The opiate crisis has been making headlines lately. This problem can affect anyone regardless of their income, age, gender or the area that they live in. Many people wonder what they should do if they do if they are prescribed opiates. There are several things that you can do in order to avoid an opiate addiction.
Follow the Doctor’s Orders:
One of the best things that you can do to safely take any drug is to use it the way that your physician recommends. You should not exceed the recommended dosage. If you feel that you are not getting the desired results with the dosage, then you will need to talk to your doctor. Your doctor may give you another medication or adjust your dosage.
Use Opiates for Extreme Pain:
You should only take opiates if you are in extreme pain. Tylenol, Motrin and Aleve are safer medications that can be used to get rid of pain. They are less addictive and safer than opiates. Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications.
Recognize the Signs of An Addiction:
Because it is easy to get addicted to opiates, you will need to recognize the signs of an addiction before it gets bad. For example, running out of a prescription early is one of the signs of an opiate addiction. If you go to multiple doctors in order to get a medication, then you most likely have an addiction. Additionally, if you are taking medication that was prescribed to another, then you likely have an opiate addiction.
Know Your Risk Factors:
Anyone can get addicted to opiates. However, some people are at a greater risk for developing an addiction than others. Genetics play a role in addiction. If you have a family history of addiction, then you are more likely to develop an opiate addiction. People who have trauma or a mental illness are also more likely to become addicted to opiates.
Seek Other Alternatives:
There are other ways that you can manage pain. For example, certain anti-seizure medications can be used in order to manage pain. There are also natural ways that you can manage pain such as meditation, chiropractic care and yoga. Some studies suggest that natural treatments can be just as effective for alleviating pain.
Be Honest About Your Pain:
Doctors will often ask people to rate their pain on a scale from 1 to 10. If you continue to rate your pain a 10 despite the fact that you are using opiates, then your doctor may be wary about prescribing them in the future. There are also questionnaires that can be used in order to determine whether a person really needs painkillers.
Avoid Sharing Opiates:
You should only take opiates if they were prescribed to you by your doctor. It is estimated that 40 percent of people who have an opiate addiction got the medication from their friends and family members. Many people automatically assume that just because something was prescribed by a doctor, it is safe.
However, opiates are powerful medications and have to be taken with caution. It is also important to remember that a safe dosage for someone else may not necessarily be a safe dosage for you.
Don’t Keep Leftover Pills:
If you still have pills left after you no longer need them, then you do not need to keep them. It is estimated that 60 percent of people keep leftover opiates. You may be tempted to keep the opiates later on if you leave them in your home. Furthermore, the opiates may end up in the hands of children.
You can take any unused medication that you have back to the pharmacy. There are also other ways that you can dispose of medication that you do not need.
Get Help If You Need:
There is a stigma surrounding opiate addiction. However, that should not stop you from seeking help if you need it. If you find that you are craving more opiates, or they have started to take over your life, then it is time for you to get help. You should talk to your doctor if you feel that you are developing an addiction. Your doctor can refer you to a treatment center.