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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Your unused meds may lead to addiction

04-28-17 Category: Addiction, Opioid, Treatment

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Your unused meds may lead to addiction

Do you still have that bottle of prescription opioids in your cabinet or drawer of bedside table that you didn’t use after a visit to the dentist for extracting a tooth or after the ordeal of a hip replacement surgery? If that is the case, your carelessness could cost someone his life. You could be unknowingly contributing to prescription drug abuse by providing your dear ones with an opportunity to lay hands on the unused medicines. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that most teenagers who abuse prescription drugs get them for free from a friend or relative.

Recent findings have revealed that an alarmingly large number of Americans, including adolescents, are indulging in abuse or excessive use of prescription drugs. Matilda (name changed) from Colorado is one of the millions of opioid addicts who even resorted to whisking away unused prescription drugs to feed her addiction, long after the pain vanished.

It all began with a genuine medical need for a painkiller. Her addiction to pharmaceuticals began at the age of 17 when her doctor prescribed hydrocodone, a strong painkiller, to alleviate her chronic migraine headache. The pill did cure her headache, but it led her to addiction. Soon, popping a pill to enjoy the feeling of being high was all that she craved for. However, in the absence of a valid medical prescription to sustain the flow of these euphoria-inducing pills, she decided to whisk away unused pills from her father’s medicine cabinet in addition to frequent doctor shopping to satisfy her cravings.

Such pattern of addiction to prescription drugs has been quite usual and the burgeoning opioid epidemic just proves that. It often begins with a genuine medical need, which paves the way for abuse and dependence. Eventually, prolonged dependence builds tolerance to the drug and the individual needs to ingest higher doses to get the same effect.

A dark reality

The country has woken up to the stark reality that non-medical use of pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives have actually claimed more lives than firearms or road accidents. Though health officials have taken several public awareness initiatives to highlight the gravity of the problem, they aren’t doing much to curb the prescription abuse that is spreading unchecked. One of the major reasons for the spike in prescription drug abuse is easy access to the pills. Lack of effective means to dispose of unused medicines is the leading cause, which is fueling addiction.

Abusing and getting hooked on prescription medicines is a grave concern that is crippling not only public health, but also the social and economic well-being of people. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most abused prescription drugs fall under three categories – opioid painkillers such as Vicodin or Oxycontin; stimulants like Adderall, Concerta or Ritalin; and central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as Valium or Xanax for relieving anxiety. It is a growing dilemma in the United States, especially among teenagers and young adults. When someone takes a prescription drug for a non-medical reason, it poses a great risk of health impairments, besides addiction resulting from abuse. According to the NIDA, about 52 million people aged 12 or older have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetimes.

In the wake of the sharp rise in the rates of prescription drug abuse due to lack of effective disposal of unused medicines, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated April 29, 2017 as the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The day will focus on providing a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unwanted and expired prescription drugs, besides creating awareness about the ongoing opioid addiction crisis and the pressing need for opioid addiction treatment nationwide. For more information on the drug take-back centers near you, you can also check the DEA website.

Sovereign Health can help

Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful prescription drugs despite the negative impact on his or her life. Sovereign Health of San Clemente, CA is there to help with a wide range of opioid addiction treatment services. Our customized opioid treatment programs are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically. The treatment at Sovereign Health of San Clemente is designed to assist those individuals whose pain has led to an addiction of prescription opioids.

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to opioids or any other prescription drugs, get in touch with Sovereign Health to gain access to the latest and innovative treatment methods at our state-of-the-art opioid addiction treatment centers spread across the U.S. Whether you are looking for our drug addiction treatment centers in California or at a place closer home, a call at our 24/7 helpline or an online chat will be helpful to know about the most effective opioid addiction treatment options at our reliable drug rehab treatment centers.

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