Never accept prescription medication that is not prescribed by your doctor.
When visiting the doctor, provide a complete medical history and a description of the reason for the visit to ensure that the doctor understands the complaint and can prescribe appropriate medication.
Keep your doctor informed about all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications.
Take your medication(s) as prescribed. Follow the directions for use carefully.
Read the information your pharmacist provides before starting to take medications to learn about the effects that the drug could have, especially during the first few days when your body is adapting to the medication.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medication, especially if you are unsure about its effects and to be aware of potential interactions with other drugs.
Do not increase or decrease doses or abruptly stop taking a drug without first consulting a health care provider. Never use another person's prescription.
Assessing Prescription Drug Use Problems - Four Simple Questions
Have you ever felt the need to Cut down on your use of prescription drugs?
Have you ever felt Annoyed by remarks your friends or loved ones made about your use of prescription drugs?
Have you ever felt Guilty or remorseful about your use of prescription drugs?
Have you Ever used prescription drugs as a way to "get going" or to "calm down?"
Two or more affirmative answers may indicate probable drug addiction. Any single affirmative answer deserves further evaluation. Please discuss the results with your doctor or other health care professional.
Adapted from Ewing, J.A. "Detecting Alcoholism: The CAGE Questionnaire." Journal of the American Medical Association 252 (14):1905-1907, 1984.
Older patients are more likely to be prescribed long-term and multiple prescriptions, which could lead to unintentional misuse.
Youth who use other drugs are more likely to abuse prescription medications.
Young teens are statistically more likely to abuse only prescription drugs.
Studies suggest that women are more likely than men to be prescribed an abusable prescription drug, particularly narcotics and antianxiety drugs. Research has shown that women are at increased risk for nonmedical use of narcotic drugs.
Substance abuse and addiction cost billions in health care dollars each year. To that, add the costs of lost productivity, law enforcement, criminal case processing, incarceration, countless ruined lives, and premature death.