages at our doorstep. Unfortunately, this fear of opioids has resulted in doctors under-prescribing lifesaving medications for patients after misjudging the potential dangers of these drugs (like morphine, for example). Keep in mind though, that a majority of patients who use these opioid painkillers and follow the directions rarely become addicted. In fact, only 4 out of 12,000 patients (who took these drugs for acute pain) developed opioid addiction, while only 2 out of 38 chronic pain patients in the same scenario became addicted to their medication (as shown in a recent study).
How Experts and Patients Can Help
Besides the doctors who take care of us, pharmacists serve as the bridging point between us (the patient) and our primary caregivers. After all, these trained pharmacists are responsible for turning the tables in our favor by:
- Providing clear instructions about how to consume medications
- Explaining every potential side effects of these medications
- Offering and providing advice about dangerous side effects or interactions with other drugs
Finally, once you (the patient) receives your medication, you will serve as the final piece in the puzzle. At the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, and at home, you can follow these steps to make sure you get relief and prevent addiction:
- Provide a detailed description of your family’s medical history, including any details about possible drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or addiction.
- Follow the directions for your medication as carefully as you can (repeat if you must).
- Maintain a solid understanding of how this drug can interact with other medications
- Never deviate from the instructions for this drug.
- (Most importantly) never consume another person’s opioids or other prescriptions, even if their dose is smaller than yours.
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
While absolutely necessary for chronic pain patients, opioids are deadly and potentially addictive drugs that can wreak havoc on your mind and body. However, as you have seen in these reports, you can easily prevent a misstep or an accident by simply following the instructions from your doctor. Physician supervision and your cooperation are the keys to healing.
However, in the unfortunate case that you have fallen victim to opioid addiction or your friend or loved one is suffering from this problem, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from these substances. The time to take back control of your life is now.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your attachment to opioids and take an essential step against the Opioid Crisis.