There are millions of medications prescribed to patients every month, but overuse of prescription drugs continues to be a major problem: more than half of all overdose deaths are due to the overuse and misuse of prescription drugs. In an effort to counteract the problem, more American pharmacies are tracking their medications tightly: around the world, new prescription medication tracking protocols are saving lives and keeping over the counter medicine out of the hands of drug addicts.
Prescription medication is intended to be taken exactly as prescribed, and people who take more than a few medications should consult with their doctors to make sure they avoid any negative drug interactions. Recent health care reports indicated that more people are reporting that they feel like they are taking too many medications. They take one medication for heart disease, for example, and the medication makes them nauseous. Then they take another medication for their nausea, but then they feel dizzy. Doctors work to avoid prescribing too many medicines at once, but if you feel chronically nauseous or dizzy, then it’s time to talk to your health care provider.
If someone you know is abusing prescription drugs, they may seem disoriented and could be prone to anger. Their personalities may change drastically and they may be less inclined to socialize with their friends and families. Statistically speaking, men are much more likely than women to become addicted to pain medication, tranquilizers, or steroids, and overdose rates are highest for men between the ages of 40 and 49. People who abuse prescription medications may be reluctant to get help, but doctors can often recommend programs for people who are committed to relinquishing their prescription drug addictions.
Sometimes, patients feel so much better from their medication that they start to adjust their doses without the guidance of a doctor. People who take medication for pain should be sure to take their medication as prescribed: the roots of addiction lie in overmedication. There are more than 1.5 million visits to local emergency rooms every year that are directly connected with drug overdoses – accidental or premeditated. Changing the dosage of your prescriptions can be dangerous, and pharmacies now track patients’ identities and medication dosages more closely than ever before. New track and trace pharmaceutical technology works to combat medication fraud and identity theft.
There are more than 15 million people in the United States who report some degree of prescription drug abuse, and more than 20% of all high school aged children report that they have taken a medication without a prescription. While it may be tempting to take someone else’s prescribed medication, the effects may be devastating: people may have an allergy that they are unaware of, or the medication may have an unplanned effect. Black market sales of pain pills and opioids are higher than they have ever been, and your local pharmacy may prevent certain medications from being sold without a prescription. Pharmacies also use bar codes and cameras to track the identity of people who fill prescriptions: in the event of prescription drug abuse, they are now better able to track criminal prescription abuse.
For every case of criminal prescription drug abuse, there are thousands of people with a legitimate need for medication. As long as patients focus on taking the recommended dosage, they can avoid accidental overdoses and addiction. While patients may build up a tolerance to certain medications over time, taking more pills than prescribed should never be an option. Doctors and health care professionals can address patient concerns about developing a tolerance to pain medication, and patients should avoid stopping and starting medications. Pharmacies across the country are aware of the potential for prescription drug abuse, and are instituting tracking protocols that are designed to help prevent accidental overdoses become a thing of the past.