With the number of deaths our nation is experiencing due to the opioid epidemic, it’s hard to not assume that opioids are dangerous. And, they are. But, opioids are still and will continue to be a staple in how the medical industry treats pain. This is because they work. And, although opioids can be addictive, with careful consideration to doctor instructions, they can also be utilized safely and effectively.
The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 115 people die of an opioid overdose every day in The United States of America. However, according to the same source, about 21-29% of people who receive prescriptions for these types of medications abuse them. While it’s true that opioid medications are addictive in nature, it’s also proven that these medications are effective in treating pain. But, when these medications are misused or abused, the chances of developing an addiction or even overdosing rise greatly. Furthermore, when individuals are aware of the dangers of these medications, they may be more willing to use them as intended. And, prevent the horrors of this epidemic in their own lives and in the lives of those they love.
Taking Opioids as They are Intended for Use
The number one way to be sure you are taking prescription opioids safely is to use them as they are prescribed. To do this, patients must adhere to a number of instructions which may include:
- Telling your doctor if you’re experiencing side effects.
- Taking your medication directly as informed by your doctor and exactly as directions state.
- Telling your health care providers and doctors of the medications you’re taking.
- Never giving opioid prescription medications for use to family members, friends, or anyone besides yourself.
- Neglecting to take more than your prescribed dose as increasing dosage can heighten the risk of tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
Struggling with Dependence on Opioid Medications?
If you or a loved one have not been using opioid medications as intended and are struggling with dependence, help is available. While opioids are effective when used correctly, they are widely misused. Especially when individuals aren’t aware of the dangers of not taking these medications as directed by a physician. To speak with an addiction specialist about treatment for opioid addiction or dependence, contact us today.