Americans are in a lot of pain. In fact a study published a few years back found that nearly 70% of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug. Sadly, the prescription pain drugs that should be dulling the pain sometimes create a new kind of problem for the patient–addiction.
For people recovering from major surgeries, suffering from chronic pain or under treatment for cancer, the use of prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin is sometimes the only thing that makes the day bearable. The downside is that these are highly addictive prescription narcotics.
To be clear, nobody consciously decides to become addicted to pain medication. People with long-term pain issues go to the doctor for one reason – to treat and manage the pain. Most people believe that because a physician prescribes something, it must be safe. And that is true … in part. At the controlled dosage and monitored frequency prescribed by a physician, prescription painkillers are safe. However, once these drugs are used in a manner not intended by the physician or by someone for whom the drug is not prescribed, they can immediately become as dangerous as street drugs and as addictive as heroin, which is why it’s crucial to be ultra cautious with these prescriptions and hyper aware of the body’s reaction to them.
The symptoms of abuse vary based on a person’s genetic makeup, frequency of abuse and length of the addiction. Aside from the moral and behavioral lapses – like lying, stealing and social isolation – there are specific physical symptoms common in many addicts, including: constipation, nausea and vomiting, itchy and flushed skin, and seizures.
In order to prevent dependency and abuse, it’s important for a patient to use prescription medications properly. That means always follow the prescribed directions; be aware of potential interactions with other drugs; never stop or change a dosing regimen without first discussing it with your doctor or pharmacist; and never use another person’s prescription.
So does this mean you shouldn’t take prescription drugs to alleviate your pains? Absolutely not! Many people with chronic pain will need prescription pain relievers for a long time. It’s just important to be in tune with your body and make sure the pain is driving the need for more medication, not an addiction.
“The most important first step we can take in reducing the suffering and death from addiction is to simply talk about it,” said Mehmet Oz, M.D. If you or a loved one is having difficulty controlling the use of pain medications, the VH Pharmacy family is always here to talk.
ABOUT VH PHARMACY: VH Pharmacy is a family-owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy. In business for more than 40 years, VH Pharmacy has been under the leadership of Pharmacist Eddy Blanco for the past 11 years. With his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding, Eddy Blanco has transformed VH Pharmacy into a technologically cutting-edge facility. To learn more about our services, please visit our website at www.vhpharmacyrx.com or call us today at 305.324.8777.