Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse
Any medication that changes the way your brain and nervous system communicate with each other can become addictive. Narcotics, opioids and opiates like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, OxyContin, fentanyl and hydrocodone disrupt how your brain and nervous system respond to pain. They deaden how your body recognizes pain, while simultaneously causing the release of hormones and chemicals which make you feel happy, euphoric and “high”.
The first step to preventing addiction from these and any other over-the-counter or prescribed drugs is to understand that what looks like a harmless little pill can cause massive changes in how your internal systems work. Opiates, narcotics and other types of drugs and medications are so good at masking pain and making you feel great that even short-term use can become highly addictive.
protect yourself from abuse
These types of medications should be kept under lock and key – especially with children of any age in the home. If you are prescribed some type of opiate or other possibly addictive medication, this information should be kept by the fewest number of people possible. Addictive drugs like OxyContin are so good at delivering an extreme high and painful withdrawal that some criminals and addicts will stop at nothing to get your pills once they know you have them – including breaking into your home.
You should also talk to your doctor about pain-relief alternatives. Monitor your usage, and keep a journal where you honestly record every time you take one of these types of medications and the amount taken. Check in with your doctor regularly, and ask for a reduction in dosage as your pain starts to wane. Finally, never let someone other than the prescription holder take an opiate, narcotic or opioid. Your intentions may be good, but a single dosage could create an unhealthy addiction.