Drug Abuse Awareness
Each year, October is designated as National Drug Abuse Awareness Month to recognize the risks associated with prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. The main objective of this month’s observation is to inform parents and children about the negative consequences of drug abuse. Prescription drugs are the second most commonly used category of drugs in the United States after marijuana, with one in five young adults admitting to abusing a prescription drug. The national campaign, sponsored by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), aims to educate parents and young people about the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. .
The reasons people misuse or misuse prescription and over-the-counter medications vary. In most cases, easy access to these drugs tops the list of reasons. Misinformation about opioid prescription addiction and the idea that prescription drugs are safer and less dangerous or addictive than illicit drugs are other contributing factors. Long-term stress impacts all elements of a person’s life, including their emotions, actions, thoughts and, of course, their physical health. In an effort to alleviate or reduce the severity of symptoms, including insomnia, depression, anxiety, and pain, people tend to overuse the prescription.
Let’s quickly review the elements that can help prevent prescription abuse:
- Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP)
State-run electronic databases that track prescriptions and distribution of regulated prescription drugs to patients are useful tools for preventing and identifying prescription drug abuse.
Patients can take steps to ensure they use prescription medications correctly by following the instructions on the label or provided by the doctor. Additionally, being aware of possible drug interactions and never interrupting or changing a dosage regimen without first consulting the doctor are a few key steps that patients can take on their behalf in order to prevent drug abuse.
Pharmacists can help patients understand how to take their medications as well as how the medications work for their condition. Additionally, by keeping tabs on prescription forgery, pharmacists can serve as the first line of defense in identifying problematic patterns in prescription drug use. When a misleading prescription is discovered, some pharmacies, for example, may set up hotlines to notify other pharmacies in the area. Pharmacists, in collaboration with physicians, can also use PDMPs to track patients’ opioid prescribing and dispensing habits.
- Form of alternative medicine
Ayurveda is an ancient science that has reserves of herbal, mineral or herbal medicines for the prevention and cure of diseases including drug addiction and withdrawal. Ayurveda, a system of natural medicine, originated in India over 3,000 years ago, is considered a step towards a healthier lifestyle. This alternative form of medicine has always claimed to be much more effective over a lifetime and has no side effects on the human body.
One of the contributing factors to drug abuse is the ease with which one can self-medicate. Self-medication has the potential to cause serious health issues such as poor choice of therapy, addiction, and misuse. According to different studies, the overall prevalence rate of self-medication varies from 11.2% to 93.7%, depending on the target population and the country. The pandemic has also had a negative impact on public health by encouraging Indians to resort to self-medication and Google their symptoms more frequently. Although self-medication is still prevalent, taking steps to provide medicines with minimal or no health risks, such as cannabis-based medicines, and implementing the measures described above can certainly help overcome the problem of drug abuse.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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